Waikato / King Country

Waikato / King Country

Pehitawa Track - OPEN

Note: Partly closed for lambing 1 Aug-1 Oct annually
Northern Start
Waitomo Walkway carpark, Waitomo Village
Southern End
Rora St, Te Kuiti
Distance
17.5km
Time
6hr
Track Standard
Road margin   Footpath   Easy tramping track   Tramping track   Route   Mixed grade  
Potential Hazards
  • Vehicles on road or track
  • Farming operations Move steadily and quietly through livestock.
  • Open drains
  • Track exposed to sun, wind or cold
  • Steep, muddy and slippery in parts.
Description
(North to South)

This is a medium-grade tramp, largely on farms and in bush but includes a small portion of road margin. The track is steep sometimes. Expect hills with 150-metre ascents and descents. It pauses on top of high karsts to stare across the King Country's low agriculture and tumbled limestone hills that rise to formidable volcanic summits – north to Pirongia, east to Pureora, and south to Ruapehu.

From Waitomo Village, take a short road walk east along Te Anga Rd, cut the corner to head south into Fullerton Rd. Follow it for 1km until you see a stile on the east (lefthand) side.

Cross the stile and follow the orange markers SE across open farmland, then up through a small gate and climb hand-formed track. You'll pass some enormous boulders - these are thoguht to have come from the Mangakino explosion - some 60km away!
Once up and over the ridge, the track then descends steeply through bush - this is very slippery when wet, do take care - and exits onto more farmland where you'll again follow markers SE along the fenceline, climbing again through bush and onto a ridge. Climb through regenerating bush and the track takes a 90deg turn towards the west, running through what Te Araroa veterans will remember (fondly?) as the infamous "Te Kuiti Tunnel of Gorse" - now nicely opened up and easily passable.

Exiting the bush, head over a stile and follow the marked fence to the next stile; then continue along the fenceline - now on the other side of it - and drop down to a farm race (giving way to any animals found on it). This is the farm of John Were. Look for a stile on the NE (lefthand) side after crossing a farm bridge over a stream and then head for a suspension bridge over the Mangapu River.

Once over the suspension bridge, the track heads through Pehitawa Forest  (Queen Elizabeth II Trust-covenanted land and one of the finest remaining stands of Kahikatea trees). Follow markers up a ridgeline to a fence near the top of the hill and over a stile to Oparure Rd.

The following section is closed for lambing 1 Aug – 1 Oct each year (it can be avoided by taking a detour part way i.e. walking east on Gadsby Rd to SH3)
Cross over a stile on the southern side of Oparure Rd onto private farmland. At the top of a hill, are 2 stiles separated by a farm race. Just 50m NE of here is a viewing point of historical pohutukawa and holly trees (see information below).

Beyond these stiles, you will cross a bridged stream, another stile and then veer to the west (right). Partly up the next paddock, past a small stand of trees is the next marker & stile onto a farm track. 

On the southern side of the track, cross over another stile to get back onto farmland and head south to trig point 263, then turn sharply E/NE to scramble through the pines to link up first with Brook Park Reserve’s Red Trail, then the Blue Trail to exit on SH3 on the northern outskirts of Te Kuiti. 

Turn south-east on SH3 and walk 1.5km onto Rora st, the centre of Te Kuiti township. Note two fine statues - a tribute to Sir Colin Meads (one of NZ's finest rugby players) adjacent to the railway station, and the shearing statue at the south end of Rora St.

Note: Map is indicative only
Extra Info
Background / Historical Information
 
History behind the historic British holly and Maori pohutukawa trees:
In 1883 Maori chief Mahuki seized a railway surveying party, Wilson Hursthouse and others. Mahuki remained furious at Hursthouse’s role in sacking the peaceful village of Parihaka. The Pakehas peered from their prison shed to see Maori writing their names on pigs before slitting the pig throats. Around then, the door of the cell crashed open and there stood their rescuer, Te Kooti, himself an outlaw. Whitinui Joseph, great grandfather of the All Black Jamie Joseph, and a kinsman of Mahuki, celebrated the peace by planting two trees - a British holly and a Maori pohutukawa - on the spot where this happened.
 
Brook Park offers a country setting with panoramic views of Te Kuiti. The park is used as a farming operation by the Te Kuiti High School Charitable Trust, but pedestrian access is allowed at all times. Care must be taken not to disturb the sheep, especially during lambing.
 
