With beautiful landscapes, towering waterfalls, strange and unique birdlife, amazing limestone formations, lakes, rivers, mountain ranges and coastlines, Hawke’s Bay is a paradise for walkers – from short walks and day hikes to overnight and multi-day walks in the Ruahine and Kaweka Ranges close by and the Great Walk at Lake Waikaremoana in Te Urewera.
Come into Napier i-SITE before you leave to pick up a free copy of our day walks guide, and the Great Walks of New Zealand brochures.
We have Information Consultants who are keen hikers/trampers themselves and enjoy imparting their knowledge of the local walks and multi day hikes in the area, checking out the local track conditions and weather and arranging transport.
We can book your Department of Conservation GREAT WALK hut and campsites at no extra charge.
We also sell the following:
BLUFF HILL LOOKOUT WALK: Head north along Marine Parade from Napier i-SITE and turn left on Coote Road just past the swimming pool. Stop to admire the waterfall in the Centennial Gardens before heading up Priestley Rd to the ramp that takes you up to Priestley Tce, then turn right at Lighthouse Road and walk through the white picket gate, the entrance to Sturms Gully.
Follow the path to the steps on the right and head up these to Bluff Hill Lookout and enjoy the scenic views across the Port of Napier. From the Lookout you can either go back to same way, or cross the grass slope and walk the pathway down to Hornsey Rd, and then onto Breakwater Rd which will lead you past the Port and back to the start. Duration: 50 minutes return. Alternatively, from Hornsey Road you could turn left onto Breakwater Road and then carry on along the seaside to Ahuriri the picturesque old fishing village with many restaurants, bars and cafes.
Safety Note: Hilly terrains. Route Map and Heritage Brochures of Napier Hill and Ahuriri available at Napier i-SITE Visitor Centre.
AHURIRI ESTUARY WALKING TRACK: Start on Humber St car park, off Pandora Road. Follow the track and boardwalk around the Estuary. This estuary supports an interdependent community of wading birds, fish, mud dwellers and aquatic plant life. The boardwalk stretches out across the water for good viewing. Take your binoculars. The walk can be extended by following the southern side of the estuary at low tide past plantings of Ngaio, Karaka and Eucalyptus passing through several land reclamations undertaken by the Napier Harbour Board between 1931 and 1989.
Distance: 2.8 km Duration 45 minutes for shorter walk and 4kms or 1hr for longer walk.
SEA WALLS - MURALS FOR OCEANS WALK: Pick up a Map from Napier i-SITE of the Sea Wall Murals to discover the giant murals painted throughout the central city and Ahuriri by 31 internationally renowned artists in 2016 and 2017. The murals highlight the beauty of our oceans and address pressing issues relating to protecting the ocean environment for future generations. For more information go to www.pangeaseed.foundation/sea-walls
HAWKE’S BAY TRAILS – NAPIER - AWATOTO: The walk can be started either from the Napier i-SITE Visitors Centre on Marine Parade or opposite Ravensdown Fertilizer Works on State Highway 2. Enjoy the sea breeze and sea views as you walk out of or into Napier. The walk is suitable for all levels of fitness. Distance: 9 km (one way), 18 km (return) Time Duration: 1½ hours one way or 3 hours return. Safety Note: Beware of vehicles coming out of factory areas.
HAWKE’S BAY TRAILS - WESTSHORE to BAYVIEW: Commence the walk the Corner of James and Charles Sts, Westshore and continue on a flat pathway through to Bay View. Suitable for all levels of fitness. Enjoy the sea views and the scenic views of the Napier Airport and out to Whirinaki Beach. Duration: 2 hours return
PARK ISLAND WALKWAY: There are several walks in this area all of which are well marked. There is a map at the entrance to Park Island, off Westminster Ave, indicating points of interest in the area. These walks are suitable for all levels of fitness. Distance: Various up to 5 km.
DOBEL RESERVE:Napier City Council has developed this 18ha reserve in conjunction with the Taradale and Greenmeadows Rotary Clubs with plantings of over 12,000 native and deciduous trees. The entrance to the reserve is on Dobel St, off Puketapu Road, Taradale. From the gates allow 40 minutes return to reach the summit on a well-established track. Shorter walks branch off the main trail. Steep in places.
