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Puketi Forest Loop, Northland

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Puketi Forest LoopIntermediate

Submitted by Chris Taylor

Info Info
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Trail Information







Front country - easily accessible


Undulating, some big hills

Native bush


4:00 (Slow)
3:00 (Moderate)
2:00 (Fast)



Dec 2020: Waipapa River Track and Walnut Track are currently closed. If you have an update please email us.

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There is a farm track / road called the Pirau Ridge Track running along the South of the campsite and then turning in a southerly direction. Find this road and start running south along it before turning westwards after about 400 metres. Stay on this track. The track gets narrower and at about the 9km mark there is a fork. Keep right and travel northwards generally towards the Walnut Track (see DOC Website).

Follow the Walnut Track all the way until it meets up with the Upper Waipapa River Track (see DOC website). Cross the river (there are a number of river crossings) and head in a general easterly direction along the Upper Waipapa River Track. Follow the track all the way back to the start.

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Features of interest

Fantastic large Kauri trees along track, particularly in Walnut Track section.

Make Up of Run

Technical Single Track: 20%

Moderate Single Track: 30%

Farm Road / 4WD Track: 50%

Route Data


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Wild Explorers

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  • Access

    Find the Puketi Recreation Reserve. To get there travel to Waipapa (just outside Kerikeri) and look for Pungaere Rd, which travels westward from State Highway 10 to the North of Waipapa. Follow Pungaere Rd all the way to the end and turn left onto Waiare Road and then right into the recreation reserve. Park up at the campsite and disenfect your shoes at the facilities provided to help prevent Kauri die back disease.

    Good parking at the trail head. There are showers (cold) and toilets available.

    21 km

    25 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    The track is marked with orange DOC trail markers. It can sometimes be a bit hard to see the next marker.

    Very patchy.

    Short-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival bag, Cellphone, Compass, Map.

    Plenty of water in river along Upper Waipapa River Track. You should boil or treat before drinking. Recommend taking hydration packs with a couple of litres of water.

    We ran in mid-winter. Track was often slippery and muddy. The river had a bit of a flow, but the river crossings were not that difficult. I would avoid if there is heavy rain as I suspect that the river flow could rise rapidly and make the crossings more difficult.

    Slippery and steep bits, especially near / next to river crossings.

  • Post run indulgence

    The Pioneer Restaurant & Bar
    Good hearty food and a nice bar for a few quiet post run beers.

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