This walk provides a good experience if you are wanting to learn more about New Zealand's native plants, as many of the plants along the way are named.
If you go walking in the evening, you may be treated to a display from the local glow-worms when you get to the first of the track's boardwalks.
The lower part of the track has an impressive stand of mature kahikatea as well as a diverse range of mosses and epiphytes. At the furthest point of the loop track, take time at the viewing platform to enjoy the grove of mature kauri trees.
If traveling south on SH10, Puketi Kauri Forest is signposted 2.4 km south of Kaeo. If driving north on SH10, 1 km north of Waipapa, turn left onto Pungaere Road and follow it for about 12 km (about 11 min drive).
At the T-intersection, turn left, and follow the road for about 750 m. Turn right at the DOC sign for Puketi Kauri Forest and continue a short distance to the Puketi Recreational Area. The Puketi Nature Trail starts at the information sign shelter near the Puketi Forest Hut.
History and culture
The Puketi Nature Trail gives you a glimpse of the 17,000-hectare Puketi/Omahuta Forest.
Most of the forest's upper reaches were logged in the last century and then farmed up until the early 1930s – some of the original totara fence strainers still stand near the track.
Know before you go
- No fires due to the risks to wildlife.
- Carry warm, waterproof clothing, and food and drink, even on short walks. Stout shoes or walking boots are advisable.
- Leaving vehicles at road ends overnight is not advisable due to the risk of theft.
- Before leaving for your walk, make sure your vehicle is locked and any valuables out of sight.
- Take care when you leave the state highways, as you will be traveling on unsealed roads.
Source: Department of Conservation (Banner image: 'Kauri tree' by Sheila Thomson / Creative Commons. Hero image: '0480 - Neuseeland 2017 - Puketi Kauri Forrest' by Uwe Brodrecht / Creative Commons)