Hike Puketi Forest

Bridge at entrance to Waihoanga Gorge Kauri Walk

Puketi Forest, along with Omahuta Forest, forms one of the largest contiguous tracts of native forest in New Zealand's Northland. Home to Te Tangi o te Tui Puketi, the fourth largest living kauri with a height 50.9 m (167'), Puketi is easily accessible from the Bay of Islands and Hokianga Harbour. Access to the recreation facilities can be reached from State Highway 1 or the network of secondary roads that skirt the forest.

Puketi and Omahuta Forests offer a diverse range of walking and tramping opportunities, as shown on the following map and listed below. This information is based on the pamphlet "Puketi and Omahuta Forests" published by the Department of Conservation. You should contact the Department's Bay of Islands Area Office in Landing Road, Kerikeri to obtain up to date information on track conditions before entering the forest.

Topographical maps (scale 1:50,000) are recommended for the more challenging tracks and routes. Puketi Forest is covered by Topographical Map 260-P05 "Kaikohe", published by Land Information New Zealand and available from many booksellers, tourist information sites and Department of Conservation offices.


Puketi-Omahuta Tracks - click to enlarge


Name Length/Time Description & Level of Difficulty
Manginangina Kauri Walk

Length: 350 m

Time: 15 minute loop track

Description: Interpretive panels assist with the understanding and enjoyment of a mature stand of kauri, swamp forest and associated vegetation.

Access: via Pungaere Road from SH 10, Waipapa.

Grade: Easy and well formed path suitable for wheelchairs (boardwalk).

Puketi Nature Trail

Length:
1.6km loop track

Time: 1 hr return

Description: This easy wander begins at the Puketi Recreation Area. Many of the plants are named.

Access: Puketi Recreation Area.

Grade: Easy and well formed walking track.

Pirau Ridge Road

Length: 11 km

Time: 4 hrs one way

Description: An old logging road providing walking or mountain biking opportunities between the Puketi Recreation Area and the start of the Walnut and Pukatea Ridge Tracks.

Grade: Easy and well formed walking track (mountain biking available as well).

Waihoanga Gorge Kauri Walk

Length: 2.6 km

Time: 2 hrs return

Description: The track is marked through farmland before crossing the Waihoanga Stream and entering the forest. It passes a variety of forest associations before entering a fine kauri grove. The track loops through this grove and returns to the main track.

Access: From Puketi Road.

Grade: Easy and well formed walking track.

Waipapa River Track

Length: 20 km

Time: 2 days
(5 hrs day one,
8 hrs day two)

Description: The Waipapa River Track was a direct through route to Forest Pools until early 2006. Due to changes in the course of the river, part of the track is no longer open.

Suggested two day tramp:
The tramp to Forest Pools begins from the Puketi Recreation Area and takes you to Camp Creek (the recommended camping site). Return upstream 500 metres to pick up the Walnut Track and carry on up Pirau Road to take the Pukatea Ridge Route which eventually runs back down to the Waipapa River Track and emerges from the forest at Forest Pools.

It is a scenic tramp following the Waipapa River through the heart of Puketi Forest. It passes through regenerating shrub land, podocarp-hardwood forest and mature kauri stands.

the track is best walked in summer.

there are numerous river crossings in the upper sections of the track. It demands a good standard of fitness and trampers should be prepared to get wet. Be aware that you are at risk of becoming hypothermic in winter.

Do not attempt the Waipapa River Track during heavy rain.

Do not leave cars at Forest Pools over night due to the risk of theft.

Access: Puketi Recreation Area or Forest Pools Picnic Area.

Grade: Requires a high degree of skill and experience and route-finding ability. Suitable for well equipped trampers with topographical maps.

Walnut Track

Length: 2km

Time:
45 min downhill,
2 hrs uphill.

Description: A short, steep ridge track through beautiful kauri forest connecting the Pirau Ridge Road with the Waipapa River Track.

Access: from Waipapa River Track or Pirau Ridge Road.

Grade: Requires a high degree of skill and experience and route-finding ability. Suitable for well equipped trampers with topographical maps.

Pukatea Ridge Route

Length: 3.8 km

Time: 2 hrs

Description: This route follows down Pukatea Ridge to connect with the Waipapa River Track.

Access: From Pirau Ridge Road.

Grade: Requires a high degree of skill and experience and route-finding ability. Suitable for well equipped trampers with topographical maps.

Onekura and Mangahorehore Tracks

Length:
See Description

Description: Both these tracks lead off from the quarry site on the Mokau Ridge Road. The Mokau Ridge Road is accessible to pedestrians or mountain bikes only.

The Onekura Track (2.6 km) is a short steep descent through some fine Kauri stands and reaches the Waipapa River Track after about 1 hour.

The Mangahorehore Track (5.1 km) descends to the Waipapa River track near Camp creek and takes about 1 and a half hours one way.

Grade: Requires a high degree of skill and experience and route-finding ability. Suitable for well equipped trampers with topographical maps.

Omahuta Tracks:
Please drive carefully on the Omahuta Sanctuary Road - it is very narrow in places.

Kauri Stump Walk

Description: A two minute easy path to the stump and head of one of the largest kauri ever felled in the forest.

Grade: Easy and well formed walking track.

Omahuta Kauri Sanctuary Walk

Length: 700 m

Time: 30 mins

Description: The giant kauri in this six hectare sanctuary were protected from logging in 1951. A loop track departs from the carpark at the end of Sanctuary Road.

Grade: Easy and well formed walking track.

Pukekohe Stream Track

Length: 3 km

Time: 3 hours

Description: A loop track from the Sanctuary at the Hokianga kauri to the road.

Much of the kauri in the Pukekohe Stream area has been logged but vigorous new growth is occurring.

Grade: Tramping track suitable for people of average fitness. Requires some skill and experience.



Camping & Huts


Tramper's hut, Puketi Recreation Area

There is a camping ground at the Puketi Recreation Area, an ideal base from which to explore the attractions in the forest. A 24-bunk trampers hut and cabins at the Puketi Recreation Area are available for public use. Bookings are essential through the Department of Conservation Bay of Islands Office in Kerikeri.


Mountain Biking

The old logging roads within the forest are suitable for adventurous mountain biking. Biking is permitted on the Pirau Ridge and Mokau Ridge roads only.

Please check for up to date track information at the Department of Conservation Bay of Islands Area Office, Landing Road, Kerikeri.

This page last updated: 22 November 2008

© 2006-2008 Puketi Forest Trust