This is a beaut! Fresh air, lush veg and precious plants only 1.5h drive from Auckland.
There are luscious glades of podocarps, supplejack forests and swamps (tho not fire ones) which make for lots of extra fun...and the odd swoop of a kereru and tumble of wild pig (heaps) will keep you on your toes.
Along the tops are cool dracos and small eyebrights in summer, and gardens of dack...
hah- gotcha! Dactylanthus, an endangered parasitic plant pollinated by (rare) shorttailed bats, which looks barely more than a lump of root.
Here's a thing: DOC officers doing work up here a few years back could tell these plants were near - because the nectar shows up as fluorescent pink in the possums' bellies, it's a delicacy. Caught: pink-bellied!
Tahuanui Track: about 4-5h to the summit.
Bell Track: about 7-10h to the summit. This one has better camping opps and views out west for sunset.
The DOC site has all the finer details.
11 hr – 14 hr
1 – 2 days
|From||Kaniwhaniwha carpark: Head off the highway Nth of Mt Pirongia, at the Forest Park roadsign - towards Te Pahu, go right; there's a sign before the bridge.|