The Tuahu Kauri and Sentinel Rock trail

This tramp saw myself and a couple of other women head into the surrounding bush area of Sentinel Rock, which is a large rocky outcrop in the Kaimai Mamaku, Forest Park.  It is now considered too dangerous to climb Sentinel rock, so we viewed it from a comfy flattish area where we dined out in the open on the Sentinel Rock Lookout.  Dined as in ate our lunch while gazing out towards the vast sweeping paddocks of the Waikato region. There are also views to the Pacific Ocean and other parts of the Bay of Plenty.

Let me start from the beginning.

Young kauris line the path

The track to the lookout starts at the end of Hot Springs Rd, just south of Katikati. The Tuahu Track and Tuahu Kauri Loop Track lead past two of the most massive kauri trees in the Western Bay of Plenty, to the start of the Sentinel Rock Track.  This area is the most south this tree with naturally grow.

There is a parking area [175m above sea level] and information panels at the end of Hot Springs Rd, but no toilet facilities.  I am sure a composting toilet would be much appreciated to all walkers/trampers that use this area.

The first thing that we needed to do before doing this walk was to disinfect our boots this is an important task to complete if we are to conserve our Kauri population which is in danger of becoming extinct due to Kauri Dieback.

New Zealand: Kauri National Park

The Tuahu Track continues across the Kaimai Ranges, ending on Wairakau Rd on the western side of the range. On the eastern side of the range the track is wide and well formed, and a good walking track.  After an easy walk of about 25 minutes or 1.5km from the start of the Tuahu Track, there is a short loop track.

Big Kauri tree

This is where you get to view the base of the largest of the two kauri trees, 12.8m to the first limb, and a diameter of 2.7m at the height of 1.5m. The trunk is too large to fully hug, though it is still possible to give it a pat. The smaller of the two kauris can be seen to the left. The walkway protects the kauri tree roots from being trampled on this is another added protection in keeping Kauri Dieback at bay.  Another feature of this walk is the abundance of Nikau Palms which gives this area a very tropical feel.

Nikau Palms line the kauri boardwalk

From the end of the Kauri walkway, begins the start of the Sentinel Rock Track.  It is a long easy climb with a few streams crossings to arrive at the crest of the Kaimai Range.  Originally a Maori trail and widened to a bridle path in the late 1890s.  Although the climb is 550m, it is mostly a gentle and genial climb that doesn’t seem steep. Until of course, you finish the tramp, then the result of a few hours tramping start to take effect.

Looking towards Tauranga harbour

As I previously mentioned the views are well worth the physical effort.

What goes up must come down, that, of course, meant leaving this glorious view and to capture those bush views that we may have missed hiking upwards.

Footnote: We just happened to have done this walk twice, the second visit was on the 21st March and International Day of Forests.

Every year the United Nations raises awareness of the importance of all types of forests. This year the International Day of Forests promotes education to Learn to Love Forests. It underscores the importance of education at all levels in achieving sustainable forest management and biodiversity conservation. Healthy forests mean healthy, resilient communities and prosperous economies. Forests will be more important than ever as the world population climbs to 8.5 billion by 2030.

The Ancient Maori Trail into the Kaimais


30 thoughts on “The Tuahu Kauri and Sentinel Rock trail”

  1. Fantastic views well worth the hike!! And what’s even better – I get to enjoy them by sitting on my coach and reading your blog! 😄😉
    And I couldn’t agree more about the importance of healthy forests! Trees are what keeps us alive!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love your tramping pictures, Suzanne! And I didn’t know about International Forest Day, I am going to have to remember for next year (and making a post about it). Looking forward to more of your hikes (tramps)!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Snap! Just finished writing you a message 😊 Thanks Sam, and I’m happy to hear you’re enjoying learning more about NZ. Most of us Kiwis are very keen outdoors people in one way or another. I’m so pleased too that the Kauris are getting special attention.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. The Kaimai area has quite a few walks that are bush covered. I do enjoy walking those during summer. Will be interesting to see how I go walking them during the winter months!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Usually more rainfall does occur through the winter months though each winter is different! This year will be our first winter here for four years. We do live in a mild climate, where the temperatures very rarely go below zero and the high will be around 10 to 15 deg Celsius.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Donna, lovely to have you join me! I haven’t been on one for a few weeks though did have enjoy walks with a friend on our trip down in Dunedin. The hills down there are steep and good training for hiking!


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