Te Araroa trust has just opened the Kerikeri track as a significant extension to the existing 3.5-km DOC Kerikeri River Track. Trampers who use the track simply as a day-walk from Kerikeri can now double that distance, 7 km through to SH10. More ambitious day-walkers can venture another 5 km on to Maungaparerua (241 m) and a wide outlook over the Bay of Islands.
The new track is part of the 200-km ‘Ocean to Ocean’ Te Araroa section, Ahipara to Kerikeri. Te Araroa through-walkers will come onto the track from the north-western end at Puketi Forest HQ, then follow Waiare Road for 1.5 km, before crossing onto Landcorp’s Puketotara Farm. Expect some attention from the farm’s curious heifers. The track then breaks out onto Mangakaretu Road before re-entering the Landcorp farm, sidling around Maungaparerua and dropping steeply down to Maungaparerua Stream. The track crosses private farmland as it follows the stream to the Kerikeri River. It then follows the river downstream on the true right, crossing on a new swingbridge, then ducking under the SH10 highway bridge to continue following the river on the true left through totara groves to a DOC viewing platform at Rainbow Falls. The preexisting DOC track then leads through bush and past an old hydro-electric plant, 3.5 km to Kerikeri Basin Recreation Reserve, Kemp House and the Old Stone Store.