Noted tree collections are scattered throughout the Park, i.e. Black Walnuts, Pinus Radiata tree crops, Rhododendrums including native trees such as Kauri and Rimu. In addition a recently developed Memorial Arbor offers a spectacular array of colourful trees in a peaceful setting.
 

Te Kuiti Township

General information
Te Kuiti i-Site Visitor Information Centre - Rora St, Te Kuiti - P: 07 878 8077 
DOC Maniapoto Area Office 78 Taupiri Street, Te Kuiti - P: 07 878 1050 - E: tekuiti@doc.govt.nz 

Getting there/away

InterCity - P: 09 583 5780 - E: info@intercity.co.nz 
Naked Bus - P: 0900 62533 (calls cost)
Magic Bus - P: 09 358 5600 
Daily Overlander Rail Service - Between Auckland and Wellington - Departs from Rora St Station

Accommodation
Hunts Farm Backpackers - Emma + John Hunt - 3km from information centre, Mangarino Rd, Te Kuiti - Text on 021 402407 P: 07 878 6697 email huntsfarmbackpackers@xtra.co.nz
Motel Te Kuiti - Cnr Carroll & King Sts, SH3, Te Kuiti - P: 07 878 3448 - E: info@moteltekuiti.co.nz 
Panorama Motor Inn - 59 Awakino Rd, Te Kuiti SH 3 - P: 07 878 8051 - E: panorama.motor@xtra.co.nz 
Waitomo Lodge - 62 Te Kumi Rd Te Kuiti - P: 07 878 0003 - E: info@waitomo-lodge.co.nz 

Private Accommodation - Sue Sands - text on 021 1049 707 camping $18 pp per night, beds are $25 - plenty of hot water and use of the washing machine!!

Resupply
Te Kuiti Superette - 205 Rora St, Te Kuiti - P: 07 878 8333
New World Supermarket - Te Kumi Rd, Te Kuiti  - P: 07 878 8072

 

Requirements
  • Keep to the track
  • Respect private land
  • Leave gates as you find them
  • No dogs
  • No horses
  • No firearms
  • No bikes
  • No camping
  • Track partly closed for lambing & calving 1 Aug - 1 Oct each year.
Environment
  • Take all rubbish with you
  • Kiwis - no dogs allowed
Amenities
(Start)
  • Car park
  • Picnic area
  • Toilets
  • Shop
  • Phone
  • Serviced Campsite
  • Accommodation
Amenities
(On Route)
  • No amenities
Amenities
(End)
  • Full range of amenities in Te Kuiti
  • Carpark at the Te Kumi Road entrance.
  • Picnic area
  • Toilets by the Somerville Memorial.
  • Shop & cafes
  • Accommodation
Closest Town(s)
Waitomo or Te Kuiti
Managed by
Te Araroa (Waikato) Trust Inc & QEII
Thanks to
Local farmers for allowing access & Ollie Mitchell, Martin Chaplow and Laurie Bateup for putting in many of the stiles on the southern section; students from Maniapoto Training Agency helped throughout; the Native Forest Restoration Trust for letting us through Pehitawa; our generous funders, Trust Waikato, Castle Trust, Environment Waikato, The Mayors Taskforce for Jobs, Apperleys Timber and Inframax.
Northern Start
Waitomo Walkway carpark, Waitomo Village
Southern End
Rora St, Te Kuiti
Distance
17.5km
Time
6hr
Track Standard
Road margin   Footpath   Easy tramping track   Tramping track   Route   Mixed grade  
Description
(North to South)

This is a medium-grade tramp, largely on farms and in bush but includes a small portion of road margin. The track is steep sometimes. Expect hills with 150-metre ascents and descents. It pauses on top of high karsts to stare across the King Country's low agriculture and tumbled limestone hills that rise to formidable volcanic summits – north to Pirongia, east to Pureora, and south to Ruapehu.

From Waitomo Village, take a short road walk east along Te Anga Rd, cut the corner to head south into Fullerton Rd. Follow it for 1km until you see a stile on the east (lefthand) side.

Cross the stile and follow the orange markers SE across open farmland, then up through a small gate and climb hand-formed track. You'll pass some enormous boulders - these are thoguht to have come from the Mangakino explosion - some 60km away!
Once up and over the ridge, the track then descends steeply through bush - this is very slippery when wet, do take care - and exits onto more farmland where you'll again follow markers SE along the fenceline, climbing again through bush and onto a ridge. Climb through regenerating bush and the track takes a 90deg turn towards the west, running through what Te Araroa veterans will remember (fondly?) as the infamous "Te Kuiti Tunnel of Gorse" - now nicely opened up and easily passable.

