Mt Hiwiroa

Kaimai-Mamaku Forest Park

  • 6 hr – 8 hr return via same track
  • Medium

An energetic return day trip. The first half follows relatively easy tracks but the second half is overgrown and more challenging.

Toilet humour • By mineemo. Licence: C.
Key information
Walking time
1 day
6 hr – 8 hr
Distance
14.0km
Type
Return via same track
Return via same track
Grade
Medium
Some parts of track overgrown, good route finding skills needed Grades explained
Bookings
No bookings — open access
No — open access
Find it
Starts
State Highway 5,
()
Maps
NZTopo50-BE36
Altitude
380m – 700m
Altitude change 320m

This track begins at a rather uninviting layby  beside State Highway 5 between Rotorua and Tirau. After navigating past the old car part, bottles, used toilet paper and other rubbish you soon enter the Forest Park where an old overgrown DOC sign announces the presence of the long disused Wood's Mill 5 min Loop Track.

Hut on Hiwiroa • By pmcke.


Continue following more recent orange triangles and the track leads to the old road that used to lead into the sawmill that was here until the 1940s. After about 15 mins you enter a clearing and can see remnants of the old mill.

The track continues, following an old tramline, making easy walking through regenerating scrub and small clearings. You pass through a second mill site further along though there is little remaining here apart from some old wire rope buried by the side of the track.

The track now descends into the Waiomou Stream which you can hear from some distance off. While the Waiomou Stream seems pristine, a look at the map shows that it drains a large area of farmland. I would be careful of drinking water from this stream.

The track approaches the stream next to a small waterfall entering a picturesque pool. From this point on the standard of the track deteriorates considerably.

Follow up the true left bank of the stream for about 50m to where a tree has fallen across the stream. This may offer a dry footed crossing for those who wish to clamber through its branches, otherwide the stream is easily forded under normal conditions.

A rough track continues from the fallen tree, at first doubling back down the true right bank and then passing a Rimu tree on small shoulder before heading away from the stream. The track is overgrown and sometimes obscured, however there are plenty of markers in the form of white permolats and plastic ties of various colours. Just proceed with care.

The track climbs very steeply from the stream and you will soon be aware that the bush here is of a very different nature. On this side of the stream it has not been milled and there are some beautiful stands of ancient Rimu. One gets the feeling of being in a very remote part of the Mamuku Plateau.

Pick your way carefully along, firstly through undulating country past a couple of dry stream beds and then the route climbs gently but steadily to the top of Hiwiroa. One does not get feeling of climbing a hill and the only indication of arriving at the top is when you are suprised to see a small hut in the bush ahead of you. Despite the presence of a padlock, this hut is not locked. It is very small and damp and has one bunk.
On top of Hiwiroa • By pmcke. Licence: C.


Just behind the hut you emerge out of the bush directly onto a wooden helicopter pad which is the best place around to stop for lunch. There are good views out to the west towards Mangatautari and east towards Ngongotaha. On a good day Mt Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe are visible as well.

The top of the hill is dominated by a large communication mast, alongside which is a rock that marks the true summit of Hiwiroa. The purists can risk life and limb by climbing a rickarty wooden ladder placed on the rock.

Return is by the same route, allow a good 7 hours for the return trip.

 

Map
ID 3526

About this track

Added 8 March 2009 by pmckepmcke. 3 revisions, most recently 9 August 2010 by pmckepmcke.
256 views in the past year (21 per month).

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