Tawa Walk

Tawa Walk

Lake Waikaremoana

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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1 km return | 30 minutes return

Tawa is a conspicuous tree with line green light infusing the forest. This walk explores one of the best stands in the country. And a huge rata tree.


The track starts by ascending the bank opposite Te Whaitiri Point at the signpost for the Ngamoko Track, 2.3 km south of the Aniwaniwa Visitor Centre. Shortly after the track is signposted on the left.


The even track weaves through tawa forest, rejoining the Ngamoko Track after 15 minutes. Detour left for a few minutes to the large rata tree and marvel at this convoluted giant. Retrace your steps to the junction and continue down to the Ngamoko Track to the carpark.


Tawa (Beilschmiedia tawa) has the influence of infusing the forest beneath with a soothing honey-green light. It is common tree of New Zealand forests and grows to around 25 metres tall. The bright green leaves give an illuminated feel to the forest and it often grows in dense stands to the exclusion of other species. Maori used the tree for treating wounds and relieving stomach upsets.

The aged rata is thought to be 1000 years old and originally started life as an epiphyte on a rimu tree. The three main vines have branched to form a trunk system like a swarm of writhing snakes. The girth of the tree is a massive 12.2. metres.


Feature Value Info


DOC East Coast

Central government organisation


North IslandTairāwhiti GisborneLake Waikaremoana


  • 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