“The Mangakawa Walkway at Morere Springs Scenic Reserve, roughly 58km from Gisborne, is described by DoC (Department of Conservation) as “among the most diverse and beautiful of New Zealand's short bushwalks”.”
This track continues on from the easy, family-friendly 20-minute Nikau Loop Track and becomes a little more physically challenging with stream crossings, boulder hopping and high, steep steps but it’s easily managed in two hours if you have a reasonable level of fitness . . . and sturdy footwear.
There are bonuses on the Mangakawa Track. While your muscles may complain, you are walking alongside the pretty Mangakawa Stream in the dappled shade of a stunning virgin rainforest, a haven for a wide variety of native bird-life. It’s the perfect track on a hot summer day.
And another major plus of the Mangakawa, is that at the end of the hike, you can luxuriate in a refreshingly cool, outdoor pool at Morere Springs where the track begins and ends — or if it's a cold day, soak in one of the hot mineral pools. It's fascinating to see the source of the hot springs as the track takes you right past a pond where the hot water bubbles up and is then piped to the pools below.
The information panels along the way explain how early Maori used nikau palm leaves for thatching, basket-making, floor mats and wrapping food for cooking. They also name many of the other trees that surround you as you walk in the forest.
The scenic reserve, pools and track can be accessed via the Morere Hot Springs pool complex (entrance fees apply). Alternative free public access to the walking track is via Tunanui Road, about 1km north of the Morere Hot Springs entrance. The track entrance is 500m from SH2.
Access during wet weather may be difficult, so please check on track conditions at the Morere Hot Springs office.
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- Sun - Sat: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
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