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A steady climb from Corcoran Rd leads to Ruapane Trig. The excellent view extends across the Waikato Basin to the Kaimai Ranges.
The track starts from Corcoran Road carpark.
From Pirongia take SH 39 towards Whatawhata and after 5.5 km turn left onto Te Pahu Road.
After 5.5 km left again onto Corcoran Road, and follow this 3 km to the road end parking area.
The first section is metalled and even. Don’t be fooled by the standard of track. It deteriorates. It’s a steady ascent, with criss-crossed root masses and a few muddy sections.
However, at the trig, there are views out in most directions.
Pirongia forms part of a volcanic chain in a belt of weak overlying sediments named the Alexandra Volcanics. Basalt lava erupted between 2.7 and 1.6 million years ago, flowing over 20 km to Kawhia.
These volcanic episodes pierced older sediments of limestone, mudstone and sandstone, dating to over 20 million years old.
At 14,000 hectares, this is the largest unbroken tract of native forest in the Waikato. Tawa are particularly predominant. 58 tree species, 44 shrubs and 110 different ferns are recorded in the forest park.
The name Pirongia is said to have been conferred by the high-priest (tohunga) Raka-taura. He married Kahurere, daughter of the waka captain, and exhalted ‘Pirongia te aroaro O Kahu’ meaning ‘the fragrant presence of Kahu’.
North Island ▷ Waikato ▷ Otorohanga
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 😍