“Not everyone's idea of fun, this is a challenging ascent of Pirongia via the back cone.
— Kerry Suter
Birding · Cave · River/Creek · Views · Wildlife
This trail is muddy and 'technical' underfoot all times of the year and with no easy way out it should only be attempted by experienced trail runners or hikers. Some sections of tree fall may be difficult to navigate and off-track is very slow going.
Follow the Nikau Walk
on to the Bell Track and past the Kaniwhaniwha Caves. Cross the bridge near the big kahikatea and climb a spur to a series of clearings. The last clearing signposted as the halfway point has a small stream nearby and is a good campsite. The track becomes quite muddy at this point and continues along the ridge to the Cone (second highest point on the mountain) and then to Pahautea Hut. It is short distance to the summit of Pirongia.