Te Araroa - The Top 6 Multi-Day Walks

 

Got a little more time on your hands?
Ready to take the big step and camp out?
Try these Multi-Day walks - though remember to prepare well and take the right safety precautions.

 

Russell Forest to Whangarei Heads - Northland (6 Days)

This beautiful part of Northland is full of lush native forest and white sand beaches. This route weaves you in and out of small settlements, forests and some road connections as it loosely follows the eastern coast of Northland. - punctuated at the end by the steep slopes of Whangarei Heads. You'll see kauri trees, marae, holiday camps and rocky bays. Get a slice of the hospitality offered by the varied accommodation suppliers en route and get an insight into "their" New Zealand.

 

Pirongia Traverse - Waikato/King Country (2 Days)

Pirongia Mountain is a distinctive landmark 25km south-west of Hamilton. An ancient volcano, its dramatic skyline and dark, green forests contrasts strongly with the surrounding farmland. The mountain rises up from the farmland in a series of steep ridges, culminating in a number of subsidiary peaks before the summit at 959m above sea level. Extensive views of the Waikato Basin across to the Kaimai Ranges and the west coast harbours are available from the various high points. Pirongia has the distinction of having the first hut on the Te Araroa (southbound) route. 

 

Whanganui River - Whanganui (4 to 6 Days)

OK, so strictly speaking you're not walking but this wonderful experience is not to be missed. Options abound as to where you can enter and/or exit the river - with Taumarunui, Whakahoro and Mangapurua Landing the options to go into the river and at the other end you can disembark at Pipiriki, or continue all the way to Wanganui City. Flora and fauna abound and if you time it right you can attend a traditional powhiri (Maori welcome) at Tieke Kainga. Discuss options with canoe/kayak hire operators and choose the route that best suits what you're looking for.

 

Massey to Levin - Manawatu (2 to 3 Days)

An interesting pre-cursor to the famed Tararua Ranges. The route starts with some pretty urban walking through the Turitea green corridor, adjacent to Massey University. Leaving the city behind and rising through rural and forestry land it eventually enters the native forest on Burttons Track - with an interesting history and symbolic of New Zealand's pioneering history. Then the Mangahao-Makahika track conitnues towards Levin, with occasional lookout points giving spectacular vistas of the coast. Once at the end, hardy souls will continue into the Tararua Ranges towards Wellington, however if thats not for you arrange a pickup from Levin which is closeby. 

 

Pelorus River Track - Nelson/Marlborough (3 to 4 Days)

The Pelorus River Track is a long established DOC tramping track with a good hut system within the 165946ha Mt Richmond Forest Park. The larger rivers are bridged but the tramp involves many stream crossings that may be impassable after rain. Mt Richmond Forest Park contains a mixed variety of beech and podocarp forest, including the finest rimu along Te Araroa. The green pools of the Pelorus River may beckon on a hot day. Although the route ends at Hacket Junction, where it is possible to exit to Nelson (via Hope) most through-walkers will continue into the Richmond Alpine Track. 

 

East Ahuriri Track - Canterbury (1 to 2 Days)

This route is one of Te Araroa's hidden gems. From Lake Ohau there is an initial steep climb up Freehold Creek - however once at the top you are rewarded with striking views across Lake Ohau and the Mackenzie Basin. Heading over into the East Ahuriri Valley you'll sidle scree slopes and dodge speargrass as you descend to the Ahuriri River - the largest unbridged river on Te Araroa. In normal flows this is easily crossed, however if it is high there is an option to continue 5km downstream for a bridge crossing. This track ends at Birchwood Rd where it is possible to be picked up - through walkers will move onto the Breast Hill Track for the journey onward to Lakes Hawea and Wanaka.