As the highest point in the 94,000 ha Ruahine Forest Park, Mangaweka makes a great peak bagging destination. A tramp to Mangaweka’s summit will take you over beautiful rolling tussock tops, and through kaikawaka forest, as well as providing extensive views across the northern Ruahines.

List Status Official
Elevation 1,731 m (5,679 ft)
Location/List North Island, New Zealand
Region Taranaki/Wanganui/Manawatu
Location Coordinates 39° 49′ 4″ S, 176° 5′ 7″ E
Nearest Town/s Mangaweka
Range Ruahine Ranges
Geology Sedimentary
Translation manga:stream; weka: wood-hen; ‘creek of the woodhens’
Recommended Route
Duration Help.gif 10 hours (return)
Distance 16.3 km (10.1 mi)
Start/End Points Mangakukeke Rd
Difficulty Help.gif Hard
Track conditions Help.gif Marked Route, Unmarked Route, Mud, Stream/River Crossings
Season Help.gif November to April
Sights Views, Forest, Huts , Purity & Kelly Knight Huts, kaikawaka forest.
Hazards Alpine weather, Snow, Mist, High winds

Google Earth Map

NZ Topographic Map

Our Recommended Route

The quickest way to the summit of Mangaweka is to depart from the Mangakukeke road end carpark, and follow the marker poles across farmland and up to a spur. You will pass through beech forest, and about 2-3 hours after starting, you will reach Purity Hut (3 bunks).

From Purity Hut, the route emerges above the bushline, and then heads along a spur towards Wooden Peg (1.5 hours). At Wooden Peg, you turn towards the northeast and walk along the relatively flat tussock tops to the summit of Mangaweka, which is only 30 minutes from Wooden Peg. The return journey back to the carpark is of course a little faster.

Although it would be possible to bag Mangaweka in a single 9-10 hour day, it is probably better to make use of Purity Hut or find a camping spot to break the journey.

You should contact the DOC Palmerston North Area Office (+64 6 350 9700) before embarking on this tramp.