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May 2015 Issue
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A new track to a historic village

The Puhoi Track passes through some nice native bush. Photo: Lisa Mead
1.5-2hr each way
Puhoi Village domain (Ahuroa Road, Puhoi). The track can also be accessed from the northern end at the junction of Remiger Road and Ahuroa Road, Puhoi. A group with two vehicles could leave a car at each end and shuttle back to their starting point
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Puhoi Track (gpx, yo 5 KB)
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Puhoi Track, Auckland 

Just 50km north of Auckland lies the small historic village of Puhoi on the banks of the scenic Puhoi River. The name translates as ‘slow water’ and mid-week a tranquil, sleepy atmosphere permeates this rural hamlet which was originally settled by Bohemian cheese-maker immigrants in 1863. In the weekends the kayak trip to Wenderholm is popular as is the lovely old Victorian pub, which makes a fitting end to an attractive short tramp.

The 5km (one way) Puhoi Track forms part of the Te Araroa Trail and can be walked in either direction taking around 1.5-2hr each way making a return hike achievable for most walkers.

We parked at the Puhoi Domain and immediately began climbing through pretty bush up a formed track to gain a ridge above farmland with extensive views down the valley. The track has been gravelled and fences are crossed via sturdy stiles. There are extensive stretches of beautiful native bush: mature puriri dripping with epiphytes, punga ferns, lush nikau, totara, rimu and kauri.

The track then enters an area of pine trees with an attractive understorey of regenerating natives and soft pine needles underfoot. Another stretch of native bush gives way to a second section of pines and occasional views down the valley towards the cheese factory. Descending from the ridge we admired a large kauri tree close to the track – thankfully none of these trees appear to have been affected by kauri dieback disease. The Puhoi River is crossed on a swing-bridge and we found ourselves at the northern end of the track at Remiger Road. Keen walkers could carry on up the road for about 1km to the continuation of the Te Araroa Trail towards Pakiri via Dunns Bush or do as we did, and retrace their route back to Puhoi.

On reaching the farmland close to Puhoi village, we descended via the lookout point and Loop track which is a little steeper and muddier than the main route.

Reward yourselves with a cool drink at the old pub with its fascinating memorabilia and bric-a-brac or allow time to visit the Bohemian museum in the former convent school.

– Lisa Mead