From the historic Kemp House & Stone Store on Kerikeri Basin, leave Kerikeri Rd & follow the Kororipo Pa Track which curves around the headland to the SE. Once on the headland, follow the wide pasture track SW until a DOC marker post identifies a track heading SE down into a gully and over a pedestrian bridge to Pa Rd. Walk SE up Pa Rd & turn NE into Kerikeri Inlet Rd. Continue on for 2km to a forest gate & the northern end of Te Wairoa Rd - the start of the Waitangi Forest Track. This route is a mix of footpath, grass, easy walking track & road berm.
Waitangi Forest Track - 14.5km / 3hr
As it leaves Kerikeri Inlet Road the trail ascends gradually through young pines for 2.6km to a road junction. At this junction head W, leaving Te Wairoa Rd and onto Skyline Rd.
Skyline Rd twists and turns for 8.7km through the forest - keep a close eye on navigation, or use a GPS - to connect to Te Puke Rd.
The Waitangi Forest is a commercial forest, and forestry operations, including logging and log truck transport, are present in the forest most months of the year. The Skyline Road avoids the areas currently scheduled for logging – it is important to stick to this route. Heed all the signs and do not enter into areas that are marked as closed. If you encounter a road closed sign or banner across the road, it means you have left the designated walkway and are on the wrong route – retrace your steps until you are back on the Skyline road.
At this point, anyone with an interest in Te Araroa history may want to make a quick detour by turning NW up Te Puke Rd and a short way up you can see a plaque and the Te Araroa cairn, assembled from local volcanic rock by Kerikeri sculptor Chris Booth and restored in 2014, which marks the opening of this route - the very first Te Araroa track!
Turn SE onto Te Puke Rd and continue on 1km to pass Mt Bledisloe (105m) before turning East onto Haruru Falls Rd, leaving the forest behind you emerge onto Tau Henare Drive, Waitangi. Follow the road through the Waitangi Golf Course past the Waitangi Treaty grounds and continue down to the Waitangi Bridge.
Maintained by Te Araroa
Source: Walking Access Commission Ara Hīkoi Aotearoa / Creative Commons (Banner and hero image: 'Waka at Waitangi in the early morning' by Dirk Pons / Creative Commons)