The magnificent Canopy Walkway gives a rare view of the forest canopy. Rata and kiekie clamber up the tree fern caudices and you can look down onto the burst of nikau fronds below.
From Whangarei follow Bank Street and Mill Road then turn right into Whareora Road. The lower carpark is 1.5km on the left. The middle carpark, with disabled access to the Canopy Walkway, is 150 metres further up the hill and the upper carpark, with a lookout at the top of the Pukenui Falls, is a further 300 metres.
Apart from the steep section to the top of Pukenui Waterfall, the track is of an even gradient and the surface is mostly metalled. Frequent signposts mark the network of tracks through the forest.
From the lower carpark, cross the small footbridge over Waikoromiko Stream and follow the Elizabeth Track alongside the Hatea River.
Bear left along the McKinnon Track near the junction with the Canopy Walkway to Pukenui Falls. The track becomes steep and uneven to the top of the falls. The upper carpark has a 20-metre walk to a lookout at the top of the falls.
Return along the McKinnon Track and then follow the Alexander Walk. This takes in the elevated Canopy Walkway, which crosses the Waikoromiko Stream on a wooden walkway. Wheelchair access for the 10-minute loop around the Canopy Walkway is reached from the middle carpark.
Return to the lower carpark via the Alexander Walk.
Some substantial youthful kauri are a scant reminder of the forest which once clothed the region. With the crashing of the 24-metre-high Pukenui Falls nearby and the fresh smells of the forest, this is a memorable forest excursion.
The area was first inhabited by Ngati Tu and eventually conquered by Ngapuhi. Many chiefs were buried in the area because of its outstanding natural beauty.
A.H. Reed was born in London in 1875 and arrived in New Zealand in 1887. His father worked in the Northland gumfields, a profession A.H. Reed later took up. His formative years were spent in Whangarei.
With little formal education, A.H. Reed taught himself shorthand and after winning a job with an Auckland typewriter business moved to Dunedin. In 1907 the publishing house of A.H. and A.W. Reed was founded.
A.H. Reed wrote many works on New Zealand history and kauri, a tree for which he developed a special fondness.
Mr W.M. Fraser, a pre-World War 1 Kauri Bushmen’s Association member, proposed the renaming of the Parahaki Scenic Reserve for A.H. Reed. In recognition of the accolade, the sum of £25 per year was allocated from the Reed’s trust fund to ensure the maintenance and upkeep of the park.
North Island ▷ Northland ▷ Whangarei
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