Ratapihipihi Scenic Reserve Track- Nikau Loop Walk


Here you will see an outstanding example of a lush, temperate rainforest with kohekohe, tawa, pukatea and nikau palms.

To the left of the lawn is a small wooden gate that leads you into the forest. Here you’ll see the glossy leaves of the kohekohe which bring a tropical look to the forest. This track is well graded, though steep in places. Follow it to the valley floor where you will cross the stream and its tributaries a few times while surrounded by a stunning coastal forest.

A small scenic waterfall presents a lovely photo opportunity only a few metres beyond the first track exit back to your start point. A steady stream of timber was taken from this area, first to build a schooner to take goods to Sydney and later to build bridges. A sharp eye may spot some of the old sawpit holes either side of the track.

As you make your way downstream, pukatea and nikau palms fill this damper environment. Look for the unusual shapes that some of the trees have grown into. The tawa in particular have elbows, multi-trunks and even a window. They’re the dominant canopy trees.

As you come around the edge of the forest at the track’s end you can see a wall of foliage that comes out to meet the light. In here are trees that were planted in earlier years, to represent trees from outside the region. These include kauri, beech and tanekaha. With its nikau palms and dappled light, this track looks like a walk in the tropics. It’s well worth a visit.

Contact Details

Physical Address

Ratapihipihi Road, Hurworth, New Plymouth