Otanewainuku – Rimu Loop – Whataroa Falls

 

The tracks to the summit of Otanewainuku and to the Whataroa Falls are accessible from Mountain Rd, off Oropi Rd and No 2 Rd, a few kms south of Tauranga. There is a parking area by the gravel road, with covered picnic tables and toilet facilities by the carpark.

The climb from the carpark to the summit is about 200m, and is signposted as being a 45-minute walk. The track forms a loop, which can be walked either clockwise or anticlockwise. Clockwise gives the gentlest uphill walk, with stepper downhill. The track is well formed and well maintained, with very few steps and steeper areas. There is a lookout tower at the summit, with an almost 36-degree view over the top of the surrounding vegetation. On a day with clear visibility the views are impressive.On the other side of Mountain Rd there is a Rimu Loop Track, with several large rimu trees clearly visible and accessible from the track. The loop is marked as being a 45-minute walk. It is easy walking on a well formed and maintained track.

The track to Whataroa Falls starts at about the mid point of the Rimu Loop Track. From here it is about 2.5 km to the falls, again on a relatively easy track.

The total distance for all the tracks is about 10 km. The summit loop took about 1.5 hours, but that included over 15 minutes spent at the lookout tower on the summit. The Rimu Loop Track and the track to the falls (in both directions) took about 2 hours 15 minutes, with about 15 minutes spent at the falls.

More information about the tracks is available on DoC’s web site.

The covered picnic tables and information panels by the carpark on Mountain Rd.

DSC00067_Otanewainuku

A large Pukatea tree marks the point where the summit loop tracks diverge.

 

DSC00072_Otanewainuku

The lookout tower on the summit of Otanewainuku.

DSC00073_Otanewainuku

Views from the lookout tower.

DSC00075_Otanewainuku DSC00077_Otanewainuku DSC00080_Otanewainuku

Even a selfie on the lookout tower.

DCIM100MEDIA

There were several fallen trees and broken branches across or near the track. Apparently there has been a storm or two passing by recently. However, the tracks are well maintained and there were only a few minor blockages from fallen vegetation.

DSC00083_Otanewainuku

Another large Pukatea tree, recognizable by the distinctive buttressed roots.

DSC00084_Otanewainuku

One of New Zealand’s tallest trees, a Kahikatea, is situated by the summit track, only a short, easy, walk from the carpark.

DSC00085_Otanewainuku DSC00088_Otanewainuku

On the Rimu Loop Track a large Rimu tree had fallen across the track some time ago. With a diameter of more than 1 meter, it is estimated to be about 540 years old.

DSC00095_Otanewainuku

One of the largest Rimu trees by the Rimu Loop Track.

DSC00141_Otanewainuku DSC00142_Otanewainuku

A small Rimu sapling, hoping one day to reach above the forest canopy.

DSC00100_Otanewainuku

Moss and other vegetation soon grows on fallen trees.

DSC00098_Otanewainuku

Fungus growing as ‘steps’ on the stump from a long-dead tree.

DSC00133_WhataroaFalls

The stream just above the Whataroa Falls, which must be crossed to access the falls.

DSC00104_WhataroaFalls

The Whataroa Falls consists of several separate falls. Only the upper falls are easily accessible. These are the upper falls.

DSC00111_WhataroaFalls DSC00117_WhataroaFalls

The second falls are accessible through fairly dense vegetation. There may be further falls, but again not easily accessible.

DSC00128_WhataroaFalls

The tracks were walked on September 27, 2014, as well as several other times. The GPS track log is from the September 27 walk.

GPS_Otanewainuku

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s