Exiting the bush, head over a stile and follow the marked fence to the next stile; then continue along the fenceline - now on the other side of it - and drop down to a farm race (giving way to any animals found on it). This is the farm of John Were. Look for a stile on the NE (lefthand) side after crossing a farm bridge over a stream and then head for a suspension bridge over the Mangapu River.

Once over the suspension bridge, the track heads through Pehitawa Forest  (Queen Elizabeth II Trust-covenanted land and one of the finest remaining stands of Kahikatea trees). Follow markers up a ridgeline to a fence near the top of the hill and over a stile to Oparure Rd.

The following section is closed for lambing 1 Aug – 1 Oct each year (it can be avoided by taking a detour part way i.e. walking east on Gadsby Rd to SH3)
Cross over a stile on the southern side of Oparure Rd onto private farmland. At the top of a hill, are 2 stiles separated by a farm race. Just 50m NE of here is a viewing point of historical pohutukawa and holly trees (see information below).

Beyond these stiles, you will cross a bridged stream, another stile and then veer to the west (right). Partly up the next paddock, past a small stand of trees is the next marker & stile onto a farm track. 

On the southern side of the track, cross over another stile to get back onto farmland and head south to trig point 263, then turn sharply E/NE to scramble through the pines to link up first with Brook Park Reserve’s Red Trail, then the Blue Trail to exit on SH3 on the northern outskirts of Te Kuiti. 

Turn south-east on SH3 and walk 1.5km onto Rora st, the centre of Te Kuiti township. Note two fine statues - a tribute to Sir Colin Meads (one of NZ's finest rugby players) adjacent to the railway station, and the shearing statue at the south end of Rora St.

Potential Hazards
  • Vehicles on road or track
  • Farming operations Move steadily and quietly through livestock.
  • Open drains
  • Track exposed to sun, wind or cold
  • Steep, muddy and slippery in parts.
Description
(North to South)

This is a medium-grade tramp, largely on farms and in bush but includes a small portion of road margin. The track is steep sometimes. Expect hills with 150-metre ascents and descents. It pauses on top of high karsts to stare across the King Country's low agriculture and tumbled limestone hills that rise to formidable volcanic summits – north to Pirongia, east to Pureora, and south to Ruapehu.

From Waitomo Village, take a short road walk east along Te Anga Rd, cut the corner to head south into Fullerton Rd. Follow it for 1km until you see a stile on the east (lefthand) side.

Cross the stile and follow the orange markers SE across open farmland, then up through a small gate and climb hand-formed track. You'll pass some enormous boulders - these are thoguht to have come from the Mangakino explosion - some 60km away!
Once up and over the ridge, the track then descends steeply through bush - this is very slippery when wet, do take care - and exits onto more farmland where you'll again follow markers SE along the fenceline, climbing again through bush and onto a ridge. Climb through regenerating bush and the track takes a 90deg turn towards the west, running through what Te Araroa veterans will remember (fondly?) as the infamous "Te Kuiti Tunnel of Gorse" - now nicely opened up and easily passable.

Exiting the bush, head over a stile and follow the marked fence to the next stile; then continue along the fenceline - now on the other side of it - and drop down to a farm race (giving way to any animals found on it). This is the farm of John Were. Look for a stile on the NE (lefthand) side after crossing a farm bridge over a stream and then head for a suspension bridge over the Mangapu River.

Once over the suspension bridge, the track heads through Pehitawa Forest  (Queen Elizabeth II Trust-covenanted land and one of the finest remaining stands of Kahikatea trees). Follow markers up a ridgeline to a fence near the top of the hill and over a stile to Oparure Rd.

The following section is closed for lambing 1 Aug – 1 Oct each year (it can be avoided by taking a detour part way i.e. walking east on Gadsby Rd to SH3)
Cross over a stile on the southern side of Oparure Rd onto private farmland. At the top of a hill, are 2 stiles separated by a farm race. Just 50m NE of here is a viewing point of historical pohutukawa and holly trees (see information below).

Beyond these stiles, you will cross a bridged stream, another stile and then veer to the west (right). Partly up the next paddock, past a small stand of trees is the next marker & stile onto a farm track. 

On the southern side of the track, cross over another stile to get back onto farmland and head south to trig point 263, then turn sharply E/NE to scramble through the pines to link up first with Brook Park Reserve’s Red Trail, then the Blue Trail to exit on SH3 on the northern outskirts of Te Kuiti. 

