Steps on Hihikiwi Track
Image: Adam Eason | Creative Commons
The first section of track climbs steeply via a series of steps before settling into a steady climb to Hihikiwi Lookout. There are views west along the way but the best vantage point over the west coast harbours is at the lookout. It's also great place to watch the sunset if staying at Pahautea Hut. From the lookout, there is an elevated boardwalk and steps all the way to the hut (800 m). It is another 30 min from the hut to the summit.
3 km north of Te Rauamoa, turn off SH31 onto Te Rauamoa Road, which becomes Pirongia West Road. The start of the track is about 7 km from the turn off.
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.
Before you go into the outdoors, tell someone your plans and leave a date 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.