Archives For Waikato

Spotless crakes/pūweto are a great indicator of the success of a wetland restoration. Ranger Rose has been monitoring pūweto in Waikato’s Peat Lakes where restoration work is being carried out.

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Come behind the scenes and into the jobs and personalities of the people who work at DOC. Today we profile Waikato ranger Michael Paviour.

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DOC Ranger Jane Hughes explores and measures the secretive world of the Whangamarino Wetland.

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For Lake Areare’s last planting day of the year, the support was so strong we weren’t sure if we had enough plants!

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To celebrate Conservation Week we have asked DOC staff to share with us their favourite local conservation spot. Today, Ranger Erana Stevens, introduces us to Waitomo’s Ruakuri Bush Walk.

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By Mark Menzies, Waikato Services Ranger

We know it as the Hakarimata Summit Track, but fitness nuts in the region call it The Huks! It’s one of the Waikato’s best outdoor gyms and much-loved by the local community.

From Brownlee Avenue, in Ngaruawahia, it’s 335 metre climb to the summit of the Hakarimata Range—with 1,349 steps in between.

View from the Hakarimata Summit Tower.

View from the Hakarimata Summit Tower

The summit view tower, at 374 metres above sea level, has amazing views of the Waikato Basin and down to Ruapehu on a clear day.

The track meets the Hakarimata Walkway and is also part of the Te Araroa Trail.

Upgraded in 2012, from a slippery die-hard trampers track to a walking track, the Hakarimata Summit Track now attracts over 50,000 people a year (and growing).

It sounds fantastic, and it is, but with all those walkers, the wear and tear of the steps and track sets in. So, how do you maintain and carry gravel up 1,349 steps?

Stairs up to the Hakarimata Summit.

Hakarimata Summit Track stair section

In steps Reg Hohaia, a local who started a fitness campaign after undergoing a hip replacement, walking the track every day—sometimes two or three times a day.

Reggie inspired others; he encouraged and pushed them to try the track. First by going quarter of the way up, then half the way up and, finally, with a big high five, laughter and cheer, they are standing on the summit of the Hakarimata Range.

Reg Hohaia at the summit of Hakarimata.

Reg Hohaia—the MAN

Reggie started doing a few jobs on the track: cleaning off graffiti, clearing a bit of vegetation, that sort of thing. Then he asked for a pile of track gravel to be left at the entrance!

The end result is a wonderful community partnership; a track that is maintained and looks fantastic; people exercising, saving the health board thousands; and happy DOC rangers thinking “where is the next spot this can work?” “where do we find another Reggie?”

Historic Advisor Neville Ritchie tells us the story behind Bog Inn Hut, in Pureora Forest.

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