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Koranga, Kahunui and Kahuiti Streams, Waioeka Scenic Reserve

Perched log in Kahunui Stream. Photo: Phillip Donnell
Waioeka Scenic Reserve
2-3 days
Tawa Hut, 8 bunks; Koranga Forks Hut, 6 bunks
Turn onto Koranga Valley Road from SH2, 87km from Opotiki. Follow this for 1km, then turn right into Moanui Valley Road. It is 20km to the car park
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The Koranga, Kahuiti and Kahunui Streams are the focus of a three-day round trip aptly called “cruising” because of the amount of time spent in or beside water.

This route is described in a clockwise direction, but it can be walked in the opposite direction, too. From the car park, the track skirts the Koranga River.

After crossing it on a swingbridge, ascend a poled route towards the ridgeline. About halfway up, the track divides where an interesting rock cleft is seen ahead. Swing right, however, and plod on until the highest point is reached at an open saddle, with glorious views to the north and east.

Descend into the forest on a well-formed, benched track to Kahuiti Stream. At times you must scramble to avoid washouts, or pick your way across uneven stony sections, but the trail is not hard to follow. About a kilometre downstream from where the Kahuiti merges with the Kahunui Stream, the track breaks out onto a large grassy clearing, the site of Tawa Hut. Hunters and fishermen often occupy the hut, but there is ample room for camping.

The trip between Tawa Hut and Koranga Falls Hut is down the Kahunui Stream bed and is a magical meander on a sunny day. About a kilometre down from Tawa Hut, the track terminates, propelling you down a rocky terrace into the gorge. Over the next few hours, high rock walls, massive boulders, pebble islands, perching logs, hissing waterfalls, cascading rapids and deep green pools are encountered in quick succession. However, progress is generally straightforward.

The closed valley eventually opens out at the junction of the Koranga River, where Koranga Forks Hut is situated beneath towering cliffs.

A moss-laden wire bridge across the Koranga introduces trampers to the final part of the walk. Once over the bridge, turn right and follow the track upstream. It is a picturesque walk on an excellent benched track, with some impressive vistas up and down the valley.

Forest gives way to farmland before the track plunges once more into the bush for the final few kilometres. Care is needed on several slippery rock slabs. Journey,s end is the car park from where the tramp began.