As you tramp along these sharp-crested, tussock ridges, untracked forests fall away down misty spurs. You feel like you’re on top of the world.

The Ruahine Forest Park lies south-west of Napier, running from the steep gorges of the Ngaruroro River, 100 km down a straight spine of rugged ridges to the Manawatu Gorge. The park is 24 km wide in the north reducing to a mere 8 km in the south. The Ruahine Range and four subsidiary ranges lie on the main North Island fault line. They are young in geological terms and are still uplifting, with extensive faulting and natural erosion.

The park gives rise to four of the North Island’s large rivers; the Tukituki, Ngaruroro, Manawatu and Rangitikei. The tributary streams are generally fast flowing, falling off the steep ridges, and carrying large volumes of shingle down to Hawkes Bay.

Bus Pass New Zealand

One of the most scenic areas is around Waterfall Hut, reached by crossing the Hikurangi Range. The track goes via Purity Hut, Wooden Peg Peak and Iron Peg Peak, where mountain buttercups add a cheery blaze of yellow as you ‘hoof it’ through the alpine tussock. From the Waterfall Hut a route leads to the highest point in the park, Mangaweka Peak (1,733 metres), where tranquil alpine tarns nestle in the windswept tussock.

There is great diversity in the park’s vegetation. Red and mountain beech predominates in the north, with leatherwood scrub above the forest, and herb field grasslands on the tops. In the south there is a mixture of forest and scrub, with open tussock. Hunters and fishermen make good use of this park, as there are moderate numbers of red deer, pigs and goats as well as plentiful brown and rainbow trout in the river systems.

While the steep, eroded peaks of the Ruahine Range offer a challenge to keen trampers and hunters, the lower slopes have much appeal for family groups, bushwalkers and picnickers. Enjoy the short walks – they’re really delightful.

By | 2015-11-20T16:58:47+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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