Nikau Walk and Kaniwhaniwha Caves...

Nikau Walk and Kaniwhaniwha Caves - Pirongia Forest Park

Nikau Walk and Kaniwhaniwha Caves

Pirongia Forest Park

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!

Icon-512x512

Deep Nature

FREE MAP - The best of 21 nature guidebooks on one map.

Online Maps

FREE Header

Deep Nature NEW

Author Marios Gavalas, Rankers and hundreds of contributors bring you a free web map to help you get lost (and find yourself) in Aotearoa's nature.

Photos

tree ferns abound

Information

7 km return | 2 hours 30 minutes return

Access

From Pirongia follow SH39 towards Whatawhata and after 5.5 km turn left into Te Pahu Road.

After 7.3 km turn left onto Limeworks Loop Road and 1.1 km after Rolley Road, Kaniwhaniwha Reserve is signposted to the right.

There are picnic benches and a toilet with a stand of kahikatea shading tables and with the rippling Kaniwhaniwha Stream nearby.

The Nikau Walk is signposted.

Track

This is a metalled and well-signposted track, shared with mountain bikes.

Cross the road and follow the Kaniwhaniwha Stream on the service road for 2.2 km. This native corridor has been extensively re-planted by local community groups.

Entering the forest, cross the bridge and follow the signs. Respecting the direction of the loop walk is a clever idea to keep bikers and walkers safe. By going in opposite directions there is more warning of an approaching meeting.

There’s a detour (200 metres) to Kaniwhaniwha Caves This 30m long cave is a squeeze. You will likely get wet feet and muddy as there is a muddy slump by the exit ladder to negotiate. Torches are indispensable.

Continuing the loop, the luxuriant nikau-filled forest interior feels tropical.

After the conclusion of the loop you can detour to the large grassy clearing with toilets and picnic benches. This links back to the service road and returns to the carpark.

Flora

The nikau is the most southerly naturally growing palm in the world, with leaves up to 3 metres long and 2 metres wide. The coral-like flowers grow on spikes below the crown and above the trunk, ringed by closely spaced leaf scars. It takes 20 years for a nikau to get out of the ground. It then looses 3-4 fronds per year, each leaving an equatorial scar. So to age a tree, count the scars, divide by 3 or 4 and add 20.

Details

Feature Value Info

Location

North IslandWaikatoOtorohanga

Categories

  • Walking
  • Free

Reviews

No written reviews!

Can you contribute? If you've experienced Nikau Walk and Kaniwhaniwha Caves then please and write a review.

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 😍

Nick Morrison's avatar

Nick Morrison

Rankers owner