The first 30 minutes of the Waihoanga Gorge Kauri Walk is on flat ground, with views of the gorge showing the Pirau fault and waterfall. The track winds its way under a diverse range of forest trees including: puriri, taraire, nikau, and kauri, before entering a fine kauri grove. The track loops through this grove then returns to the main track.
At the end of the well-formed gravel section of the track you can continue on via a 20-minute loop track. This track is longer and steeper than earlier sections but features the best views of the kauri stand before you return to the main track. In damp conditions, this section of the track can be greasy, care needs to be taken. Alternatively, you may prefer to return the way you came.
10,000 Steps Northland: This track equates to about 3,467 steps.
Puketi Forest is easily accessible from the Bay of Islands. The Waihoanga Gorge Kauri Walk lies southwest of the Puketi Recreation Area, and is accessed from Puketi Road.
From Okaihau, travel north along State Highway 1 for 6 km, turn right onto Puketi East Road. After 6 km look out on the left for the Waihoanga Gorge Kauri Walk sign.
Parking is available on the grass verge on the right-hand side of the road.
Climb the entrance stile. The track, which is on private farmland at this point, follows brightly marked posts to the right before crossing a bridge over and entering the forest.
Know before you go
- Respect the private land and leave stock, fences and gates as you found them. The farmers are managing their farm in a manner that helps protect Puketi Forest by undertaking possum and predator control, and fencing native forest areas.
- Take care around the electric stock fences and cross only at designated points, which have protective rubber coverings.
- No fires due to the risks to wildlife.
- Carry warm, waterproof clothing, and food and drink, even on short walks. Stout shoes or walking boots are advisable.