SUGAR LOAF RESERVE: Sugar Loaf Hill (Pukekura in Maori) is a 4 ha reserve that offers spectacular views over Napier, the Heretaunga Plains, the Kaweka and Ruahine Ranges. Park at the carpark by Lance Leikis Reserve on Tironui Drive, cross over the stile and a gate that gives access to the track to the Summit. The first 100 metres are steep but then the path widens and winds around the contour of the hill. There is also a steep direct path to the summit. Allow 10 minutes. The Summit can also be accessed from Cumberland Rise off Kent Tce.
OTATARA PA SITE: There are two tracks to this great walk. Track one starts from the Springfield Rd car park, and the Track two entrance is off Churchill Dr, Taradale. Otatara Pa Historic Reserve contains two of the largest and most ancient Maori Pa sites in the Hawke’s Bay area. Point of interest: The area is wahi tapu (sacred places). Hikurangi and Otatara contain burial sites. No food is to be consumed on the Pa site. Duration: 60 minutes. Safety Note: Entrance onto Springfield Rd is off a busy Highway. Steep in Places.
HAWKE’S BAY TRAILS - PETTIGREW GREEN ARENA - AWATOTO: Entrance onto the Stop Banks Walk is along the fence line facing the Pettigrew Green Arena, opposite EIT on Gloucester St, Taradale. The walk runs parallel to the Tutaekuri River, is quite secluded and finishes at Awatoto. This walk is appropriate for all levels of fitness. Distance: 6 km Time: 60 minutes uneven ground with a dirt track. Watch out for grazing cows.
WAITANGI ESTUARY – WAITANGI REGIONAL PARK - CLIVE: Follow State Highway 2 south of Napier for 10 minutes and turn left at the sign “Waitangi” between the Tutaekuri and Ngaruroro Bridges to the carpark. This wetland estuary area is of special significance to Maori and has been transformed recently with the addition of a celestial star compass Tu Hawaiki with 32 carved Po, native tree and garden plantings and a walkway. Maori ancestors used compasses like this to chart the position of the sun, moon and stars and thus navigate throughout the Pacific. Follow the trail for a 30-minute circular walk route past the star compass, around the wetland area and back via the path adjacent to the bridge.
HAWKE’S BAY TRAILS: CLIVE - EAST CLIVE – RIVER ROAD: Starts at Clive on Ferry Road after the bridge. Easy flat walking for all levels of fitness, Follow the Limestone Pathway along the Clive Stopbank to East Clive and then along the stopbanks of the Tukituki River passing by orchards, vineyards and farmland to River Road. 14kms one way. Duration: 3 hours
PAKOWHAI PARK: 12 kms South of Napier Take the Expressway (SH 50A) South of Napier to Pakowhai Road, cross the Ngaruroro River and turn right into Pakowhai Park. This is a country-style park, and there are 2kms of easy walking paths and a series of bridges crossing over the Raupare Stream. There are many specimen trees, a Pine Plantation and open grass areas making the park popular for walking and family outings. Dogs are permitted off lead.
HAWKE’S BAY TRAILS - PAKOWHAI STATE HIGHWAY 2 - HASTINGS: Start at Pakowhai Park on Pakowhai Road and walk alongside the stop bank of the Ngaruroro River. Scenic views of orchards and surrounding cattle pastures can be absorbed through the walk. The pathway ends on the opposite side of the Hohepa Home on State Highway 2. Distance: 7 km (one way) Duration: 1½ hrs one way.
TAINUI RESERVE WALK: – 25 minutes’ drive from Napier
The walk commences at Keith Sands Rd, but you can also enter and exit this walkway from Tainui Drive and Hikanui Drive. The track runs through Tainui Reserve in Havelock North, and through a series of steep gullies. There are at least 5 exits on this walkway with clear signage on display. Moderate to high level of fitness is required. Duration: 45 minutes.
MARAETOTARA FALLS WALK: Maraetotara Road 45 minutes’ drive from Napier.
