This traverse of Pirongia Mountain starts with DOC's Nikau Walk - an easy stroll south from the Kaniwhaniwha carpark, following the stream through a forest of plantings. Shortly after leaving the farmland and just before a circular walk through beautiful native forest, you take the Tahuanui Track leading off to the South-East and a picnic/campsite clearing with toilets and the last opportunity for swimming before starting the ascent to the summit.
The Tahuanui Track then climbs steadily up a ridge through stands of tawa to the summit ridge where several tracks converge on the 959m summit of Pirongia. This would have taken you 4-5 hours so far. 30min beyond the summit in a westerly direction is the Pahautea Hut. It is generally a good idea to overnight in this hut and continue south the following day.
From the hut, you continue westward on the new Noel Sandford boardwalk, following the Hihikiwi Track with good views to the south. 1km below Hihikiwi Peak and about 600m before Te Akeohikopiro Peak, you take a new spur track heading off in a SW direction. Follow this all the way down to West Rd.
How to get here
Northern Start: DOC picnic area, Limeworks Loop Rd
Southern End: Junction of Pirongia West Rd with Omanawa Stream.
Content and photo credited to NZ Walking Access Commission
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