- A trail less travelled in Tongariro
- Splendid isolation
- A frosty paradise
- Into the Alps
- Abundant birds and spectacular views
- On Christchurch’s doorstep
- Sanctuary from the city
- A lonely lake
- Kahikatea kingdom
- A Karaka of a walk
- Paddle, hike, swim
- Hot spring heaven
- Playground in the heart of the Sounds
- Top location
- Miners’ huts over Wakatipu
- Yellowhead haven
- Historical hut
- Revitalised Hut
Mt Tamahunga, Matakana
Ranger: Thelma Wilson, Warkworth
Just north of the big city lights in Auckland is a lush mountain with a thriving native forest. Biodiversity ranger Thelma Wilson discovered the area when she was setting predator trap lines on the mountain, “ambling around the lush puriri, rimu, rata and kahikatea forest, in and out of streams and up a hill,” she says.
For those visitors not doing predator control work, the Tamahunga Track crosses a farm before entering the regenerating bush and heading up the ridge to the summit. Views are restricted by forest, but that’s why Wilson likes this patch of bush so much.
“I enjoy visiting in the afternoon, or early in the morning, when the birds are getting raucous,” she says. “Depending on which part of the forest you are in, there are some lovely streams and waterfalls too.”
The top of Mt Tamahunga (437m) has views out over Omaha.
There are three public entrances between Matakana, Leigh and Pakiri – the trails from Pakiri and Leigh have views out towards Bream Head, Hen and Chicken Islands and Little Barrier. The Tamahunga Track is 2.5km to the summit, about an hour and a half one-way, and joins the Te Araroa Trail at the summit.
The Tamahunga Track is on Omaha Valley Road and it takes 90 minutes to reach the summit.