The walk starts 2.4km up Maraetotara Rd off Waimarama Rd where there is a white archway on a small parking area on the right hand side of the road. In 1922 the Havelock North Borough Council built a dam on top of Maraetotara Falls to create a head for a hydro-electric power station. A tree-shaded walk leads 10 minutes upstream to the falls and 20 minutes downstream through limestone scenery, past the old turbine house and a surge tower. Swimming hole in summertime. Duration: 10-20 minutes one way.
MOHI BUSH SCENIC RESERVE: 50 minutes’ drive south Napier.
Turn from Waimarama Road onto Maraetotara Road and follow it 16km, then turn into Waipoapoa Road. Mohi Bush is signposted 2.2km on the right. Enter through the vehicle gate to the picnic shelter, toilet, information panel and parking area. The tracks are well signposted. Duration: Short Loop: 30min. Long Loop 1hr 15min
PEKAPEKA WETLAND: 30 minutes’ drive south of Napier.
Drive on State Highway 2, 12 kms south of Hastings to the Pekapeka Regional Park on the left hand side, a great place to discover wetland wildlife. This 4.5km long and 800m wide wetland covers 98 hectares and is the focus of a joint HBRC-community biodiversity enhancement programme. Some rare bird species, such as bittern, are found here. Public access is to a central area of the Wetland where you can explore pathways and boardwalks, and walk up to the lookout for a panoramic view of the valley. An ideal park to explore with the family.
Te Mata Peak is one of the prominent points of the Hawke’s Bay region, 399 metres above sea level.
There are 5 top trails and several shorter walks that provide a variety of options to explore this spectacular park. Some of the walks allow beautiful views of the Heretaunga Plains, Hawke Bay as far as Mahia and residential areas of Havelock North, Hastings and Napier. Mt Ruapehu is visible on a clear day.
To access the Top 5 tracks enter the Park from Te Mata Peak Road via the Main Gates Car Park or Tauroa Rd Car Park (starting at Tauroa Rd adds 0.7kms or an extra 15 minutes each way via the Chambers walk).
There is a billboard at the Main Carpark Gates with the walks detailed on it: Piwakawaka Loop (40 minutes) 1.3kms, Big Redwoods Track (60 minutes) 2.7kms, Karaka Wander (1 ¼ hrs) 4kms, Giant Circuit (2 ¼ hrs) 5.4 kms and Rongokako Trail (2 ¼ hrs) 5.5kms. For more information on these walks go to www.tematapeak.co.nz.
25 minutes’ drive from Napier in Havelock North
SWAMP TRACK– RUAHINE FOREST PARK: 1 ¼ hour drive from Napier.
Take State Highway 50 south towards Ongaonga, before you reach Ongaonga turn right onto Whakarara Road and then turn left on North Block Road. Follow the signs through farmland to carpark. The well-marked track commences over the sty and passes through farmland at first before heading into the Ruahine Forest Park for 10 minutes to Triple X Hut. About 100 metres before the hut is a sign for the Swamp track – a low-level one hour circular track that meanders through a mix of Beech, Rimu and Kahikatea forest. Triple X hut is a standard 12-bunk hut with grassy surrounds – so an ideal base for groups wishing to experience an overnight stay close to the road end.
SUNRISE HUT – RUAHINE FOREST PARK: 1 ¼ hour drive from Napier.
Same directions as Swamp Track above and near Triple X Hut follow the signs to Sunrise Hut, climbing for 2 -3 hours one way. This track is one of the most popular in the Ruahines with a high quality walk through beech forest onto the tops. You can stay overnight at Sunrise Hut (20 bunk serviced hut). Buy your hut tickets and/or pre book at Napier i-SITE. Suitable warm clothing and good boots necessary. From Sunrise Hut you can venture further into the Ruahines for multi day tramping expeditions. You can purchase Topographical Maps of this area from Napier i-SITE.
TANGOIO FALLS WALKWAY: 40 minutes’ drive north of Napier.
