5 Katikati walks you shouldn’t miss
Climb mighty mountains, cross gushing streams, stroll through the town on these Katikati walks…
For those keen to get out into nature, there is a Katikati walk for everyone, no matter your fitness or age. We love the diverse walks, treks, and hikes our part of the world has to offer, so we thought it would be great to share some of our favourite walks with you. We’ll cover everything from the most popular, to some hidden gems. We’ve included all the essential details, but we do recommend having a chat with our people for further info as some tracks may be closed due to kauri dieback. If you’re interested in learning more about the best Katikati walks, keep reading below!
1. Tuahu Track Walk (50 Minutes return)
An iconic Katikati walk, the Tuahu Track is close to home, and a local favourite. Only a short distance from Sapphire Springs holiday park (down the road) we’re perfectly located for accommodation! The track is part of the Kaimai ranges. Follow the gentle 20 minute boardwalked route through groves of young rimu and kauri trees.
At this point you will find a side path leading past two magnificent kauris. These trees are some of the largest in the region, and are surrounded by a platform so you can really understand their scale. If you haven’t had enough, continue on for a longer 5 hour walk. In the off season we offer vehicle storage in our parking area too, which is perfect if you aim to cross over to Te Aroha.
This longer walk leads up to the steep and rugged Sentinel Rock Track. Walkways can be a bit difficult to follow, but the views from the top are stunning, and worth the climb. With good visibility you should be able to see the valley below, as well as Mt Te Aroha in the distance. (Please stick to the boardwalk! Kauri trees have extremely shallow and wide reaching roots.)
This track is situated on Hot Springs road, so our holiday park is perfect for guests who are keen to do the walk to/from Te Aroha.
The Tuahu Track is named after the large kauri Tuahu itself. This is connected to its position within a bridle path used by Maori in the 1890’s.
Bring a torch, and ask our staff about the glow worms which can be seen after dark!
The spectacular Kauri trees are a short walk from the car park. Great for kids or older people. Carry on up the Kaimais for spectacular views in both directions.
2. Ananui Falls Track (5 hours return)
Expect wet feet and waterfall views! The Ananui Track is an awesome day adventure only a short drive north of Katikati. Starting at Woodlands Road, following the stream, venture into the bush. Trace the gentle incline of the historic Waitengaue Tramline which passed through the area, as you make your way to the first stream crossing. There are 5 crossings on this track, which require some care. The rocks can be quite slippery, so some balance is required.
Follow the tramway trail upwards and you will reach the site of the now removed historic Waitengaue Hut. This clearing is a great spot for a break before the steeper section begins. Passing through groves of young kauri trees, make sure you look out for the Ananui falls, as there is only one point on the track where they are clearly visible.
Look out for the short side track that leads to the top of the Ananui Falls. This will be marked with a warning sign for the 106m drop! Once you reach the peak enjoy the epic view, and sounds of water cascading down. Take caution as it is a long way up, but this is a great spot for a picnic, after a good day’s walk.
During the kauri logging days, the tramway was used to transport the large kauri trunks!
Check how the weather has been for the past few days before you set off. The stream crossings can be quite challenging after a few days of heavy rain.
Straightforward, well marked out and back run. Lots of roots, mud, stream crossings, ruts and one thigh burner of a climb toward the end. Great views and a massive waterfall!
3. Katikati Haiku Pathway (40 Minute loop)
The Japanese Haiku Pathway is a leisurely 2km Katikati walk perfect for the art folk out there. A carefully designed landscape in the heart of Katikati central, it melds poetry into nature, seen in the 40 haikus carved into pathways and river boulders throughout the park. It’s a great space to relax and reflect. Start from the signposted Haiku Pathway carpark. Follow the sounds of the river and read the works of notable poets from New Zealand and across the globe. This walk is a great way to start the day and then walk through town, connecting to the Katikati Murals Walk. Alternatively cycle through for a different experience.
Interestingly, the Haiku Pathway is the only one in the world found outside of Japan. Born out of the dream of local Katikati poet Catherine Mair, she hand chiseled the works of some of the most famous poets. The walk was opened in conjunction with the western bay of plenty district council as one of New Zealand’s Millenium projects in January 2000. It reclaimed the Uretara Stream the park surrounds. Now the walk is a place of enjoyment for locals and visitors alike. This key waterway acted as an important connection for early settlers to the outside world way back in the 1870’s.
Each boulder in the park is intentionally placed to reflect the space around it. Purchase a guidebook, with a map of the poems from the Katikati Information Centre so you cover them all.