Turn south-east on SH3 and walk 1.5km onto Rora st, the centre of Te Kuiti township. Note two fine statues - a tribute to Sir Colin Meads (one of NZ's finest rugby players) adjacent to the railway station, and the shearing statue at the south end of Rora St.

Note: Map is indicative only
Extra Info
Background / Historical Information
 
History behind the historic British holly and Maori pohutukawa trees:
In 1883 Maori chief Mahuki seized a railway surveying party, Wilson Hursthouse and others. Mahuki remained furious at Hursthouse’s role in sacking the peaceful village of Parihaka. The Pakehas peered from their prison shed to see Maori writing their names on pigs before slitting the pig throats. Around then, the door of the cell crashed open and there stood their rescuer, Te Kooti, himself an outlaw. Whitinui Joseph, great grandfather of the All Black Jamie Joseph, and a kinsman of Mahuki, celebrated the peace by planting two trees - a British holly and a Maori pohutukawa - on the spot where this happened.
 
Brook Park offers a country setting with panoramic views of Te Kuiti. The park is used as a farming operation by the Te Kuiti High School Charitable Trust, but pedestrian access is allowed at all times. Care must be taken not to disturb the sheep, especially during lambing.
 
Noted tree collections are scattered throughout the Park, i.e. Black Walnuts, Pinus Radiata tree crops, Rhododendrums including native trees such as Kauri and Rimu. In addition a recently developed Memorial Arbor offers a spectacular array of colourful trees in a peaceful setting.
 

Te Kuiti Township

General information
Te Kuiti i-Site Visitor Information Centre - Rora St, Te Kuiti - P: 07 878 8077 
DOC Maniapoto Area Office 78 Taupiri Street, Te Kuiti - P: 07 878 1050 - E: tekuiti@doc.govt.nz 

Getting there/away

InterCity - P: 09 583 5780 - E: info@intercity.co.nz 
Naked Bus - P: 0900 62533 (calls cost)
Magic Bus - P: 09 358 5600 
Daily Overlander Rail Service - Between Auckland and Wellington - Departs from Rora St Station

Accommodation
Hunts Farm Backpackers - Emma + John Hunt - 3km from information centre, Mangarino Rd, Te Kuiti - Text on 021 402407 P: 07 878 6697 email huntsfarmbackpackers@xtra.co.nz
Motel Te Kuiti - Cnr Carroll & King Sts, SH3, Te Kuiti - P: 07 878 3448 - E: info@moteltekuiti.co.nz 
Panorama Motor Inn - 59 Awakino Rd, Te Kuiti SH 3 - P: 07 878 8051 - E: panorama.motor@xtra.co.nz 
Waitomo Lodge - 62 Te Kumi Rd Te Kuiti - P: 07 878 0003 - E: info@waitomo-lodge.co.nz 

Private Accommodation - Sue Sands - text on 021 1049 707 camping $18 pp per night, beds are $25 - plenty of hot water and use of the washing machine!!

Resupply
Te Kuiti Superette - 205 Rora St, Te Kuiti - P: 07 878 8333
New World Supermarket - Te Kumi Rd, Te Kuiti  - P: 07 878 8072

 

Requirements
  • Keep to the track
  • Respect private land
  • Leave gates as you find them
  • No dogs
  • No horses
  • No firearms
  • No bikes
  • No camping
  • Track partly closed for lambing & calving 1 Aug - 1 Oct each year.
Environment
  • Take all rubbish with you
  • Kiwis - no dogs allowed
Amenities
(Start)
  • Car park
  • Picnic area
  • Toilets
  • Shop
  • Phone
  • Serviced Campsite
  • Accommodation
Amenities
(On Route)
  • No amenities
Amenities
(End)
  • Full range of amenities in Te Kuiti
  • Carpark at the Te Kumi Road entrance.
  • Picnic area
  • Toilets by the Somerville Memorial.
  • Shop & cafes
  • Accommodation
Closest Town(s)
Waitomo or Te Kuiti
Managed by
Te Araroa (Waikato) Trust Inc & QEII
Thanks to
Local farmers for allowing access & Ollie Mitchell, Martin Chaplow and Laurie Bateup for putting in many of the stiles on the southern section; students from Maniapoto Training Agency helped throughout; the Native Forest Restoration Trust for letting us through Pehitawa; our generous funders, Trust Waikato, Castle Trust, Environment Waikato, The Mayors Taskforce for Jobs, Apperleys Timber and Inframax.