Herekino Forest is home to many rare and threatened species, including the North Island brown kiwi, and small populations of kauri snail.
View of Herekino Forest
The endangered short and long tailed bat are reported to be scattered throughout this conservation park.
This area is characterised by an unusual combination of forest vegetation.
Herekino Forest is known locally as Orowhana, and the saddle as Te Arai, the door. It is believed to be the place spirits pause before heading along Te Ara Wairua (the spiritual pathway) up to Te Rerenga Wairua (Cape Reinga), the leaping place of spirits departing to their homeland of Hawaiiki-A-Nui.
A track leads through the forest forming part of the Te Araroa Pathway - a system of walks that extend along the length of New Zealand.
Herekino Forest is unique
The area is home to a great range of vegetation from dense low altitude taraire forest to high altitude catchment areas where you can see northern rata and tree ferns. In some areas, you will find kauri forest encompassing tanekaha, kanuka and rewarewa, while on the central and southwestern ridges the mighty kauri dominates.
Plants and animals
Inside Herekino Forest
Herekino is the natural home of native birds such as North Island brown kiwi, kūkupa (New Zealand pigeon), and the pied tit. More common native birds such as tui and fantail are readily seen and heard within the forest.
Small populations of kauri snail call Herekino home. The endangered short and long tailed bat are reported to be scattered throughout this conservation park.
The Department along with help from the Herekino Landcare Trust carries out pest control at key sites to reduce numbers of introduced weeds that threaten forest health and the ongoing survival of our native species.
Herekino is situated in the Far North, 26 km south-west of Kaitaia.
Your best access into Herekino Forest is from Kaitaia-Awaroa Road. From Kaitaia head along Pukepoto Rd towards Ahipara, continue on to Kaitaia-Awaroa Road. At Wainui junction turn left. The entrance to the Herekino Forest Track is located and sign posted at the Herekino Gorge summit.
Bird and wildlife watching
Bird and wildlife watching
While exploring Herekino Forest, take the time out to stop and listen for the chorus of native birds found within the area.
The forests, gumlands and shrublands of the Herekino and Ahipara hunting blocks offer opportunities to hunt pigs and goats. A permit is required to hunt in the Herekino Conservation Area.
Tracks and walks
Kaitaia Walkway route begins in Kaitaia and leads to Diggers Valley. The route crosses the Herekino Forest Track.
Places to stay
There are no DOC-managed campsites near Herekino.
To find out about other accommodation options, contact the Kaitaia i-SITE visitor information centre. Visit their website: www.visitfarnorthnz.com or phone +64 9 408 0879.
Plan and prepare
Please note that the tramping tracks within Herekino Forest pass by sites of cultural and spiritual significance to local iwi. For this reason we ask that trampers please stay on the marked tracks.
Dogs are strictly prohibited on the access tracks and within the forest unless by special permit.
This area is known for its changeable “four seasons in one day” weather and because much of the terrain is rugged, trampers and walkers must travel prepared. Food and warm, waterproof clothing should be carried, even on short walks. Overnight parties should always include experienced trampers.
The emergency telephone number in New Zealand is 111. It is a free phone call. If you have an emergency and need a quick response from police, the fire service or ambulance, then dial 111
Tramping and safety links
Help stop kauri dieback
Kauri dieback disease is killing our native kauri. It spreads by soil movement, but you can help prevent it.
- Stay on the track and off kauri roots.
- Clean your gear before and after visiting kauri forests.
Visit the kauri dieback website for more information on how you can help.
Visit nearby: Ahipara or Kaitaia
Guides and commercial tourism providers