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Touring Guide by Member Bryan Halliwell © 2009

Route B: Auckland to National Park via SH27, Tirau, Whakamaru and Tihoi

Leave SH1 at SH2 turnoff, before Pokeno. Take the SH27 turnoff, before Mangatarata and continue through Matamata, to join SH1 at Tirau. Then take SH1, through Putaruru, to Tokoroa. Turn right, onto SH32, which leads through Whakamaru, Tihoi, to Kuratau Junction. Take SH41 through Tokaanu, then turn right onto SH 47. SH48 turns off this, to Whakapapa, 9kms before National Park.


Hauraki Golf Club is on the corner of SH27 and SH2


Gliding and skydiving airfield. Kaimai Cheese Co (2 Hawes St), has a café, shop, museum and demonstrations.


Attractive town, Lord of the Rings Display, Opal Hot Springs pools, Firth Tower Museum, Wairere Falls (153m) is off Te Aroha-Gordon Rd, (Kaimai air crash memorial is close, also). Good golf course.


Okoroire Hotel is the base for golf, hot pools, Waihou River walk, trout fishing.

Te Waihou Walkway

Brilliant 90-min (one way) walkway. Arrange two cars, and start at the top, up Leslie Rd, off White's Rd, which links SH1 and SH5, 2km north of Putaruru. 65% of NZ's bottled water comes from these 'Blue Springs', which source the Waihou River. The clarity and colour will amaze you.


Corrugated Capital of NZ. Antique and other specialty shops and cafes.


Claimed to be 20 trout fishing streams and rivers within 20km from Putaruru. Timber Museum with café, 2kms east of the town.


Home to 16,000 people and the Kinleith Paper mill.
'Talking Poles' - 34 tall sculptures, representing aspects of life and culture in the District. Lake Moana Nui, - small lake, good for a stroll.


Lake Whakamaru, and the junction of SH 32 and SH30. SH30, eastwards, has outstanding lakefront reserve land, with good picnic spots.

Tihoi/Pureora Forest

Access from Kakaho Road, 5 kms north of Tihoi. This becomes Link Road, not shown on most maps, which gives a through road, from Tihoi to Pureora, on SH30. One hour Rimu Walk, 5kms in, and thirty minute Totara Walk, close to the Pureora Forest HQ, are outstanding. Pureora Forest has beautiful bush, even though spoilt in places by old clear felling and pine plantations.

Waihaha River, 5 kms south of Tihoi, has a riverside reserve, and outstanding walkway track, up the beautiful river, (three hours to DoC Waihaha hut). Pureora Access Road, 3 kms south of Tihoi also gives good access to the Forest, (after 5kms through farm), for an hour or two visit and walk.


Settlements well worth a leisurely sight-see. With more time, a lake-front walking track links all three.


Trout fishing, of course, in the many places you will know; rafting on the Tongariro River (Atirau Rd, Turangi); walking tracks (fishing access, also) are on both sides of the Tongariro River, from below the SH1 Bridge, to the Tongariro National Trout Centre, (which, also, should be visited), 5kms upstream. Wai Maori Rafting and Kayaking, Tokaanu Village, Tokaanu. Thermal Pools (and walk). Te Porere Redoubt, 15kms south west, on SH47. Lake Rotopounamu is a beautiful lake, off SH47, 5km south of the SH32 turn-off. 20 minutes to the Lake then 100 minutes to walk 'round it, if you have the time.

You can download a document file with all these routes for printing/saving.