Kauaeranga Valley - Walking Tracks

Kahikatea Walk - Model Dam
(20 minutes return)
The walk leads from the visitor centre through native plantings to the one-third scale replica of a kauri driving dam. The path crosses the dam and returns via DOC's native tree nursery.

Nature Walk - Hoffmans' Pool
(30 minutes return)
Information panels along this easy walk introduce you to the valley's native trees and shrubs. Hoffman's Pool is a great place for a swim and a picnic. 

Jasper Creek
(20 minutes return)
The Jasper Creek Walk starts at Hotoritori campground and passes through regenerating bush. It's a good place to look for native orchids, especially in spring and summer.

Outlook 76
(1 hour return)
This walk begins at Whangaiterenga campground. A climb leads to native bush containing rata, towai and tree ferns. The view of the valley from the outlook is excellent. You can take an alternative return track down to the raod.

Edward's Lookout
(1 hour return)
Cross the concrete ford beyond Whangaiterenga campground and walk through manuka-towai forest to a rock outcrop and saddle with extensive views of the valley. This is a favourite spot for abseiling.

Booms Historical Walk
(30 minutes return)
Cross the river flats at the 1920s logging booms site. The track passes through manuka and kanuka mixed with totara, kauri, five-finger, ground ferns and lancewood before emerging at Catleys campground.

Murray's Walk
(30 minutes return)
A raised boardwalk takes you around this 500 metre walk. A booklet, available at the visitor centre, describes the forest and its special features.

Billygoat Landing Walk
(20 minutes)
Follow the Kauri Trail for about five minutes before turning onto the Billygoat Landing Walk just after the swing bridge. This walk offers a good view of the Billygoat Falls (180 metres high) and the Billygoat incline site.

Tramping Tracks
Catleys Track
(45 minutes one way)
Cross the main Kauaeranga River at the Tarawaere swingbridge and walk along river flats and through regenerating forest. The track finishes on the opposite side of the river from Catleys campground.

Wainora Kauri
(2-3 hours return)
Leave from the Wainora campground and cross the Wainora stream several times before climbing a spur that heads towards Table Mountain. The smaller kauri stands right beside the track; you'll find the larger tree 10 minutes further up, signposted 20 metres to the right of the track.

Kauaeranga Kauri Trail
Webb Creek - Hydrocamp
(2-21/2 hours )
From the Kauaeranga roadend cross at the swing-bridge, continue alongside the river to Webb Creek, then follow the historic packhorse route to the old Hydro campsite. This track (steep in places) to the Hydrocamp clearing was used by kauri bushmen travelling to logging sites in the upper Kauaeranga during the 1920s.

Hydrocamp - Billygoat Basin - Kauaeranga roadend
(2-3 hours)
At the Hydrocamp junction take the Billygoat track. A 30 minute climb up a former pack track leads to a saddle with excellent views down the Kauaeranga Valley to the Hauraki Plains.

Hydrocamp - Pinnacles Hut
(1 hour)
The grade leaving the Hydrocamp becomes easier as the track sidles around a hillside and reaches an open ridge alongside the Hydroline. There are spectacular views down a branch of the Tairua River to the east and the jagged volcanic landforms of Tauranikau and the Pinnacles ahead.

Pinnacles Hut - The Pinnacles
(50 minutes)
A steep climb leads to the summit of the Pinnacles (759 metres) where there are spectacular views of the bush, mountains and coastline of the southern Coromandel.

Moss Creek - Mt Rowe
(1 hour one way)
A difficult track along the main ridge leads to the summit of Mt Rowe (749 metres). There are good views of the upper Kauaeranga Valley and east coast from the summit.

Moss Creek - Kauaeranga Road end
(3 hours one way)
The track drops steeply to the Kauaeranga River. Follow Moss Creek Stream past Webb Creek junction and continue onto the roadend carpark.

Piraunui Stream
(2 hours one way)
The Piraunui Track starts on the opposite side of the Kauaeranga River from the Shag Stream Campground. Follow a marked route across private farmland to the Forest Park boundry. Once in the forest you climb up the western side of the valley to the Kopu-Hikaui Road. The Piranui valley contains forested river flats, stands of regenerating kauri and unusual rock formations.


Tarawaere Dam
(1 hour to dam)
Remains of a 1920s rafter flume dam built by Jim Angel. The Tarawaere Dam Track is signposted off the Kauaeranga Valley road.

Waterfalls Dam
(1 hour to dam)
A steep track which turns off the Tarawaere Dam Track. A rafter dam built in the 1920s with a swinging rafter gate.

Dancing camp Dam
(2-3 hours from the Kauaeranga Valley)
Stringer flume dam, built in the 1920s. The dam is a five minute walk from the Pinnacles Hut.

Kauaeranga Main Dam
(1 hour from Pinnacles Hut)
A Stringer flume dame built in 1921 by Ebeneza Gibbons. Take the Moss Creek track from Pinnacles Hut until you reach the upper Kauaeranga River. Walk downstream for 10 minutes to the dam.

Moss Creek Dam
(3 hours from the Kauaeranga Valley roadend)
A rafter dam with a swinging rafter gate, built in the early 1900s. The dam is 50 metres before the Moss Creek Campsite on the track from the road.

Waterfalls Creek Dam
(4 hours)
This unusual stringer dam has no flume and only one sill. This partially collapsed dam is one kilometre past the Moss Creek campsite on the track to the Pinnacles.

The Pinnacles Hut is a three hour walk from the roadend. It has 80 bunks, mattresses, toilets, a cold shower, solar lighting, gas cookers and a solid fuel burner. Cooking utensils are not provided. A warden is present at all times. A fee is charged.


For further information contact:
Department of Conservation,
Kauaeranga Visitor Centre
Kauaeranga Valley
PO Box 343,

Tel (07) 867 9080
International +64 7 867 9080
Fax: (07) 867 9095
International +64 7 867 9095



Firth of Thames
New Zealand's Wetlands of International Significance:
Firth of Thames. Ramsar site no. 459, listed on 29 January 1990.

male-kiwi      female- kiwi
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This area of shallow estuarine water and mudflats, shell banks, grass flats and mangrove forest, covering some 7,800 ha along the Miranda coastline, is managed by the Department of Conservation as coastal reserve. The Firth of Thames is one of New Zealand's three most important coastal stretches for shorebirds.

The globally rare chenier ridges or shell banks present in the area are used as high tide roosts by many birds, while the adjacent grass flats are used for feeding and as roosts by some species, including the South Island pied oystercatcher. The remaining area from Miranda to the Waihou River mouth consists of soft mudflats, flourishing mangrove communities and some intermingling saltmarsh.

The Firth of Thames supports dense populations of waterfowl in relation to the area of inter-tidal habitat available. Most of the bird species using the inter-tidal mud and sand flats or adjacent shallow waters are migratory, spending their winter season in the Firth and many of them are rare or uncommon in New Zealand. Large portions of the migratory birds are from the Northern Hemisphere, the most abundant species being the bartailed godwit (Limosa lapponica) and red knot (Calidris canutus).

The Firth also supports populations of several endemic plant species including the mistletoe Ileostyus micranthus found growing on Coprosma propinqua and Maori musk (Mimulus repens), a saltmarsh species.

The Miranda Naturalists Trust operates an information centre at Miranda, which is used for educational purposes and for the promotion of research.

Local Maori traditionally used the area as a food gathering site for both fish and waterfowl. The Firth continues to be an important floundering and commercial fishing area.

photo & text: Department of Conservation



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