Introduction

Walk to the remains of the old kauri dam, and up to the summit of Mt Hobson (Hirakimata) for a 360-degree panorama.

Track overview

5.6 km

Walking and tramping

3 - 3 hr 30 min one way Easy: Walking track

Dog access

No dogs

  • Kauri dieback
    Help stop kauri dieback

    Kauri dieback disease is killing our native kauri. It spreads by soil movement, but you can help prevent it.

    • Stay away from kauri tree roots.
    • Clean your gear before and after visiting kauri forest.
  • Pest free
    Protect our wildlife
    • Check - your gear for pests, eg. rodents, insects, skinks
    • Clean - footwear and gear, removing soil and seeds
    • Seal - ensure your gear is zipped up (no open bags)

    See island biosecurity requirements.

About this track

Description

Kaiaraara Track offers a striking experience for walkers - a wide array of flora from tiny plants and ground cover to large trees in established forest, historic sites and, towards the summit, panoramas of the island, its bays and beaches and neighbouring islands.

From Forest Road, the track rises steadily to Cooper’s Castle Track junction, crossing the stream in several places using a series of suspension and wooden bridges. A short distance from this junction is a side-track to the remains of the Lower Kauri Dam. 

What remains of the Lower Kauri Dam (1 hr 30 min from Kaiaraara Hut) was built in the 1920s, along with six smaller dams higher up. Logs estimated to contain seven million feet of timber were slid into the dams. Once loaded, the dams were tripped one after the other so a full blast hit the lower dam, propelling the logs into Kaiaraara Bay. The Lower Dam was washed away in a storm in 2014 and only the base can be seen in the stream.

The track above the dam area winds through semi-mature forest with good examples of tōwai and large kohekohe. From here, the track climbs steeply via wooden steps that protect black petrel nesting grounds and sensitive ecosystems to the summit.

Kaiaraara Hut.

Kaiaraara Hut

Category: Serviced
Facilities: 28 bunk beds, heating, mattresses
Bookings required

Getting there

From Port Fitzroy, follow Kaiaraara Bay Road to its end. A short walks leads to Kaiaraara Hut and the start of the track.

Nature and conservation

Nearing the summit, the track leads into mature forest where logging was too difficult and fires on the lower slopes did not reach. Remnants of an ancient and precious conifer forest, rimu, Kirk’s pine, pink pine and kauri, can be seen here.

Keep an eye out for black petrel. Once widespread on the North Island, breeding colonies of these large, burrow-nesting seabirds are now confined to Great Barrier Island Aotea and Hauturu / Little Barrier Island. The main colony on Great Barrier Island Aotea breeds on the slopes of Mt Hobson (Hirakimata) between October and May each year. Mature birds spend months at sea flying as far as South America and only return to the island to breed. Watch out for them on the road at night.

Know before you go

Keep to the tracks to avoid damaging rare native plants and disturbing black petrels.

Contacts

Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland Visitor Centre
Phone:   +64 9 3796476
Email:   aucklandvc@doc.govt.nz
Address:   Shed 19
137 Princes Wharf
Auckland 1010
Full office details
Back to top