The Whirinaki Forest is an amazing place, much loved by our many European tourists who arrive each year from such diverse places as France, Italy, Switzerland, through to Denmark, England and Wales!
It's no wonder, the many different facets it provides enchant all who visit and many return, year after year. Some of the unique offers are listed below:
- A unique spot in the Whirinaki Forest is the Arohaki Lagoon, a rainfed waterway which is home to a number of rare birds.
- Access is via River road, off Old Te Whaiti Road, to the Arohaki Lagoon carpark.
- You should have a reasonable level of fitness for the four km walk, as the terrain ranges from steep uplands to flats.
- Birdlife includes rare species, especially the whio (blue duck), North Island kaka, red and yellow crowned kakariki, kiwi and kereru. The track passes through impressive tawa/podocarp forest.
- The rain fed lagoon is surrounded by towering kahikatea and is often alive with frogs - and in times of drought, appears to dry up. Even so, it remains an interesting place to visit.
One of New Zealand's endangered parrots and one that is closely related to the big alpine parrot the kea, the kaka has a natural home in the Whirinaki Forest, one of the few places it can be found in any number in the North Island. This is given that the environment of the rainforest is in a relatively unchanged state, along with succcessful programmes to eradicate introduced predators such as stoats and possums. The Department of Conservation runs guided tours into the forest to see these wonderful birds in their natural surroundings; these can be booked at DoC's Murupara office.
The track passes through impressive tawa/podocarp forest.
The rain fed lagoon is surrounded by towering kahikatea and is often alive with frogs - and in times of drought, appears to dry up. Even so, it remains an interesting place to visit.
The Whirinaki Forest Mountain Bike Track was purpose built in 2006 and weaves through one of the most spectacular and ancient forests in the world.
The track is designed for the eco mountain bike rider and requires a medium fitness and skill level (grade 2 - 3). The track is 16 km and most people complete it in 2 - 4 hours. Shorter sections of the track can also be ridden.
One of the best loved walking tracks in the Whirinaki Forest is the easy loop track that takes you to the beautiful Whirinaki Waterfalls. It is about a four hour trek, being just over 9kms from the carpark area. The falls can be heard from some distance away. On the way to them, you can see the ancient native trees of tawa, kahikatea, rimu, matai, miro and totara.