Historic Walk / Southern Walking...

Historic Walk / Southern Walking Track - Opepe Bush Historic Reserve

Historic Walk / Southern Walking Track

Opepe Bush Historic Reserve

Your Nature Guide

Marios Gavalas's avatar

Marios Gavalas

Author And Researcher

Nau mai, haere mai

Nau mai, haere mai

I'm Marios, delivering the best of Aotearoa's nature walks to your device.

I've personally walked hundreds of New Zealand's tracks and spent months in libraries uncovering interesting information on New Zealand/Aotearoa. And you'll find a slice of that research on this page - enjoy!


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Weathered old posts around the pit saw site


3 km return | 1 hour return

In the regenerating scrub of today, it is hard to imagine over 100 Armed Constabulary living in the nascent Taupo settlement, building roads, telegraph lines and buildings in the late 1860s.


The start of the track is sign posted by the (dodgy) toilet on the right side of the road 17 km along the Napier-Taupo Road (SH5). There is a large parking area.


Taking a right at the first junction does the loop in an anticlockwise direction and reveals the walk better The surface is a mixture of metal, forest and grass.

A roof over the pit and unsawn totara log perched on a stand, illustrates the methods used for constructing telegraph poles for the Napier-Taupo line.

After passing a grove of kamahi, the track descends to a small valley, arriving at a junction.To the right leads to the spring. A sign explains the events pre- and post the attack on the Armed Constabulary and Te Kooti’s advance party.

Rejoining the main track, you quickly arrive at a grassy strip - the route of the old road. Follow the marker posts past the site of the old settlement and well back to the track start.

European History

The preserved pit sawing station is a place to ponder the bloody hard work men used to do before sawmills. Or in places like Opepe, which were too remote to get a sawmill to. Take a huge log and a long saw, often 6 ft in length or more, dig a pit and start sawing. Maybe a day for a large log to be sawn in half.

Saw pits like these were used to make the telegraph poles in the Napier - Taupo Telegraph line.

The poor joker on the bottom would not only have the hard work of thrusting the saw back and forth, but would get showered in sawdust that would stick to his sweat, get lodged in his eyes and likely get under his clothing. A good job for the young fellas


Feature Value Info


DOC Central North Island

Central government organisation


North IslandTaupo RegionTaupo


  • Walking
  • Free


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DOC Managed

Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍

Cymen Crick's avatar

Cymen Crick

Rankers Owner