Limestone formations at Waro Limestone Scenic Reserve

Image: Mirko Prehn


Walk around spectacular limestone formations - this is a good option for kids with open grassland for exploring as well.

Track overview

1 km

Walking and tramping

20 min Easy: Walking track

Dog access

No dogs
  • Help stop kauri dieback
    • Stay away from kauri tree roots.
    • Clean your footwear and gear before and after visiting kauri forest.

    How you can help save kauri

About this track


The track through this 7.5-hectare reserve takes you through open grass land around spectacular limestone formations. The track follows the route of a historic horse tramline, built in about 1900.

The reserve is one of the most outstanding examples of a limestone landscape in Northland. Interpretation signs explain the geology of the karst landscape and aspects of the human history.

You can walk around the lake by continuing on a Council track to the Council car park making the entire walk about 2.2 km.

Since this special geological feature is so close to the highway, it is well worth a visit.

Getting there

Waro Limestone Scenic Reserve is located on SH1, north of Hikurangi, which lies about 20 minutes drive north of Whangārei. Just keep a look out for the outstanding rock formation on your right heading north.

Nature and conservation

The term "karst" refers to a type of topography that is formed over limestone, dolomite or gypsum by solution of the rock and is characterized by closed depressions or sinkholes, caves and underground drainage.

The natural heritage values of karst areas are high as karst surface landforms provide a variety of habitats for plant species that are restricted to or favour growing on calcareous soils. They also provide refuges for species that were once more widely spread throughout the landscape.

Know before you go

  • This area is grazed, livestock may be present.
  • Sinkholes are a common feature of karst landscapes. Take extreme care and closely supervise small children.
  • To minimise disturbance to the area, and out of respect to local iwi and their ancestors, keep to the marked track.


Whangarei Office
Phone:   +64 9 470 3300
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Address:   2 South End Ave
Whangarei 0110
Postal Address:   PO Box 842
Whangarei 0140
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