This is part of the Te Araora Trail.
Time: 6 - 10 hr one way
Distance: 18.5 km
Follow the Nikau Walk on to the Bell Track and past the Kaniwhaniwha Caves. Cross the bridge near the big kahikatea and climb a spur to a series of clearings. The last clearing signposted as the halfway point has a small stream nearby and is a good campsite. The track becomes quite muddy at this point and continues along the ridge to the Cone (second highest point on the mountain) and then to Pahautea Hut. It is another 30 min to the summit of Pirongia.
Time: 4 - 5 hr one way
Distance: 10.7 km
Follow the Nikau Walk to the campsite. The Tahuanui Track leaves the campsite beside the stream and climbs steadily up a ridge to join the Tirohanga Track before the summit.
This track is part of Te Araroa - New Zealand's trail from Cape Reinga to Bluff.
These tracks are both accessed via the Nikau Walk, which starts from the Kaniwhaniwha carpark on Limeworks Loop Road.
From Hamilton take SH23 to Whatawhata. Turn left onto Te Pahu Road after the bridge over the Waipa River. Limeworks Loop Road is about 10.6 km on the right.
A good level of fitness is required for these tracks.
The high level tracks on Pirongia follow steep-sided ridges. Water is difficult to find, especially in summer, so be sure to take sufficient drinking water with you.
Because of poorly drained soils, the tracks can be very muddy, especially after rain.
Check the Pirongia Mountain weather forecast – NIWA website.
Auckland and parts of the Waikato are at Level 3. DOC huts and campsites are closed in these regions. The rest of New Zealand is at Level 2.