Karangahake is nestled in the scenic Karangahake Gorge, between Paeroa and Waihi. There are many tracks in this area and we recommend that you take in more than just bagging the peak on your journey. The ‘windows walk’ sees you head through old gold tunnels and is definitely worth a detour. Check out the signage at the car park for directions.
|Elevation||544 m (1,785 ft)|
|Location/List||North Island, New Zealand|
|Nearest Town/s||Paeroa and Waihi|
There are 4 entries on SH2 in the Karangahake Gorge to various tracks and attractions. The one you want is Karangahake Reserve which offers a major carpark on the south side of the road opposite the road that heads up to Ohinemuri winery. There is plenty of good parking, toilets etc here.
NZ Topographic Map
Our Recommended Route
The first step is to cross the river over the foot bridge. Once you cross you almost immediately hit a left or right decision but don’t be fooled. The track you want is neither, it is ahead of you and then heads up a bank to the right onto Scotsman’s Gully track. It’s not immediately obvious so look out!
Scotsman’s Gully is a beautiful graded path through some stunning bush on the banks of a flowing stream. It’s just a beauty, some of the best bush I have walked through.
Once you hit the end of this track turn left onto a metal road and carry on for about 15/20 minutes until Karangahake Mountain track appears on your right. The track here steepens a little and heads up through bush and grasses. The official DOC route (the one marked on our maps) follows this old bulldozed road up to the summit.
Optional Shortcut (marked in pink on topo map below):After a while, just past a long straight climb you come to a fork in the track which is not marked on the maps/ sign boards. At this fork go left, it looks a bit overgrown and grassy here but left you go. This is a much more direct and steep route to the summit rising up above the bush line giving some great views.
Warning: Shortcut track may be overgrown and not maintained. Use at own risk.
Near the top, you rejoin the ‘official’ track (take note as to where you pop out as its not so obvious heading back) and head left, dropping a little along a ridge before a short steep climb to the peak market by a fantastic trig. Return the way you came.
The alternative route down is to follow the mountain track straight instead of turning right to head down the way you came. It continues south for a while, drops and swings right around the south side of the mountain and skirts around the western faces as it heads back north to the car park. The south side of the mountain is pretty greasy and slippery even if not as steep. This route is also a lot longer.