Mnu MNU
About Us

Over the Mountain

There are ways to visit and experience Maungatautari at no cost. Please check out this page for more information.



The northern enclosure located at Hicks Road is able to be accessed by public. Parking for this area is located directly in front of Maungatautari marae at the base of the mountain. Please follow signs and do not park on private property near the entrance.

The entrance is surrounded by private farmland, so please use the available track and keep to the path. The path to the northern enclosure is roughly 1.5km on mountain terrain and also includes some steep areas. Please be careful when venturing to this area.

Dog's are not permitted in the sanctuary at any time to protect the native species living within the sanctuary.

There are outdoor (long-drop) bathrooms available within the northern enclosure, which are not actively monitored each day. Please take this into consideration when you are planning your day trip to the maunga.

The loop track within the northern enclosure is roughly 1.5km and takes an estimated 35 minutes to complete the track. Perfect for a day trip in Waipā.

The Wairere Traverse (Over The Mountain) Track is open from the northern side and takes approximately 5 hours to complete, north-to-south.

This area is a public reserve and is completely open to the public to enjoy year round.


Download the map of the mountain

Maungatautari Mountain – Allow 5-6 hours +

The Maungatautari Mountain track (Te Raki track and Te Tonga track) takes the historic route to Pukeatua Peak, from Hicks Road on the northern side to Pukeatua on the south. Walkers will enjoy wonderful views of the forest and lush Waikato landscape from the two southern peaks.

Caution: The ‘Over the Mountain’ track is not suitable for children under 12 years of age. This track is suitable for experienced hikers and adventurous walkers with a good level of fitness. This track is steep at times and will be very muddy and slippery in wet weather. This walk is available for independent walkers.

Toilets: There are no toilet facilities on the northern side of the mountain (Hicks Road). Bioloo composting toilet facilities are available outside the on the southern side (Tari Road, Pukeatua).

Please remember to check the weather before you head off on your tramp.

North to South on the over the mountain track (Te Raki track and Te Tonga track):

  • Park at the marae on Hicks Road (northern side of Maungatautari mountain) and walk to the track at the top of Hicks Road.

  • Walk 500m of gentle uphill using the track provided.
  • Enter the sanctuary through the ‘Over the Mountain Track Entrance’ gate (double door system)

*Biosecurity check – please ensure you check your bags for stowaway pests before you enter.

  • Walk along the back of the northern enclosure for 800m uphill until reaching the over the mountain turn-off.
  • Steep uphill walk for 1.5km climbing up tree roots and through mud – you’ll get muddy and sweaty!
  • There is a board walk at the top 400m to the summit. At the beginning of the boardwalk there is the option of heading down the stairs to the gravel track (Wairere Traverse – see below).
  • From here, there is a big drop down a muddy, slippery ridge and a couple of climbs to get to Pukeatua Peak with views to the central plateau.
  • Steep downhill, clambering down tree roots will get you to the saddle where you can join the gravel track (Wairere Traverse).
  • On the over the mountain track, climb the steep rocky path to the rocky outcrop to get the best views from the mountain of the central plateau, mount pirongia and mount taranaki.
  • A very steep descent gradually eases into a gentle downhill ridge to get to the gravel track after 1.5km.
  • Another 2 km down the gravel track brings you out to the southern side of the mountain.
  • The (Manu Tioriori) is 50m outside the gate.

Visitor Centre: Limited snacks, cold drinks, tea, coffee and a small selection of ice creams are available for purchase at the between 8:30am and 4:00pm.

Pukeatua Saddle return – Allow 2-3 hours or 7.3km 

  1. Park at the end of Tari Road (southern side of Maungatautari mountain).
  2. Walk past the Nganeko pou carving, through the wooden gates, and 20m up the gravel road to the Wairere Traverse - Over the Mountain Track gate.
  3. Enter the sanctuary through ‘Wairere Traverse - Over the Mountain Track Entrance’ gate (double door system).
  4. *Biosecurity check – please ensure you check your bags for stowaway pests before you enter. Follow the fence line for about 10 minutes while looking for kiwi footprints in puddles, also under the hood of the southern enclosure predator proof fence for wētā!
  5. Approximately 700m take the left turn-off continuing up Wairere Traverse – Over the Mountain Track.
  6. The historic Te Tonga Tramping Tack (to the east) begins approximately 1.8km into Wairere Traverse (to the west).  This track is more of a backcountry tramping track following unformed natural tracks, and orange triangles.  
  7. Climb up tree roots to the rocky outcrop to get the best views from the mountain of the Central Plateau, Mount Pirongia and Mount Taranaki.
  8. From the rocky outcrop continue a very steep 500m descent to Pukeatua saddle connecting Te Tonga Tramping Track with Wairere Traverse, below Pukeatua Peak.  There is a bench seat with partial views to the east and Waikato river.
  9. This is a good resting point before returning to Tari road via Wairere Traverse for a loop walk.  
  10. Alternatively stay on the Wairere Traverse, which is a wide gravel all-weather track heading to Pukeatua saddle and back for an easier tramp.

*Please take care on the Wairere Traverse on the way up to (and down from) the Saddle. It can be slippery in some places and there may be heavy machinery operating while we upgrade the track.

Maungatautari Peak return – Allow 5-6 hours or 14.6km

  1. Follow instruction 1-8 above to Pukeatua Saddle and the bench seat below Pukeatua Peak, approximately 1.5 hours or 3.6km into the tramp.  
  2. Pukeatua Saddle is a good resting point before continuing north ascending Pukeatua Peak on the historic Te Tonga Tramping Track.
  3. Climbing the 2nd highest point is a very steep climb, clambering over tree roots to Pukeatua Peak with partial views of the central plateau.
  4. From here, there are a couple of descents along a slippery ridge and a big climb up to Maungatautari Peak approximately 7.3km or 3 hours. 
  5. The trig station at Maungatautari Peak is marked as being 797m above sea level and submerged in bush.
  6. There is a picnic table to rest at before continuing north down Te Raki Tramping Track which is a boardwalk and stairs.
  7. At the bottom of the stairs take the Wairere Traverse gravel all-weather track on the left.  Returning to the southern side of Maungatautari and Tari Road car park in a loop walk.  
  8. Alternatively stay on Wairere Traverse gravel all-weather track to Te Raki Tamping Track.  Ascend the stairs to Maungatautari Peak and return to Tari Road car park on the same track for an easier tramp.

 

Wairere Traverse Over the Mountain return – Allow 12 hours or 22km 

  1. Ultra-marathon runners may like to warm up on the Wairere Traverse Over the Mountain Track that is a gravel all-weather track heading right the way over Maungatautari.  
  2. Please note that there is not a visitors centre on the northern side of Maungatautari. You will need to venture back over the mountain to retrieve your vehicle.

Manu Tīoriori Visitor Centre: Limited snacks, cold drinks, tea, coffee and a small selection of ice creams are available for purchase between 9.00am and 4:00pm.  My Vaccine Pass is required to enter the building.

Bioloo composting toilet facilities are available outside for all.

Link to other descriptions of the tracks:

http://nztramper.com/maungatautari-peak-over-the-mountain-track/

Our flora information

More information about our flora can be found here