The track through this 7.5-hectare reserve takes you through open grass land around spectacular limestone formations. The track follows the route of a historic horse tramline, built in about 1900.
The reserve is one of the most outstanding examples of a limestone landscape in Northland. Interpretation signs explain the geology of the karst landscape and aspects of the human history.
You can walk around the lake by continuing on a Council track to the Council car park making the entire walk about 2.2 km.
Since this special geological feature is so close to the highway, it is well worth a visit.
Waro Limestone Scenic Reserve is located on SH1, north of Hikurangi, which lies about 20 minutes drive north of Whangarei. Just keep a look out for the outstanding rock formation on your right heading north.
Nature and conservation
The term "karst" refers to a type of topography that is formed over limestone, dolomite or gypsum by solution of the rock and is characterized by closed depressions or sinkholes, caves and underground drainage.
The natural heritage values of karst areas are high as karst surface landforms provide a variety of habitats for plant species that are restricted to or favour growing on calcareous soils. They also provide refuges for species that were once more widely spread throughout the landscape.
Know before you go
- Sinkholes are a common feature of karst landscapes. Take extreme care and closely supervise small children.
- To minimise disturbance to the area, and out of respect to local iwi and their ancestors, keep to the marked track.