The walk starts 27km drive north of Napier on the Napier - Gisborne road, signposted on the right hand side. There is a small parking lot with some nearby picnic tables and shelters, and an explanatory sign about the reserve at the beginning of the path. For the first 20 minutes of so, you walk along a bubbling stream through a thick forest. You will come across the Te Ana Falls, which is the shorter but more forceful of the two waterfalls in the park. From there, you return to the path and head uphill for another 20 minutes to reach an overlook that provides a view of Tangoio Falls across a valley. If you wish to take a longer hike, you can continue walking on the trail all the way to White Pine Bush Scenic Reserve. This takes about another hour but is not used much so overgrown in places. The longer hike passes through a native white pine forest and provides nice scenery. Duration: Waterfalls return approx. 40 minutes, Walkway to White Pine Bush approx. 1.5 hours one way.
WHITE PINE BUSH SCENIC RESERVE: 45 minutes’ drive north of Napier
This walk is 2 kms further up the road from the Tangoio Falls track. There is 19 hectares of native Kahikatea (White Pine) forest and beautiful nikau palm groves. There is a short 650 metre loop track, which takes in much of what the reserve has to offer and also a longer loop with some huge specimens of Kahikatea. Duration: 20 minutes short loop, 45 mins long loop. Short loop is sealed and wheelchair accessible.
WAIPATIKI SCENIC RESERVE: 40 minutes’ drive north of Napier
This walk is situated just before Waipatiki Beach 32 kms north of Napier. Take State Highway 2 north and turn right at the sign to Waipatiki Beach on Tangoio Road then left onto Waipatiki Rd and drive 12kms further to the parking spot at the bottom of the hill 500 metres before the beach. Steep 20 min uphill climb through kahikatea and nikau palm groves. At the signpost, take the high route to Aropaoanui Rd through kanuka forest and putuputuweta. After 20 mins you can go up to Aropaoanui Rd or left back down to the car park. Duration 1 1/2hrs return.
WAIPATIKI DOMAIN WALK:
This walk starts at the end of Waipatiki village between the pontoon and the main gate into the Motorcamp. The track leads you through impressive archways formed by Nikau palm fronds and there are examples of Kahikatea, Titoki, Karaka and Kawakawa. Many birds are found in the bush – Tui, Bellbirds, Fantails, Woodpigeons and Moreporks. 40 minutes return with a sidewalk up the hill for an extra 45 minutes.
WAIPATIKI COASTAL TRACK – NORTH: At Waipatiki Beach head north (to the left as you face the sea) along a well-defined but narrow and steep track and enjoy views of Mahia Peninsular to the north and Cape Kidnappers to the south. The rugged limestone cliffs over 100 metres high form a spectacular backdrop against the sea and track. Difficult in places. The track peters out after a while – so return the same way.
WAIPATIKI COASTAL TRACK – SOUTH: At Waipatiki Beach head south (to the right as you face the sea) along a well-defined but narrow steep track for 15 minutes to a small bay with rock pools and towering limestone cliffs. Great views of Mahia and Cape Kidnappers. 30 minutes return.
HOLT FOREST ARBORETUM:– 50 minutes’ drive from Napier
Drive north on State Highway 2 and after Tangoio Settlement Road turn left on Kaiwaka Road, then Darky Spur Rd and Holt Forest Rd to reach the Holt Forest Arboretum. Or head to Lake Tutira turn left onto Waikoau Rd just before the Tutira Shop to Holt Forest Road (7.5kms from Tutira).
This 15ha Arboretum was planted by Harold and Dorothy Holt over a 45 year period and contains over 500 species of indigenous and introduced trees, shrubs, ferns and flowering plants. In 1962 it was proclaimed a Wildlife Sanctuary and gifted to the people of NZ. The Arboretum is open to the public all year around. There are a number of trails here – broad gravel paths suitable for wheelchairs with picnic areas and toilets. No dogs.
LAKE TUTIRA – 50 minutes’ drive north of Napier.
