IntroductionThis track offers views of the surrounding countryside and evidence of the logging era.
Topographic map warning
Topo50 maps show tracks that have been permanently closed to prevent the spread of kauri dieback disease.
From the road end car park, walk to the swing bridge to cross the Kauaeranga River. Take the first track on your right which leads you for 5 minutes to Billygoat Landing. Here you see good views of the Billygoat Falls (180 m high).
Follow the track to the Webb Creek – Moss Creek junction. Follow the Webb Creek Track to Hydro Camp (1 hr 30 min – 2 hr).
From the Hydro Camp junction, take the Billygoat Track where a steady 30 minute climb leads to a saddle with excellent views down the Kauaeranga Valley to the Hauraki Plains. A little further on, a knoll overlooks the Billygoat Basin. The first attempt to log this basin was made in the 1880s but was abandoned within a few years as driving logs down the Billygoat Falls proved too destructive. The basin was successfully logged in the 1920s after the construction of the Billygoat incline to bypass the falls, and the use of a steam hauler.
Dropdown into Billygoat Basin and cross a bridged stream before passing through Billygoat Basin Campsite.
Billygoat Basin Campsite
A few minutes further on, a 50 m side track overlooks the site of a collapsed long trestle bridge, once part of the bush tramline. The trestle was 160 m long and 11 m above the ground at the highest point.
Back on the main Billygoat walking track, pass the junction for the Tarawaere and Hihi tramping tracks and follow the tramline through deep cuttings past two short trestles. Near the hauler site at the top of the incline there are good views of Billygoat Falls (180 m). From here it is another 40 mins downhill to the Kauaeranga Valley Road which requires crossing the Kauaeranga River to the Tarawaere car park. Walk 300 m north along the road to get back to the road end car park.
For a longer day or overnight walk, continue on the Kauaeranga Kauri Trail (Pinnacles Walk).
From SH25 at the southern entrance to Thames, turn right into Banks Street beside the service station. Banks Street veers right into Parawai Road, which then becomes Kauaeranga Valley Road.
Follow this for 13 km to the Kauaeranga Visitor Centre.
The road continues unsealed a further 9 km to the road end. Most of the walks start from various points along this part of the road.
No heavy vehicles over 6,000 kg (class 2) can travel beyond Hotoritori Campsite on the Kauaeranga Valley Road due to road damage.
- The bridge at the bottom of the Billygoat Track has been removed due to flood damage. You will need to wade across the river at this point. We recommend not crossing this river during or after heavy rainfall.
- Parts of the Billgoat Circuit are down to the clay level. When it rains it will be slippery.
Crossing rivers: If you plan to cross an unbridged river, you must know how to identify an unsafe river, and where and how to cross safely. You should also be prepared for being unable to cross.
If the river is flooded, you cannot find safe entry and exit points or are unsure it’s safe, do not try to cross. Turn back or wait for the river to drop - this often takes a few hours after rain, so be ready and pack emergency shelter and extra food.
A river is unsafe if there is:
- discoloured water
- debris in the water (such as branches)
- water flowing faster than walking pace
- movement of rocks in the water you can hear
Learn more about river safety on the NZ Mountain Safety Council website.
Easier walking option to go to Pinnacles Hut
The Webb Creek Track is an easier to-do walking option up to the Pinnacles Hut and is unaffected by the bridge removal.