Last Updated: 2nd Apr 2024


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Rain Forest Romp at Pukeiti

Valley of the Giants walk, Putaha Track, Rimu Track

New Plymouth, Taranaki

Submitted by Mike Tennent

Last Updated: 2nd Apr 2024


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I've done it Done

Grunt Factor: 12 ?

Gnarl Factor: 15 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible


Undulating, small hills only

Native bush

Plantation/exotic forest


Run Makeup


Sealed Road

Gravel Road

Farm Road / 4WD Track

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +6.0%

Average Downhill Gradient: -7.3%


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Estimated Times to Run







Head past the cafe and follow the signs for the Lodge. Once you reach the Lodge carry on past and to the left of the big rock under the shelter onto the Valley of the Giants walk. Follow this trail until you have run a total of about 300m and look for a sign pointing left for Putaha Track.... and away you go.

This can be very slippery in places, but by sticking to the grassy bits you can avoid a fall. There are many small trails off the main one, nearly all of them are trapper tracks. There is one major intersection with a sharpish left and a gentle veer to the right - take the veer to the right. After a while you will come to a shelter. Carry straight on and follow the trail until you see a sign pointing left to Rimu Track. Head down there...

This trail is mainly grass and could be long and a bit tiresome! But near the end you go through a wonderful avenue of rimu with its cascading foliage. At the end of this you will come out on the road, head right, go past the first gate about 200m along the road (I didn't and added about 400m and some vert for getting it wrong). You should be on the road for about 1km when you see a tall brown slat gate on the right. Just walk around the gate and onto the gravel road (Summit Road), after a couple of hundred metres there is a split, take the left route and you will be on an old road that was once (many years ago) open to vehicles.

Follow this and you will pass a couple of signs but keep on the route to the summit of Pukeiti. When you reach the summit, grab some pics and then head back down to the road to the first of the two signs you passed earlier that points you back to the Park. Time for some nice downhill at a great running slope and just follow the trails and signs for Pukeiti Garden, you will traverse some lovely technical and semi-technical single trail, a swing-bridge and eventually finish back where you started.

This trail includes the peak Pukeiti.

Great views from the summit of Pukeiti and a wonderful wee rimu grove.

Lots of parking and even a Cafe at the start of the run.

23 km

28 minutes




Grab the Pukeiti Rainforest Day Walks brochure from the centre before you head out and you can pretty easily follow my route.


Waterproof leggings, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries

There are a few stream crossings and water is pretty common.

There are a few stream crossings - two of them are fords and unless there has been a deluge most should be fine.

The stream crossings and the muddy hills if it is very wet, you will need to take a lot of care.

Founders Cafe
Right there at Pukeiti
Lovely people and excellent food.... and it's right there, where you finish... what could be better!!!

Trail Legend


Andrew Foote

has completed Rain Forest Romp at Pukeiti once in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

Beautiful park and bush but lots of very slippery clay mud to test your balancing skills.

Chris Wheatley

June 12, 2020

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