Nature and conservation
Pirongia Forest Park is best known for its most widely recognised landmark, Mt Pirongia (959 metres). The Park consists of four separate blocks of land, including Mt Karioi, close to Raglan.
This ancient volcano rises sharply from the sea to 756 m and has spectacular views from its summit. On a fine day you can see the mounts Taranaki, Pureora, Maungamangero, Te Aroha and Pirongia and Maungatautari.
On a clear day, Mt Pirongia’s summit provides fine views of Mounts Taranaki and Ruapehu. For those wishing to stay the night near the top of the mountain, Pahautea Hut and campsites are closeby.
The Kaniwhaniwa Caves are two limestone caves. You can walk through the 20 m long main cave, except for a short hands-and-knees crawl. The cave is wet underfoot and torches are required. The second smaller cave is tight and narrow.
Tallest kahikatea tree
Walk along the Nikau Walk to Kaniwhaniwha Caves then follow the Bell Track to the tallest recorded kahikatea tree, a mighty 66.5 m high.
Pirongia Forest Park is 25km from Hamilton city.
Know before you go
- Weather conditions at Pirongia Forest Park can change rapidly, especially at higher altitudes.
- Always carry a change of clothing, wet weather gear and sufficient food and water to cater for any emergency.
- The high level tracks on Pirongia and Karioi follow steep-sided ridges.
- Water is difficult to find, especially in summer, so you must take water with you.
- Many of Pirongia’s tracks can be muddy, especially after rain.