Drive on State Highway 2 north of Napier and turn in at the DOC Campground on the Southern end of Lake Tutira. Prior to European settlement, Maori lived seasonally at Lake Tutira and there are remains of 6 Pa sites here and a basic DOC campsite on the lake’s edge. There are a numerous walks in the Tutira Reserve. The shortest is the Waikopiro Loop Track that follows the shores of Lake Waikopiro for 20 minutes (1.1kms). The main Tutira Walkway follows either a shorter loop around the shores of the Lake (2 hours, 5kms) or a longer loop that passes through Tutira Station and the adjoining Lake Tutira Recreation Reserve. Table Mountain Trig affords magnificent views of the inland Kaweka and Maungaharuru Ranges and coastal Hawke’s Bay from Mahia Peninsula to Cape Kidnappers.
Time 5 hrs via Galbraith’s Track or 4.5 hrs via Kahikanui Track (7.1 kms)
There are some lovely walks in the Boundary steam area just north of Lake Tutira on State Highway 2 , the Napier - Gisborne road. To access this area drive past Lake Tutira and turn left at the Tutira shop. These walks are all 1 1/2 hours' drive north of Napier
SHINE FALLS – the largest waterfall in Hawkes Bay.
Turn left onto Matahorua Rd at the Tutira shop and then right onto Heays Access Rd and follows the Shine Falls signs to the carpark. The track is marked with orange triangles and is suitable for all fitness levels through farmland and forest at the end. It leads to Hawke’s Bays highest Waterfall, which drops 58m down limestone cliffs into a plunge pool, suitable for swimming on a hot summer’s day!
Duration: 4.4kms, 45 minutes each way. Shine Falls can also be accessed from the Boundary Stream Carpark on Pohokura Road for a longer walk of 8.5 kms or 3 hours each way.
Turn left at the Tutira shop onto Matahorua Rd and then Pohokura Rd (heading to Boundary Stream). This tiny lake is home to the ECOED Kiwi recovery programme. The 6 ha lake and bush are surrounded by 3.2 km of predator proof fencing and kiwi chicks are raised here until they are large and strong enough to survive predators in the wild, when they are returned to the Kaweka Ranges or taken to the Cape Sanctuary at Cape Kidnappers. A 30 minute loop walk takes you around the lake through regenerating bush full of birds. There are picnic shelters and toilets.
Boundary Stream is part of the Nature Restoration project to protect native wildlife, flora and fauna. Same directions as for Lake Opouahi above. Boundary stream walks are clearly signposted on Pohokura Road. There are various walks around this area. A variety of forest types, birdlife and viewpoints. Gentle land contours are ideal for a wide spectrum of visitors; particularly primary school children .You will find Kamahi, Tawa, red and black Beech forests, and a variety of birds including Robin, Kaka, Whitehead and Bellbird.
Duration: Walks range from 40 minutes to 5 hours.
BELL ROCK LOOP TRACK - AMAZING HUGE LIMESTONE ROCK FORMATIONS
Same instructions as Lake Opouahi above and drive past the Boundary Stream Carpark. The start of the track is signposted on Pohokura Road, 12km from the junction with Matahorua Road (Bell Rock and Maungaharuru Range are signposted). You can also access this walk from Waitara Road 8.2kms off the Napier-Taupo Road. A clear day is good for this walk, because the extensive views are so impressive. A certain level of fitness and good shoes are required. The track climbs through mixed Beech and Podocarp to a forest dominated by gnarled Beech and Mountain Holly trees. The low canopy provides opportunities to view large numbers of Tui, Bellbird and Kereru and then follow the orange signs through farmland to these spectacular bell shaped rocks that can be viewed close up.
Distance: 5.3 km Duration: 3hr return.
WILLIAM HARTREE MEMORIAL SCENIC RESERVE - 45 minute drive from Napier Drive along Puketitiri Road.
