From the carpark follow the poled route across the farmland to the forest edge and down to cross Makiekie (Coal) Creek for the first time. Depending on the amount of rain you may end up with wet feet at this crossing. The track then climbs steeply for a short time up onto a river plateau.
There is a very short loop track off to the left – Te Ngahere o Tane – which rejoins the main track a few minutes further along. Just past this is a track junction. Take the left track (Knights Track) and after a further 20 minutes walking meet Makiekie Creek for the second time. This is an ideal spot for a picnic and a paddle.
Return the same way or take the track just before the creek up a steep climb to join Shorts Track coming down from the tops. Follow this back out to the main junction. Allow 3 - 4 hr if doing the whole circuit.
Turn right onto Āpiti Road just past the village of Kimbolton. This becomes Oroua Valley Road before Āpiti. Table Flat Road turns off to the right past Āpiti. Follow this until you see the signpost for Limestone Road (veers to the right near the end of Table Flat Road). Wind along Limestone Road till you get to the DOC carpark at the end.
Before you go into the outdoors, tell someone your plans and leave a date and time to raise the alarm if you haven't returned. To do this, use the New Zealand Outdoors Intentions process on the AdventureSmart website. It is endorsed by New Zealand's search and rescue agencies and provides three simple options to tell someone you trust the details about your trip.
The forest here is an interesting mix of conifer and broadleaved species and beech forest. Access to the Ngamoko Range and over to the Pohangina Valley attracts hunters and trampers to this area. Nearby Sixtus Lodge is used by school groups who often use the local tracks for outdoor recreation. A small privately covenanted bush area on Limestone Road gives access to some wonderful glowworm grottos.