Day 17 – Mangakino to Pureora

Lunch with an old tree

Date: 4 Feb
Grade: 2

Rather than take the official TA route (65 km with an extra 200 m climbing) we took the  wimps’ route to Pureora – 36 km of steady climb, much of it on the deserted rural Ranginui Road.

At the top end of this we passed through a stand of huge rimu and kahikatea – the fringe of the Pureora Forest a stark contrast with the farmland beside it, and a hint of what is to come.  Every time I come here I silently thank the protestors who saved this forest in the 70’s by camping high in the old trees.

Back on SH30 we spotted the small sign to Pouakani – the oldest and largest totara in the country. Keep the sign small please – this magnificent tree deserves to be left untouched and unexploited. The 20-minute track to it is just a blur on the forest floor; there are no safety rails or signs, and the two viewing platforms are respectfully distant and obviously respected by the few visitors who make the effort. We sat there uninterrupted and had lunch with the world’s oldest totara.

We’re staying at Pureora Forest cabins because kokako used to flock around and I’ve always wanted to see and hear them, but they’ve been moved to more remote areas due to out-of-control predators.  Another bucket-list item completed, even if unsuccessfully – we went for a crepuscular bush walk, and instead listened to the kaka squawking high above us.

Supplies: Nothing at all. Stock up before get here. Bed linen isn’t supplied either but we asked and the lovely Frances brought us a couple of duvets

Accommodation: Pureora Cabins

These videos are best viewed on a computer screen. Turning your phone sideways helps.

Total distance: 35.51 km
Max elevation: 567 m
Min elevation: 195 m
Total climbing: 679 m
Total descent: -376 m
Total time: 04:44:03
Download file: day17.gpx

Battery use: 65% | 406Wh


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