Keep a look out for the directional roadside sign 6 km past Patoka on the left. The network of tracks ranging from 20 minutes to a one hour walk gives a good insight into the varied regenerating vegetation. Time: 20 min to 1 hr
LITTLE BUSH – 1 hour drive from Napier on the Puketitiri Road
Just before Puketitiri settlement turn onto Little Bush Road. Little Bush refers to the smaller area of native forest remaining from the extensive earlier firing. This contrasts with Ball’s Clearing Forest that was earlier referred to as Big Bush. It is a private reserve, open to the public at all times. A 45 minute circular track passes through the regenerating forest of abundant ferns, climbers and native orchids. The low forest canopy enables rewarding bird watching. The more common birds are Tui and Piwakawaka (Fantail) but also present are Korimako (Bellbird) and Kereru (wood pigeon). Time Duration: 45 min
HUTCHINSON SCENIC RESERVE – 1 hour drive from Napier. Drive to Puketitiri along Puketitiri Road.
The reserve entrance and picnic area is adjacent to the DOC Puketitiri Field Centre. There is a pleasant 20 minutes grassed loop walk through open forest and clearings, including groves of cabbage trees. Time Duration: 20 min
BALL’S CLEARING SCENIC RESERVE – 1 hour drive from Napier Drive along Puketitiri Road, 5kms past Puketitiri onto Pakaututu Road.
Balls Clearing Scenic Reserve is signposted on the Right hand side. This 36 Ha reserve features fine examples of dense virgin Podocarp forest best seen from the network of walking tracks that vary in time from 10 to 40 minutes. Picnic shelters are provided at the reserve entrance as well as a large grassed area, toilets and water. Please note that no fires or camping are allowed. Time Duration: 10 - 40 min
KAWEKA J - (1724 metres) – 1 hour drive from Napier. Drive along Puketitiri Road past the Puketitiri settlement and turn left on Whittle Road at the intersection with Pakaututu Rd, and then on Kaweka Rd to the Makahu Saddle Hut Carpark.
A benched track leads from the carpark through scattered mountain beech to a steep shingle face. About 30 minutes from the carpark, a short climb leads to Makahu Spur. From here, a well-defined track climbs the shingle covered spur past Dominie Bivouac and on to the main Kaweka Range. The track turns south and an easy 5 minute walk leads to the trig on Kaweka J. This is the highest point in the Kaweka Forest Park (and in the Hawke's Bay). All along the summit ridge there can be fine views of Hawke’s Bay, the mountains of Tongariro National Park and great expanses of the Kaimanawa and Kaweka Ranges. Time Duration: 3-5 hrs return
MANGATUTU HOT SPRINGS/TE PUIA LODGE/MANGATAINOKA HOT SPRINGS – 1½ hour drive from Napier. Drive past Puketitiri settlement, follow the signs to the hot springs, along Pakaututu Road and Makahu Road.
Mangatutu Hot springs are a short walk down from the road at the first carpark exit. Mangatainoka Hot Springs are a further 3 ½ - 4 hour one way walk from “The Gums” Carpark at the road end. This is a fantastic one day walk along the Mohaka River through beech forest past Te Puia Lodge with a welcome hot dip at the end. You can stay overnight at Te Puia Lodge, a serviced DOC Hut. Hut Tickets available to purchase from Napier i-SITE., and pick up a Heritage Trail brochure as well. From Te Puia Lodge you can also venture further into the Kaweka Ranges for multi day hikes.
NOTE: You must cross a FORD to access this area which can flood in times of heavy rain. Check on the HBDC website, or with Napier i-SITE before you commence this walk or the sign on Puketitiri Road at the Apley Road turn off - 30 minutes from Napier.
MAKINO HUT – TE PUIA LODGE – THE GUMS CARPARK – LOOP TRAIL: This is a lovely alternative route for people wishing to stay overnight in the Kaweka Forest Park. Take the same directions as for the hot springs above onto Makahu Road, but stop at the “Makino Hut” Car Park at the top of the saddle 2 kms for the road end. The track ascends through Manuka scrub with good views over the Mohaka valley, and then through Red Beech past the Middle Hill turn off to Makino Hut (2 -3 hours from road end). You can either stay here the night - DOC 6 bunk standard hut - or carry on down the steep track to Te Puia Lodge (1 ½ hours Makino – Te Puia Lodge) From there you can walk back along the Mohaka River to the Gums Carpark (3 – 3 ½ hours) and there is a 2 km walk along the road to meet up with your car.
