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The Hakarimata Scenic Reserve near Ngaruawahia is a great place to see kauri and to enjoy a walk or tramp through native bush.

Place overview


  • Hunting
  • Walking and tramping
  • 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.
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    About this place

    Nature and conservation

    Parataniwha in Hakarimata Scenic Reserve

    The Hakarimata Range includes 1,850 ha of native forest which is protected as a Scenic Reserve.

    The reserve is a great place to see kauri, especially the large kauri on the Kauri Loop Track.


    Waterworks, Waterworks Track, Hakarimata Scenic Reserve. Photo: Paul Schilov.
    Waterworks, Waterworks Track,
    Hakarimata Scenic Reserve

    The Hakarimata Range is one of a succession of ranges running north to south and forming the western rampart of the Waikato Basin. Sandstone, siltstone and greywacke which have been stongly folded, faulted and overlain by sedimenatry rocks form the Hakarimata Range and adjacent land.

    These rocks have productive coal measures at their base and the land to the north and west of the range is one of New Zealand's major coal producing areas.

    Plants and wildlife

    Large hard beech and kauri can be seen along the ridgelines. They tower over the canopy of tawa, kohekohe, hinau, rewarewa, mangeao and pukatea.

    There are pockets of miro, Hall's totara and tanekawa. The large kauri on the Kauri Loop Track is of special interest as kauri this size are rare in the Waikato area.

    The Reserve contains Alseuosmia quercifolia, a strongly scented bush daphne. This quirky plant with leaves of all different shapes can only be found in the central Waikato, and flowers for about 3 weeks between September and November.

    There are many interesting animals in the reserve including land snails, skinks and geckos. Forest birds such as tui, kereru and shining cuckoo can often be heard in the Reserve.

    Streams with headwaters in the reserve are important habitat for several threatened native fish e.g. banded, short-jawed and giant kokopu.

    Environmental impacts

    Since the land was reserved (1850 hectares) the fringe areas and lower slopes have slowly regenerated after a history of light logging and fires. Introduced possums, goats and pigs cause significant damage to the Reserve's vegetation. Birds suffer too, through the loss of food plants and predation by rats and mustelids (stoats, weasels etc).

    Due to the presence of kauri in this reserve, kauri dieback disease is a potential and serious threat.

    Getting there

    The Hakarimata Scenic Reserve is located 17 km north-west of Hamilton, near Ngaruawahia. It is a great place  to enjoy a walk or tramp through native bush, including kauri, in close proximity to Hamilton.

    There are three access points to the reserve: off Waingaro Road to the south, from Brownlee Avenue at Ngaruawahia, and from Parker Road at the northern end.


    Te Rapa Base
    Phone:      +64 7 858 1000
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