Te toto Gorge, Te Toto Gorge carpark, Waanga Road, Mt Karioi, Karioi Rd, Ruapuke Rd, Mt Pirongia, Raglan, waikato, Karioi track,
Mt Karioi (Raglan)
Mt Kariori track is best as a 2 car arrangement.
We parked the first car where we intended to finish, at the Te
Toto Gorge carpark on Waanga Rd.
Then we headed in the second car to our starting point at Kariori
Rd carpark, which is off Ruapuke Rd.
We start out over farmland following a farm vehicle track on an easy upwards gradient. First is was through a paddock of cows, followed by a
paddock of sheep. The scenery of the farmland itself was quite beautiful with the large rocks and grassy valley paddocks which were before a backdrop of the rolling hills as well as Mt Pirongia and also out to the blue sea below & beyond. After about 15 or so minutes the track follows the fence line at a much steeper gradient offering more view with each step upwards.
Soon enough the track heads into the bush and the steep gradient continues. In parts, it flattens off and others it gets even steeper. Once in the bush, there are no view points, but there are plenty of great vibes with the surrounding ambient birdsong. Somewhere on our way up we found a kind of clearing and enjoyed morning tea, trackside. As the track gets higher we notice there is plenty of moss about on the trees, some of it hanging too.
Just over 1 ½ hours from starting out we reach a ladder. Upon climbing a spectacular view is revealed. After a second ladder we reached the summit where the panoramic views were absolutely stunning. From here we also got a pretty good idea of the tramping delights we had ahead of us, looking at the impressive contours of the mountain. We took a while to soak in our surroundings up hereenjoying the expansive distance that we could see. From here we followed a bit of exposed ridge for a bit before we headed back into the bush. After a while the track went over a large exposed slip. This spot had a commanding view over Raglan and up the west coast. We decided this was a great spot for lunch where we tucked into some delicious avo, feta, zucchini pickle & salad wraps.
After just over an hour from the summit we reached the other peak of Kariori which was covered by bush. Here there was a junction for a track on the right to a lookout point. Always keen on seeing sights, we headed right & downwards. After about 5 minutes or so we reached the lookout which was fairly similar to our lunch view, but had more room to look about so we could see more of the contours of the mountain as well as more of the sea. From here we back tracked to the junction, this time heading right & continuing on the Kariori Track.
Shortly after the junction the track gets very steep, where you’ll find yourself holding on to tree roots as you climb down. From here the fun begins. A little while after this first steep bit there is another part which is even more challenging and just about vertical. Here there are chains to assist you down, so it’s kind of like abseiling and it’s a pretty decent way
down. From here the track flattens off a wee bit as we walk along another ridge (a bit exposed in places, revealing more views) before it slopes upwards again.
After about 45 minutes from the last junction we find ourselves climbing up
another ladder to another exposed rocky bit. Here as you may have guessed, also has some pretty cool views. From here the track heads steadily downwards. The surrounding bush also has some lovely deep green bits about too along with a little more hanging moss too. After a while we come out of the bush for a while and the track takes us through long grass (almost tussock like) which is also exposed and is open to the view of the expansive Tasman Sea ahead of us.
We also get our first glimpse of the carpark in the distance. After a while a
fence line appears which the track follows for a while and the track is dirt
underfoot gets a tad steep again in parts. Also we find ourselves amongst
manuka & a few ponga and before we know it we come out at the road and
cross over to the carpark.
Total track time about 4 ½ hours.
Level of Difficulty
Easy with a couple of moderate bits
4.5 Hours (Autumn 2013)