Mangawhero Forest Walk and Rimu Walk

6 Ohakune Mountain Rd, Ohakune

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These two tracks begin at the same place, at the bottom of the Ohakune Mountain Road.

The 15 minute Rimu Walk, meandering gently through an understorey of ground ferns and kamahi and crisscrossing a quiet mountain stream, is a separate loop off the main Mangawhero Forest Walk. The high quality surface allows access for wheelchairs and pushchairs.

The Mangawhero Forest Walk begins by crossing the Mangawhero River from which it gains its name. Running over a bed of red tinged rocks, this river starts high up Mount Ruapehu and descends over two giant waterfalls, carving its way through the debris of previous eruptions. Following a faultline down the mountain the Mangawhero eventually joins the Whangaehu River.

From the river the track leads into a forest of kamahi, broadleaf and five finger, with giant rimu, matai and kahikatea trees reaching 30 metres or more above the forest floor.

Immediately after passing through a large cut fallen log the track crosses a large volcanic crater. The long process of infilling this volcanic vent has reached the stage where water, still lying close to the surface is able to support a swamp-type forest. The buttressed kahikatea, New Zealand’s tallest tree, will tolerate continually wet feet, while its close relative, the rimu, prefers drier places at the edge of this crater. A similar vent, a short distance to the west, supports an earlier stage of forest development.

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