IntroductionFollow a spectacular limestone gorge on a short walk, or make a loop for a longer walk. The Pororari River Track is the pedestrian entry/exit for the Paparoa Great Walk.
Pororari River Track
Time: 1 hr 30 min return
Distance: 7 km return
The track is the pedestrian entry/exit for the Paparoa Great Walk. It follows a spectacular limestone gorge with two main features – a river with huge rocks set amongst deep pools, and beautiful forest featuring subtle changes from subtropical to temperate.
A 15-minute gentle stroll from the car park brings you to a seat and a lookout, with spectacular views of the river gorge and its magnificent limestone cliffs. From this point on, the track narrows and the gradients become a little steeper. This area is subject to rockfalls so don't linger in this section. The track will continue for another 2.5 km until it meets the Inland Pack Track.
Five minutes beyond this junction, following beside the river, the track leads to a suspension bridge – an ideal place for a rest and a photo stop before retracing your steps back to the car park.
For the more adventurous, the Paparoa Great Walk continues upstream of the Pororari suspension bridge with the Paparoa hut a further 3-4 hrs up the track.
Getting there: Start from the car park by the Pororari River bridge, 1 km north of the Paparoa National Park Visitor Centre on SH6.
Punakaiki – Pororari Loop
Time: 3 hr loop
Distance: 11 km loop
This popular walking track combines the southern section of the Inland Pack Track with the Pororari River Track. It can be walked in either direction but is described here as a counter-clockwise loop beginning at the Paparoa National Park Visitor Centre.
From the Visitor Centre follow SH6 south for 1 km to Waikori Road, 200 m on the left after the Punakaiki River. Leave the farm gate at the start of Waikori Road closed at all times. Follow Waikori Road for 1 km to the car park.
The track then follows the mountain bike entry/exit for the Paparoa Track, crossing the Punakaiki River via a footbridge and then making an easy graded climb through mature rain forest over the ridge dividing the two river valleys.
When you reach the Pororari River Track junction you can continue along the Inland Pack Track for a short distance to the swingbridge – this is a good place to rest.
Return to the junction and then follow the Pororari River Track downriver to the carpark on SH6. The Pororari River Track is the pedestrian entry/exit for the Paparoa Track. Once out to the highway it is a 1 km walk south back to the Visitor Centre.
Getting there: The Punakaiki – Pororari Loop can be started from the Visitor Centre in Punakaiki, the Waikori Road carpark or the Pororari River carpark. Both options will lead you back to your start point.
Pororari River – Bullock Creek Road
Time: 5–6 hr round trip
Distance: 15 km round trip
This track links the Pororari River Track with the scenic Bullock Creek Road and follows a section of the Inland Pack Track, passing through part of the Paparoa limestone syncline (a fold of stratified rock). The mature forest here supports many birds, including rare species such as kākā and kiwi. Cyclone Ita in 2014 caused the extensive treefalls you can see here. Once the Bullock Creek flats are reached, continue to the T-intersection, and turn left to follow the track markers to the car park.
Complete the loop by walking down Bullock Creek Road (6 km) and out to SH 6. From here, it is another 1 km south along the highway to return to the Pororari car park.
Getting there: Start from the car park by the Pororari River bridge, 1 km north of the Paparoa National Park Visitor Centre on SH6. Note, Bullock Creek Road is prone to flooding in heavy rain.
Start these walks near Punakaiki on SH 6.
Hunters may be within the area of the lower and upper sections of the Pororari River track - take care.
Heavy rain will cause the lower and upper section of the track to possibly become impassable. Before you go into the area check the Paparoa National Park weather forecast – NIWA website.
Bullock Creek Road can often flood. Do not go into the area via this road during heavy rain.