Mt Te Aroha is the highest point in the Kaimai-Mamaku Forest, rising above the township of Te Aroha, with its location marked by the 126m antenna tower on its summit.
Location: Te Aroha, 53km North East. of Hamilton
Distance: Approx: 4.5 5km One Way.
Footwear: Hiking shoes or Hiking boots are highly recommend
Timing: Allow a Day – 3-4 hours to climb to the summit
Car Park: I recommend parking on Boundary street, just outside the road entrance to the Te Aroha domain, where there is more space. @(Degree’s)-37.543388, 175.714748
Track Start: @( Degree’s) -37.543784, 175.715721>(Blad spur/Whakapipi lookout/ Summit Tracks)
- Topographical Map: NZ Topo 50: BC 35
Track Manger: From the start to the Whakapipi lookout platform = Matamata – Piako district council, beyond is the Department of conservation.
Whakapipi Lookout Track
I always start this hike with an early morning drive from home, stopping for my favourite hiking breakfast on the road side as the sun comes about half way there to give it time get a little digested before the hiking starts.
On a clear day you can see the 125m transmission tower on the top of Mt Te Aroha, (your goal) which is the tallest point of the Kaimai Range, from some distance away across the plains.
Arriving in Te Aroha at 7 30 am, the town and car park was pretty quite, so after a quick stretch and warm up I grabbed my gear and head off up the track.
From the car park the first part of the track to the Whakapipi Look is a wide and well made track, zigzagging at a comfortable gradient up to look out point through Pine trees and Native rain forest.
This section of track always hosts an intriguing array of different coloured and shaped toad stalls.
Arriving at the Whakapipi lookout @350m above the Te Aroha Township the valley floor was completely obscured by a layer of puffy mist I had not even noticed in the car park.
Above the lookout the track becomes the Mt Te Aroha Summit track and enters the Kaimai-Mamaku Conservation Park. From here on the track quality drops back to a standard hiking track, with mud, roots and the odd scramble. This section of the track is best suited for hiking shoes or hiking boots.
The Bush in this upper section looks rough, twisted and shaggy covered in moss overcoats, commonly seen in cold wet areas on the upper hills.
Regardless of season, nearing the summit you will often notice a sharp drop in temperature. Always take a warm hat, mittens and jacket to the summit, particularly when the wind is blowing
Approaching the summit you will also be treated to the vibrating hum of wind blowing through the tower structure, particularly eerie on days when the tower is almost completely lost in low cloud.
The track exits the bush on to a tar seal road, right across from the transmission building on which the Mt Te Aroha tower stands. Follow the road up and to the back of the building and were a short track takes you the summit trig point(A38P) and on a clear day a 360 degree stunning view.
The trip point is in a perfect spot to stop for lunch and enjoy the view. On a cold and wet day however the entrance way to the transmission building is a far more attractive proposal.
Return is via the same tracks to the start. (I will add other alternative routes in future posts later) Don’t forget to stretch when you finish the track, and remember to keep drinking water on the way home to avoid stiff muscles.