The Taraire Ridge Loop trtack and the Pukenui Loop track are located just outside of Whangarei in the Northland Region, the loop walks are part of the large Pukenui Forest Park which is mostly broad leaf forest with large native trees like the Kauri and Totara mixed in.
The main access point to the loop walks are off Three Mile Bush road just where there is a designated carpark the access to the start of the loops is across private land where the land owners have allowed foot access to the start of the loop walks.
The Taraire Ridge walk starts around 15 minutes from the carpark this track is not maintained and with a clay based surface can be slippery when there is rain this is the most dificult of the two tracks, from the start a short climb up a ridge line then a dip down a steep section into the valley wiil see you at a small stream.
From the stream the track rises steeply up the second section of the ridge line and with tree roots and patches of slippery mud thrown in can be a little dificult at times, around forty minutes later the track levels out and leads you through some stunning native trees with Totara and Kauri.
Further on the Taraire Ridge Loop track meets at an intersection where you have two options you can walk to the Whau Valley Dam or carry on to the intersection of the Pukenui Loop Walk this forms a figure eight you can return to the carpark or carry on the Pukenui Loop track then back to the carpark.
The Taraire Ridge Loop Track will take around four or five hours in favorable conditions heavy rain will turn the track into mud this is a moderate to easy walk, the Pukenui Loop Track will take around three or four hours this track is more maintained and stable than the ridge line walk and is suitable for all the family this walk is easy and not demanding.
Pukenui Forest Park