Te Rereatukaiha Hut is in the Kaimai Range and on the main North South track
You can walk the complete loop walk in a day, but it’s a big day, so leave early. However, if it’s been raining you’ll probably have to turn back at the hut as the stream will be too deep to cross. Driving time to the start of the track will take you approximately 40 minutes from downtown Tauranga.
Or make an overnight stay at Te Rereatukaiha hut, it’s in really good shape, nice and clean with 12 bunks to choose from. You’ll need to book beforehand on the DOC site here.
This walk uses the same Tuahu Summit Track to the top. It’s an excellent walk too if you’re on more limited time.
Update: Te Rereatukaiha Hut is currently closed due to kauri disease protection.
Quick Facts about this walk
- Location: Hot Springs Rd near Katikati, North Island, NZ
- Distance: 13 km
- Time needed: 5 hours at a good pace, no stops
- Difficulty: Medium
- Wheelchair Access: No
- Route: Round Trip
- Elevation: 630m
- Wet Feet: Yes
- Toilets: Yes
- Dogs: Not allowed
- Mobile Coverage: Yes
Summary points about this walk
Descrpition of the full walk
Start on the Tuahu Walkway
The start of the Tuahu Walkway is a 5.5km drive to the end of Hot Springs Road, and a total of 8km south of Katikati. There is plenty of room to park the car.
Walking to the North South Track
You should reach the North South Track in around 1 hour 50 minutes. Hopefully, you have chosen a nice fine day with no rain for an easy rock hop across the Rereatukahia Stream.
You can see from the photo of me on the log that the stream was very low and easy to cross on my walk. The water here is crystal clear. Not sure if I’d be keen enough to drink it though.
Arriving at Te Rereatukaiha Hut
Now the fun starts. When you meet up with the North South track turn to the left.
From here, there will be a few small ups and downs and the bush starts to close in. 10 minutes into the walk you will come across two clearings, give the first one a miss and walk on to the second clearing.
This is a good spot to stop for a break and enjoy the view of the mighty Waikato to the West and Te Aroha to the North.
The clearing is all that is left of the early days of farming. You will see the old fence line as you walk to the Rereatukaiha Hut. North of the clearings the track will close in and will be quite rough.
20 minutes before the hut you will walk along a flat area. This section will be very deep in mud after a good day of heavy rain, I give this section two to three days to dry out before going on this walk.
The last 5 minutes are very rutted out and slippery so take it easy. 20m before the hut on your left is the continuation of the track, otherwise, it is a good walk with good views looking north, south, east and west on a fine day.
The Hut has always been in a clean and tidy state on my run around the track.
Watch out for the river Crossing
This is where my light pair of rugby boots pay off, they give me a very good grip on the steep descents.
20m from the hut take the turnoff on your right. The first 100m can be boggy. Then there is a short drop down into the bush, then you are on your way downhill most of the time.
There are two hills to climb and a track on your left that will run you out to Waitawheta Road, give this track a miss.
The last descent is very interesting, it is steep and slippery after rain but you will pass through two good groves of Kauri trees, if you can stop your fast descent here, have a look around.
One more river to cross ten minutes from the car park. You will get your boots wet on a good day but on a rainy day, I WOULD GIVE THIS CROSSING A MISS IF YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN, you will get more than your boots wet.
When you reach the road turn to your right the car is only five minutes away.