Herekino Forest Track

Alert/Important notice

3 September 2014: Caution - storm damage

Track category

Tramping track


9 hr


15 km


Trampers on the Herekino Forest Track pass through a magnificent stand of mature kauri. Photo: Angelika Cawte.
Trampers on the Herekino Forest Track
pass through a magnificent stand of
mature kauri

At the entrance of the walking track stand a pouwhenua with its six guardian pou, which were erected by at local iwi Te Rarawa, as the kaitiaki (guardians) of the forest. The pou signify the importance and the good spirit of the track.

The first part of the track is a quite steep climb through a mature broadleaf/podocarp forest. Along the track, you will encounter magnificent kauri stands.

Early in the morning, on a clear day, you can get beautiful views of the Aupouri Peninsula, Karikari, Doubtless bay and Rangaunu Harbour.

View a track location map

Getting there

Herekino Forest is located south-east of Kaitaia. You can access the track from Awaroa Road, at the Herekino Gorge summit, known as Te Arai. Alternative access is from Veza Rd Takahue.

About the area

Herekino Forest is considered one of the most important for conservation in the country. It is home to many rare and threatened species, including the North Island brown kiwi, long tailed bat and kauri snail.

In April 2003, Prime Minister Helen Clark and Conservation Minister Chris Carter opened the new link in a walking track that may one day stretch the length of New Zealand. The trail connects places such as Herekino and Te Arai, which are rich in the history and the character of the people who have lived there for generations.

The Far North area of Kaitaia/Mangonui/Karikari is an area renowned for its role in New Zealand history for both Maori and Pakeha. It also includes some important habitats, which are home to rare and threatened plant and animal life.

This diverse area features broad beaches of white sand, rocky headlands and intimate sheltered bays rimmed with pohutukawa forest. The conservation values of this region, its lakes and surrounding ocean are high.


Archaeological evidence indicates the Far North was first settled by Polynesian ancestors of the Maori about 900 years ago. The region around Mangonui was well populated before the arrival of Europeans with archaeological sites revealing the extent of this settlement. A number of pa sites remain visible, well preserved and accessible to the public. Maori pa were fortified sites that provided protection in times of warfare, usually built on hills and headlands with good natural defences. These natural features were extended by man-made ditches, banks and palisades.

The region was important early during European contact. Both Cook and de Surville visited within days of each other in 1769, and in the early 1800s Mangonui was an important whaling and trading port.

The Dalmatian community around Ahipara were involved in the extraction of kauri gum. The gum was used for lacquers, paint and linoleum, and was also reputedly the best varnish in the world for musical instruments.

Plan and prepare

Trampers need to be fit and self sufficient. Carry water as streams along the way can dry up over summer. You should also take insect repellent and food.

Help stop kauri dieback

Kauri dieback disease is killing our native kauri. It spreads by soil movement, but you can help prevent it.

  • Stay on the track and off kauri roots.
  • Clean your gear before and after visiting kauri forests.

Visit the kauri dieback website for more information on how you can help.

Track location map

Map showing the location of the Herekino Forest Track.

Related link

For more information on the Herekino Forest Tracks check out the Te Araroa website


Find out more


DOC maps: Discover the outdoors - DOC's key places, campsites, tracks and huts, and visitor centres on a map

Learn more

Check, Clean, Dry between waterways and stop the spread of didymo.

Kauri dieback disease is attacking kauri trees in Northland. Stop it spreading.


Total fire ban

There is a total fire ban within the Kaipara and Whangarei Districts, effective from 1 February 2015 until further notice.

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

Alerts for Northland places


Kaitaia Office
Phone:      +64 9 408 6014
Full office details
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