Home / Trips / Taranaki

Kiwi Road to Mt Messenger, Mt Messenger Forest, Taranaki

The best way down is often on backsides. Photo: Barbara Morris
Distance
8.95km
Total Ascent
622m
Time
6.5-10hr
Grade
Difficult
Access
Kiwi Road off SH40
Map
BH31
GPX File
Kiwi Road to Mt Messenger Taranaki (gpx, yo 65 KB)
Your device does not support GPX files. Please try a different device.

The route to Mt Messenger isn’t the easiest navigationally; the track is rough and the markers elusive.

Starting at Kiwi Road is easier than coming the other way from Mt Messenger.

After a drive of about 9km down the winding, narrow, bush-clad road, it comes out into open farmland – Rerekapa Station – and an unmarked stile near a large silo pit; the start of the walk.

About 50m across the farm, there is a large orange DOC marker. It’s a hand-over-fist, short but sharp climb to the ridge, through a fence and presumably onto conservation land with the change from farmland to stunted bush. Some searching will reveal markers, which lead to a pleasant stroll along the ridge.

It can be easy to lose the markers along the ridge; frequent GPS and compass checks are recommended to stay on track.

A useful waypoint is Huanui (353m), where the markers are more clear along a good track.

The trail follows the ridge tops with some stiff climbs up and over high points and down through saddles.

Skirt around the side of Oneone at 351m and continue across the tops, with views of the razor-sharp sheer cliffs and slip faces along sections of the track.

Much of the track is overgrown, but there are pleasant stretches where it passes through fairly open mixed tawa and kamahi forest and crown fern interspersed with small patches of hard beech forest.

Take care on the narrow ridges, which drop away steeply into deep valleys below.

After descending the last steep knee-crunching ridge, the route opens into a meadow of regenerating kahikatea swamp before one last steep climb back to the road.

Support Wilderness

Since 1991, Wilderness has had one simple goal: to help Kiwis ‘See more, do more, live more’ of New Zealand.

If you value our mission, please consider subscribing. As a loyal supporter, you’ll receive these benefits:

  • New Zealand’s best outdoor journalism We’ve won multiple awards for our journalism and magazine production.
  • NZ’s best trips. Browse more than 610 trips with downloadable maps and route notes.
  • Trustworthy gear reviews. Each month we review gear we’ve been bashing and thrashing for months so you can determine if its worth your money.
  • Member benefits. Our WildCard provides discounts at more than 20 partners throughout New Zealand.
  • Your support goes a long way. Your subscription will help us fund NZ’s best outdoor journalists and writers and ensure Wilderness will be there to inspire the next generation of outdoor Kiwis.

A subscription costs as little as $7.00/month for instant access to all articles, trips, gear reviews and gear guides.

View all our subscription options and join the club.

Already a subscriber? Login Now.