Mount Te Aroha is the highest point in the region. An interpretive panel shows the geography of most of the upper region of the North Island, including Mounts Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe and Taranaki, all of which are visible on a clear day. The Hauraki and Waikato Plains stretch to the hazy southern horizon, while to the north, the Firth of Thames flanks the Coromandel Range.
From the Mokena Geyser in Te Aroha Domain, follow Bald Spur Track 45 minutes to the Whakapipi Lookout. The track continues from the Whakapipi Lookout and is a continuation of the same track.
The track is wide but occasionally uneven. It is a steady climb, as it zigzags to the Whakapipi Lookout and platform.
The track continues to climb on a constant steady gradient to the TV mast and lookout at the summit trig (952 metres).
There is an alternative descent via the Tui Link Track and Ridge Track, which then passes through the Tui Domain Track. This passes the industrial remains of the lead mine and descends to some small waterfalls and back to the domain.
If returning via the Tui Domain , there are some pretty waterfalls.
The journey to the summit passes a variety of vegetation types, with the change in altitude contributing to differing conditions in humidity, temperature and wind.
The initial hill was also known as Bald Spur, on account of the fact it was devoid of vegetation, mostly cut in the days of gold prospecting.
Tui Mine was initially worked from 1884, but because of the high concentration of lead and zinc in the ore, processing was quickly abandoned.
In 1964, renewed interest led to the discovery of lead, copper and zinc. In 1967 the Norpac Mining Company was formed and a crushing and treatment plant was constructed, costing £100,000. The plant crushed 1000 tonnes per week and the ore was shipped to Japan.
The ore from the Tui Mine was later discovered to be contaminated with mercury and thus rejected by overseas buyers. The mine closed in 1973 and the vast wasteland of contaminated tailings still leaves a lasting legacy.
The huge conical concrete hoppers used to funnel the ore to the crushing plant are still visible, with remains of rusting machinery and tramlines.
Dog Kennel Flat was named during the era of goat culling, when kennels were kept on the grassed area.
North Island ▷ Waikato ▷ Te Aroha
Around five hours return, not suitable for young kids. Very steep at the end. Magnificent view - 360 degrees.
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Just under 1000m - straight up but worth the amazing views. Book a private hot pool when you return - amazing.
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Tough going uphill forest hike. Forest all the way but worth the 360 views at the top.
About 4.5 hours of trekking/tramping but when you climb about 1000m and you arrive at the top it is really amazing.
Easy 90mins uphill walk. Amazing views from the top. The east coast can be seen. You look along the length of the Kaimai Ranges. The track starts at a small hot springs and mineral park in Te Aroha, 30kms east of Hamilton.
Walk up Mt Te Aroha. Demanding.
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 😍