Karangahake Gorge Historic Walkway

Track category

Walking track

Time:  

2 hr one way (allow 45 min for the loop section)

Distance:  

7 km (incorporates 2 km loop walk)

Description

The Eastern Portal Bridge, Karangahake Gorge. Photo: Pete Huggins.
The Eastern Portal Bridge, Karangahake Gorge

This walkway features historic railway remains in a stunning natural gorge setting, including two steel truss bridges and a 1 km rail tunnel, and provide access to the relics of historic gold mining. The walkway follows the railway line through the gorge and then opens out alongside the Ohinemuri River, passing through the huge Victoria Battery complex and terminating at the Waikino Station where a cafe and train rides can be investigated.

A shorter loop section can be walked, that includes both the bridges and the 1100 m railway tunnel at Karangahake.

The walkway can be described in two sections.

Rail Tunnel Loop section - 45 minutes return

Starting at Karangahake Hall, walk through the foundations of the Crown Battery before climbing up onto the Western Portal Bridge over the river. The 1100 m former rail tunnel, which is well lit, leads from the end of this bridge and emerges at the Eastern Portal Bridge which takes you back over the Ohinemuri River. From here there is a choice of completing the loop back to Karangahake, by walking downstream along the river, or you can choose to continue on the Historic Walkway by going upstream towards Waikino.

Historic Walkway to Waikino - 4 hours return

Cyclists at Victoria Battery. Photo: Pete Huggins.
The Victoria Battery, Karangahake Gorge

At the Eastern Portal Bridge go upstream, following the bends in the river along the line of the railway. It is about an hour's walk before you reach Owharoa Falls and the entrance to the Victoria Battery. Victoria Battery is a destination in its own right, but a short walk through the remains, following the railway line, leads you to an underpass which provides access to the Waikino Station. Return the same way or have your friends pick you up!  

Getting there

Park by the Karangahake Hall, or in the Karangahake Domain Car Park on SH2 between Paeroa and Waihi, at the base of the Coromandel Range. Karangahake is about 130 km drive from Auckland, or 60 km from Hamilton.

Activities

Child/family friendly activities Child/family friendly activities
Dog walking Dog walking
Historic sites Historic sites
Mountain biking and cycling Mountain biking and cycling

Child/family friendly activities

The flat well-formed track offers an easy, traffic-free cycling opportunity for family groups. The Victoria Battery Tramway Society offer tunnel tours and train rides at the Victoria Battery site, which are bound to delight children of all ages. Visit the Waihi website for opening hours and further information.

Dog walking

Dogs can disturb wildlife and other park users. Dog walking is permitted on the Karangahake Gorge Historic Walkway, Crown Track and at Dickey Flat campsite only. Dogs must be kept on a lead at all times.

Historic sites

This walkway features historic railway remains and relics from a rich history of gold mining and processing.

Mountain biking and cycling

Cyclists are permitted on the Karangahake Gorge Historic Walkway. This is a dual use track, please consider other users.

The ride includes some narrow, winding sections where cyclists are asked to dismount and the option of riding through a 1km long tunnel. The tunnel does have some lighting, however a bike light or torch is recommended.

Places to stay


Overnight accommodation is available in Karangahake itself, and the Dickey Flat campsite is a two hour walk along the stunning Crown Tramway Track. Dickey Flat campsite is also accessible from Dickey Flat Road.

Plan and prepare

 

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Safety

Follow the Outdoor Safety Code:
1. Plan your trip
2. Tell someone
3. Be aware of the weather
4. Know your limits
5. Take sufficient supplies

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Contacts

Tauranga Office
Phone:      +64 7 578 7677
Email:   taurangainfo@doc.govt.nz
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