The 37,000 ha forest park is a living museum of natural and human history.The park marks the northern limit of kamahi, red and silver beech,and the southern limit of the huge kauri. Birdlife includes the fantail, North Island Robin,kereru (native pigeon), waxeye or silver-eye, tui and tomtit.
The areas protected by the Kaimai-Mamaku Forest Park are significant to the iwi of Tainui, Takitimu and Mataatua waka. To early Maori inhabitants and later Europeans, the Kaimai mountain range formed a barrier between the Bay of Plenty and Waikato regions. Traversed by rough tramping routes and later by access tracks for the logging and gold mining industries, the Kaimai Range now features over 360 km of walking and tramping tracks.
The high northern part of the Kaimai range is comprised of ancient volcanic rock which has been uplifted along the Hauraki fault line. The range is covered by a sheet of volcanic rock called ignimbrite. The Mamaku plateau to the south is a flat sheet of ignimbrite which erupted from the site of Lake Rotorua 140,000 years ago.
Flora & Fauna
The area hosts a great range of vegetation from dense low altitude forest to windblown scrub and grassland. The park marks the northern limit of kamahi, red beech and silver beech. It is the southern limit of the mighty kauri. This unusual combination of semi-coastal and montane plant species makes the forest composition unique and highly significant. The park is the natural home of native birds such as whitehead, whio/blue duck, kaka, kokako, kiwi and karearea/New Zealand falcon.
More common native birds such as tui and bellbirds are readily seen and heard from within the park. Small remnant populations of the endangered kiwi and kokako are found in the northern Mamaku. Small populations of the endangered Hochstetter's frog are found scattered throughout the northern half of the park. Introduced animal pests such as possums, goats, pigs, deer, mustelids and rats threaten forest health and the ongoing survival of native species. The Department carries out pest control at key sites and encourages recreational hunting to assist with pest control.
Kaimai Mamaku Forest Park can be accessed at various points along SH2 (between Tauranga and Katikati), SH 26 (10 kilometres south of Te Aroha) or SH 29 20 kilometres from Tauranga.
The Kaimai-Mamaku Forest Park stretches from Karangahake Gorge in the north, almost to Rotorua in the south. The park is bordered by State Highways 2, 26, 27, 29 and 36. The nearest towns are Paeroa, Waihi, Katikati, Tauranga, Matamata and Te Aroha. These are all serviced by regular buses, and Air New Zealand runs services to and from Tauranga airport.
Plan & Prepare
Safety is your responsibility
Before you go into the outdoors, tell someone your plans and leave a date to raise the alarm if you haven't returned. To do this, use the New Zealand Outdoors Intentions process on the AdventureSmart website. It is endorsed by New Zealand's search and rescue agencies and provides three simple options to tell someone you trust the details about your trip.