The distinctive Kaimai ridgeline forms a mountain backdrop to the western Bay of Plenty. It brings enjoyable tramping within easy reach of 1.5 million Kiwis and overseas visitors.

The Kaimai-Mamaku Forest Park stretches 70 km from the Karangahake Gorge in a narrow, precipitous spine of volcanic ridges, down to the broad, flat reaches of the Mamaku Plateau near Rotorua. The range has similar volcanic origins to the Coromandel Range, which continues north on the same fault line. The rugged profile and broken country along the flanks can be off-putting. But the positive benefits are; the relatively low average height of 800 metres, dependable Bay of Plenty climate, warm temperatures, luxuriant forests and plunging waterfalls. Plus a wide selection of short walks and multi-day tramps on 300 km of tracks.

Bus Pass New Zealand

To explore this true Kiwi wilderness first obtain maps and brochures from visitor centres in either Tauranga, Paeroa, Te Aroha or Matamata. From these towns, access roads run directly into the park to connect with well-marked tramping tracks. Day walks encompass a wide variety of scenery. From Karangahake Gorge the Waitewheta Track follows a kauri log tramline to old milling sites in the bush, passing rocky bluffs, deep gorges and waterfalls. From Te Aroha Domain tracks lead to the summit of Mt Te Aroha (952m), the ‘mountain of loving greetings’, with wide views over the whole central North Island. Try the Domain’s hydrothermal spa waters, the only ‘Soda Water Geyser’ in the world. The nearby Waiorongomai Valley has numerous relics of the gold mining days, including mines and shafts, water races, stamping batteries and iron tramway tracks. The most historic trading route across the Kaimai Range is 26 km south of Te Aroha, where a steep track skirts around to the 153 metre high Wairere Falls.

Other popular activities are; fishing in the eastern catchments, rock climbing around Karangahake, hunting, trail bike riding and gemstone collecting.

For a genuine first-hand experience of Kiwi bush tramping you can’t go past the Kaimais.

By | 2016-11-26T18:59:28+00:00 October 7th, 2014|Forest Parks|0 Comments

About the Author:

Danny de Hek
Like most people, I have many passions, goals and dreams. As a self made business professional, my focus is helping my clients, associates and friends, build, strengthen and maintain their success. It would be fair to say I am in the full time business of building relationships and feel my purpose and skill is connecting the right people with the right people. My professional work tends to dominate my personal life, to the horror of my partner and business mentor. They both fully support me yet give me the hard truths when I need to hear this. I am always investing in my personal development to have a fulfilled work/life balance. I enjoy Target Shooting, Hiking & Mountain Biking to clear the brain and to take the guilt away when indulging at a quirky cafe for a cooked breakfast or brunch. My passion for travelling has seen me experience the world on many occasions, my next adventure will be doing the Tibet Rail Journey on the Qinghai-Tibet Railway from Lhasa to Golmud as long as they have Wi-Fi aboard ;-) I have many goals I still wish to achieve but am pretty chuffed that I have accomplished so many of these already.

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