BLOWHARD BUSH – 1 hour drive inland from Napier.
Take the Napier -Taihape Road from Fernhill, Drive for about 1 hour (53 kms north-west of Hastings), and turn right at the “Blowhard Bush” sign onto Lawrence Rd to the carpark. This 63 ha forest, owned by the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society is a unique area where native forest grows amongst karst limestone creating unique rock formations and caves. There are various walks in the reserve ranging from ½ hour to 2 ½ hours. Pick up a brochure of the different walks at Blowhard from Napier i-SITE before you go.
LAWRENCE ROAD TO LOTKOW ROAD: Same directions from Napier as for Blowhard Bush. At the Lawrence road end, a swing bridge crosses the Tutaekuri River giving access to the track that leads to the Lotkow road end. For day visitors there are two interesting options from here. Cross the bridge and follow the track, which sidles steeply at first, then gently uphill through kanuka forest. After about 45 minutes’ the Mackintosh Track turns off to the left and 5 minutes along this track is an open, rocky knoll, an excellent vantage point with views across the Mackintosh Plateau and up the Donald River to the peaks of the main Kaweka Range. For an alternative route back from Lotkow Road to the Lawrence Shelter, follow the Mackintosh Track, which drops steeply off the ridge for 10 minutes and then descends steadily to the Donald River for 20 minutes. Follow the Donald River downstream for an hour, to where it joins the Tutaekuri River, about 5 minutes upriver from the Lawrence swing bridge. The walk along the Donald River is unmarked, but access along Manuka terraces is not difficult. Time: 2 - 3 hr
THE LAKES: Same directions as for Blowhard Bush, but carry along the main road for another 8kms to Kuripapango Road, at the sign for the Lakes Carpark. The track to the lakes heads left from the carpark. It passes through kanuka and hardwood forest, and after 30 minutes branches left and descends to the Western lake. The lakes were formed many thousands of years ago as a result of the damming of 2 streams by debris from a massive slip off Mt Kuripapango. Although small, the lakes are of considerable ecological and botanical significance, for the large number of plant species and vegetation types in the immediate surrounds. Time: 30 min.
MT KURIPAPANGO: Park in the Lakes Car Park and climb up the zig-zag track through Kanuka forest to the main ridge for 2-3 hours to reach Mt Kuripapango (1250 Metres). As you climb higher, there are spectacular views of the Lakes and to the East of Hawkes Bay. Alpine flowers and tussock are scattered among the scree on top. From the top an alternative option, instead of returning to the Lakes Carpark, is to descend the southern side of Mt Kuripapango, to Cameron Carpark on the Napier Taihape Road. A track to Kiwi Saddle Hut, and the southern end of the Kaweka Range, continues to the Northwest from the junction of Mt Kuripapango with the Lakes carpark track.
LAKES CARPARK TO MACKINTOSH CAR PARK VIA MACKINTOSH HUT: At the right of the Lakes Carpark, take the track that drops down through pine trees to reach the Tutaekuri River. Cross the river, then climb through Kanuka then Beech forest over several ridges. Follow a tributary stream until it reaches a track branch. Mackintosh Hut is on the track branching to the right, the left track provides access to the Kaweka Range. From Mackintosh Hut follow the track to the Mackintosh Carpark, (the distance by road between the carparks is 2.5 kilometres). Time: 5 - 6 hr
LAKES CARPARK LOOP TO “THE TITS” AND ROGUE RIDGE: A return track from the Lakes Carpark with river crossings through Manuka and Beech forest and open tops offering expansive views. Time: 3-4 hrs
MACKINTOSH CARPARK TO MACKINTOSH HUT: Further along the Lakes Carpark road stop at the Mackintosh Carpark. The track drops down a steep but well graded track to the Tutaekuri River, climbs to the top of Mackintosh Plateau then continues on the flat through Manuka and Beech forest and through some open areas to the hut. The Tutaekuri River is crossed by a steel pedestrian bridge. Time: 2 - 3 hr
Full copy of Day Walks Brochure Here: Hawkes-Bay-walks-Brochure-updated-2017.pdf
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