Take an opportunity to view acentral North Island forest park that is internationally renownedfor its magnificent podocarp forests.

The majestic trees are so ancient that the park has beendescribed as one of the best Mesozoic plant communities remainingon earth. The British botanist Dr David Bellamy has taken apersonal interest in the conservation of this forest.

The Whirinaki Forest Park lies between the Kaingaroa Forest andthe Te Urewera National Park. Access is via S.H.38 from Muruparaturning off just before Te Whaiti. Alternatively, throughKaingaroa Forest off S.H.38, where a complex system of loggingroads lead to several entry points. The park terrain varies fromgentle river flats to narrow gorges, waterfalls, and heavilydissected uplands with a forest cover of dense podocarps and highaltitude beech. The most striking feature of the forest is thedensity and size of the podocarp trees; kahikatea, totara, matai,rimu and miro. Bird life is abundant, especially the rare kakaand red and yellow crowned kakariki. The Whirinaki, Rangitaikiand Whaeo rivers have excellent trout fishing and deerstalking ispopular.

The park has some outstanding short bush walks close to the mainentry point via Te Whaiti. The Forest Sanctuary is an easy looptrack through a reserve of towering trees, and the WhirinakiWaterfall Track leads to this stunning waterfall. The ArahakiLagoon is a picturesque lake deep in the forest where statelykahikateas stand rooted in the water and the Te Whaiti-Nui-a-ToiCanyon is a spectacular rock-bound cascade. A very popular 4-5day tramp is the Whirinaki Circuit following the Whirinaki, TeHoe and Okahu rivers and exiting on Okahu Road east of Te Whaiti.

Whirinaki Forest Park is one of New Zealand’s most famousforest areas, with amazingly tall trees, cascading rivers and awide variety of habitats for wildlife.

The beauty of the forest is there for everyone to enjoy. Walk thetracks and savour nature’s bounty in this woodland paradise.