Reputed as one of the finest rain forests in the world, Pureora Forest is a natural wonderland for walks and nature lovers to explore. Wander amidst an enchanting evergreen landscape with thick moss, lush ferns, and ancient native trees.
The 78,000ha Pureora Forest Park holds great national significance and is home to historic attractions including Bog Inn Hut, the Timber Trail Cycleway, logging machinery, as well as the spectacular Ongarue Tramway and Spiral.
Also known as the official geographic centre of the North Island of New Zealand there are a good array of beautiful walks and hikes for everyone to discover in the Pureora Forest.
Centre of the North Island Walk
A short 10-minute walk on a flat track off Waimonoa Rd leads to the geographical centre of the North Island (marked with a cairn and explanatory plaque). Great place for photo opportunities and some mindful moments standing in the centre of it all.
This easy 1km loop walk winds its way among the awe-inspiring giant podocarps for which Pureora is famous - tōtara, rimu,mataī, miro, and kahikatea. Ferns grow in abundance and if you are really quiet you may hear or see native birds such as tui, fantail, tomtits, or robins. The Totara Walk includes interpretative signs and plant identification signs. Family-friendly meaning it's pram friendly and wheelchair accessible. Great space for picnics too!
Waihora Lagoon Walk
Dreamy, magical, and otherworldly are just a few ways to describe the fantasy-filled landscape of the Waihora Lagoon Walk.
From SH 32 turn onto Waihora Rd and travel approximately 3 km on a gravel road before turning left into the Waihora Lagoon carpark. The lagoon, 10 minutes’ walk from the carpark, is one of the most beautiful spots in the park, surrounded by tall rimu, and kahikatea. Waihora Lagoon is a shallow ephemeral wetland in a completely natural setting surrounded by swamp forest.
The towering ancient trees that resemble gentle giants reflecting against the water is a sight to behold. Over peak summer season, however, the lagoon can dry out.
Waipapa Loop Walk
A short walk accessible to most people and fitness levels, the 2.3 km Waipapa Loop Walk will take you through a fascinating ecological area amidst pristine native bush and abundant birdlife.
This 30-minute return walk starts behind the Pureora Forest Park Lodge - passing through tall podocarp forest and several points of interest. About halfway through the loop, there are scenic valley views to enjoy.
Not suitable for wheelchairs or prams.
From the Kakaho camping area, the 1.7 km Rimu loop walk follows the Kakaho Stream through dense rimu forest and bridge crossings before climbing to a viewpoint.
The beautiful walk is filled with native birdsong and birdlife and emerges a short distance along Kakaho Rd, taking about 1 hr to complete.
Allow approximately 2.5 hours one-way for this easy walk to the summit of Mount Pureora starting from Link Road, with boardwalks and steps to make walking easier and fantastic views at the top.
This 2.6 km one-way walk (return via the same track) offers expansive views across Lake Taupō, the Mamaku Ranges, Mt Taranaki, and Mt Ruapehu from the summit of Mt Pureora. Please note, the Toi Tio Track linking to the Timber Trail is in poor repair at the moment.
It’s the shortest route to the top of Mt Pureora with well-maintained tracks, bridge crossings and magnificent vistas.