Pirongia summit via Bell & Tahuanui Tracks

Walking Trail

1 day 4 hrs - 2 days 10 hrs, medium difficulty

About the trail
Bell Track: 18.5km - Tahuanui Track: 10.7km.
Combine these tracks for an overnight circuit to Pahautea Hut and Mount Pirongia.

Dog friendly: No

Things to know

No Dogs allowed. The high level tracks on Pirongia follow steep-sided ridges. Water is difficult to find, especially in summer, so be sure to take sufficient drinking water with you. Because of poorly drained soils, the tracks can be very muddy, especial

Bell Track

  • Time: 6 - 10 hr one way
  • Distance: 18.5 km 

Follow the Nikau Walk on to the Bell Track and past the Kaniwhaniwha Caves. Cross the bridge near the big kahikatea and climb a spur to a series of clearings. The last clearing signposted as the halfway point has a small stream nearby and is a good campsite. The track becomes quite muddy at this point and continues along the ridge to the Cone (second highest point on the mountain) and then to Pahautea Hut. It is another 30 min to the summit of Pirongia.

Pahautea Hut

  • Category: Standard
  • Facilities: 20 bunk beds, mattresses, toilets - non-flush, water from tap - not treated, boil before use
  • Bookings not required - first come, first served

Tahuanui Track

  • Time: 4 - 5 hr one way
  • Distance: 10.7 km 

Follow the Nikau Walk to the campsite. The Tahuanui Track leaves the campsite beside the stream and climbs steadily up a ridge to join the Tirohanga Track before the summit.

This track is part of Te Araroa - New Zealand's trail from Cape Reinga to Bluff.

Getting there

These tracks are both accessed via the Nikau Walk, which starts from the Kaniwhaniwha carpark on Limeworks Loop Road.

From Hamilton take SH23 to Whatawhata. Turn left onto Te Pahu Road after the bridge over the Waipa River. Limeworks Loop Road is about 10.6 km on the right.

Know before you go

  • A good level of fitness is required for these tracks.
  • The high-level tracks on Pirongia follow steep-sided ridges. Water is difficult to find, especially in summer, so be sure to take sufficient drinking water with you.
  • Because of poorly drained soils, the tracks can be very muddy, especially after rain.

Before you go into the outdoors, tell someone your plans and leave a date to raise the alarm if you haven't returned. To do this, use the New Zealand Outdoors Intentions process (external site) on the AdventureSmart website. It is endorsed by New Zealand's search and rescue agencies and provides three simple options to tell someone you trust the details about your trip.

Source: Department of Conservation 

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