“Epic redwoods, a thermal lake, a solid climb with views and some quick stream-side singletrack await”
— Dafydd Malcolm
Any restrictions will be on the billboards at the information center.
Features: Birding — River/Creek — Spring — Views
This loops gets a bit muddy and pondy after rain. You will need good tread on the steeper sections. Punga or fern strips over mud are best avoided under foot. The track is dual use from the second clearing down. The dirt road sections are generally a good running surface with some short rocky patches.
It's difficult to get lost here as the trail is signposted throughout with purple arrows. From the Redwoods Information Center, the track meanders through a grove of large Californian Redwoods and moves over a boardwalk crossing a thermal spring. The track turns left at the junction (400m), past a picnic area at the spring and up a wide track before turning off at a sign on the right-hand side (300m) denoting the Purple Track/Tokorangi Pa Track.
Take the right fork up the steps (700m), and you'll climb out on to the Tokorangi Pa Road with tree-framed views of Rotorua. Follow this 4WD track for 1km, climbing and dropping around the side of the hill until it touches the Tokorangi Skidder Rd. before immediately ducking left back into the bush and down the hill before climbing back up a steep hill to the Pa Site (1.5km).
From here, follow the track down to the left with more tree-framed views down to a second clearing (100m) and cut straight across to the track on the southwest corner leading down a steep, occasionally muddy, wide dual-use track to the Large Water Tank off Tarawera Road (700m). The track then ducks down "Lynmore Link" through a gully with split steps and a mountain bike trail and up the other side to the drinking fountain and pipeline bridge before joining Pipeline Road.
Turn right down Pipeline Road and follow it southwest for 900m before taking the right fork of the road down the hill then leaving the road at the second (or first) singletrack that leaves the road on the left hand side (25m). Follow the moderately steep downhill singletrack down to "the wash" stream at the bottom of the gully and follow it left and west.
Two tracks follow either side of the stream but join on the right further along before winding along next to the stream then climbing up the left bank and joining with the Wash Road about 300m above the stream.
Follow the Wash Road right and west for 700m and then at the bottom of the hill at the intersection of Spruce Road on the right, cut across at the diagonal and follow the singletrack to the base of Cardiac Steps which wind and climb up to join the end of a dirt access road.
Turn right and follow the wire fence along to join with Katore Road. Follow Katore Rd. downhill for 700m then head right onto Nursery Road which will eventually become tarseal at the bottom of the hill. Run around the white vehicle gate and then after 60m duck back into the forest on your right and take the left track to reconnect with the boardwalk and return to the information center.
Flora & Fauna
Californian Redwood, Douglas Firm European Larch, Walnut, various Eucalyptus into Native Bush.