Well worth a stop and a lovely walk to the river and admiring the stones by a crystal clear river…
4. Katikati Murals Walk
Many locals also know Katikati as “Mural Town”. The town has a vibrant cultural and artistic history captured best in the 62 world famous murals, mosaics, and sculptures covering the walls, pathways, buildings and spaces within the town center. Depicting the story of the region’s occupation, beginning with the arrival of Ngati Te Rangi and Ngati Ranginui, to early European and Irish settlers. Uncover the dynamic characters and events which laid the foundations of the town through the numerous points of interest. This quintessential Katikati walk is an awesome way to spend the day, and pleasing to the eye. Meander through, meeting the local people, visiting shops, and taking plenty of pictures as you go along.
The concept of the mural town was inspired by a town named Chemanus in Canada. Driven by the double threat of a bypass road taking traffic away from the town, and a struggling kiwifruit industry in the early 1990’s, the local community drew on local artistic talent to make the region stand out. Many New Zealand towns have followed in its steps, but the first in New Zealand, Katikati’s murals are true works of art.
Find a map to the murals at the town information center. If you time your journey, you can find katikati open-air art exhibits.
Forgot how funny and interesting these murals are scattered all over Katikati. They are varied but my favourites are the Kiwi bloke and his dog plus the liquorice all sorts piano – they just appeal to my sense of humour. I hope there will be more in the future.
5. Lindemann Loop Track (4 hours complete loop)
Near the Lindemann Lookout north of Katikati you’ll find the Lindemann Loop Track. This Katikati walk is great as it offers two options in the Pack Track (5 hours return), and Ridge Track (3 hours return), which meet, forming a larger loop. If you want to do both tracks, it will save you a lot of trouble to start with the less steep Pack Track, and return down the Ridge Track coming back.
Ridge Track Kauri Dams (3 hours return)
This route is a walk through native bush which was once the site of extensive kauri logging. The remnants of this practice can be found throughout the track in the large wooden beam dams. The remaining kauris throughout the track are either regrowth, or trees undesirable to the loggers. As you reach the end of the ridge track, you will find a junction with the pack track. From here we recommend advancing to the Wairoa shelter. This area is a perfect spot to take a break, with awesome vistas across the Waitengaue and Wairoa valleys (look northwest to spot the Ananui falls). After (hopefully) getting something to eat, either follow the Ridge Track back towards the parking lot, or head down the Pack Track!
Pack Track (5 hours return)
The longer Pack Track while a bit more mellow to start from, it is likely also a lot more wet. The route requires you to traverse several streams as you go along, with several waterfalls too, however, you will likely only be able to see one. To begin with you’ll come across a small pool, this serves as a great spot to cool off in summer. Wind your way up through the heavily forested gullies, looking out for the clear vista over the wider bay of plenty area. See Tauranga harbour, the beach, and coromandel peninsula. Once you reach the junction head down to the Wairoa hut clearing, and then either return down the ridge track, or pack track.
The Dams in this area were used to efficiently transport large kauri logs. Building up the pressure behind thick kauri logs, the water would be released sending the large trunks down stream.
Bring along spare shoes and your swimming trunks!
Hiked the loop trail. Some stunning forest with at least a dozen waterfalls. This trail requires good shoes and fitness level.
Where to stay while you explore our unmissable Katikati Walks?
Thanks for reading. We’re proud of our Katikati walks, and would love to share them with you. If you’re keen to get out there and into it there’s no better place to stay than our very own Sapphire Springs Holiday Park. Our expert team and facilities are perfect for setting you up for a Katikati walk, or any other adventure our region has to offer. We offer a bed for every budget, or if you’re only here for a short while you can always come along for a dip in our warm mineral pool.
Click the Button below if you’re planning to come through our part of the world!
Self-Contained Motel Units
We have six fully self-contained motel units all equipped with bedding, towels, crockery, cutlery and cooking utensils.
If you are looking for accommodation for a large group “The Bungalow” is ideal.
Cabins / Lodge
This type of accommodation offers affordability for those who want more than a tent.
Camping – Caravans, Tents and Motorhomes
We have over 50 powered camping sites, some bordering the banks of our sparkling stream, ideal for family camping.
Visitors wishing to visit at your unit or campsite for more than 1 hour, or enter the pool and park area, are required to pay the day entry fee:
Adults (14 years and over) $7.50
Children (1 to 13 years) $5.00
Seniors (Gold Card Required) $6.50
Visitors picking up or dropping off to your unit or campsite for less than 1 hour: No charge.
ALL visitors must report to the office on arrival.