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Pureora Forest, Ngaroma Road 4wd Park
The Northern block of Pureora Forest available for 4wd access, aka "The Block"





Northern block of Pureora Forest

Commonly known as "The Ngaroma Road Block" or sometimes just "The Block".
This area is regularly used by the 4WD clubs from the King country and the Taupo 4wd Club. Due to the difficulty of accessing DoC managed property for authorised 4WD use it was expected that this new area would attract 4WD clubs like Bees to Honey but it hasn't really attracted 4WD clubs as much as Alan Mans from the King Country 4WD Club and the Taupo 4WD Club had thought it would in these days of restricted access concerns.
Some of the feedback that has trickled back from some clubs has confused the Taupo and the King Country 4WD Clubs especially coming from groups of 4wd enthusiasts looking for a backcountry experience?  A small group of people from certain NI clubs (I don't believe the whole club as such) still tend to hammer the "older" spots in the main Pureora Forest Park that they've always done and don't pay much attention to the new block that has been created to relieve pressure on those older spots.

The area doesn't require any permits or permission from any parties. It is public land on DoC estate.  Firearms, dogs and believe it or not horses are the only things that require you to obtain a DoC permit. It is open all year round - no winter closures necessary.  The 21 km access road in is all public access and in good nick and open all winter (passable by 2wd).

It may seem shorter and easier on a map to get access from the northeastern edge of the park - it isn't.  The owner of the land currently does not allow access across his property to the forestry block. Negotiations are currently underway with him for a shortcut to the block in the future. Access via the southern entrance off SH 30 is guaranteed.

The local DoC office has been very helpful in helping to set up the block for 4WD use. This part of the park was chosen for a few reasons that which follow.

To create a brand new 4wd area on DoC estate wasn't going to be easy and wasn't going to happen in any existing native forest area, so the only areas available would be cut over exotic areas.  So this area was chosen because of the land contour, cell phone coverage at the trig (for safety), water, soil type and location. Location being quite important as the area is secluded and away from the public eye (We've had no negative comments on 4wd activity from the public or DoC). It will never change ownership - some of the inviting areas of cut over forest which you drive through to get to the block look good and are closer to the main road but are land parcels sitting in limbo which may be used for land settlements. This has happened in the Link Road area of the park (which had a huge amount of 4wd tracks and is now locked away).  The location also has a lower conservation importance than other areas, although in saying that the main Kokako monitoring area of the park is quite close and is why use of other tracks by 4WD’s in the area other than the access track into the block is discouraged (they aren't good 4wd tracks any way).

The area is to be left to slowly self-regenerate to native bush by DoC so that tracks have now been established before the regrowth of the bush to keep then open.  The block will not be replanted in pines. The pines trees now seen in the block are wilding self-sown pines and are to be removed. Many have already been cut down or pulled out, so help yourself if you get the urge.

Current block conditions are:

Good access road.  Extreme care needed on the first 8.5kms because of logging trucks and forestry operations, lights on.  Also watch for hunters and dogs on the road, on foot and in vehicles.  Some scratchy blackberries etc on the last 7kms of the access road and then also expect scratches on the 4WD tracks. You are encouraged to help to clear the scratchy blackberries back off the tracks.

Some tracks are a little faint but follow the wheel tracks once in the block and they will all link up.  Please do not create any more tracks or diversions around difficult parts or bogs, back track and use the next alternative route, there is no “dead ends” and you are never far away from a good return road.

When wet, the tracks are very slippery, true mud tires are required.  A winch is recommended. Care is needed and safety in numbers with someone staying back for recoveries if necessary. If in doubt about the depth of the water holes or bogs check first, a couple can be reasonably deep after rain. When wet the tracks can be grade 4 or higher in places, if dry about a grade 2/3.

Two to three days of dry weather improves traction greatly and most tracks are easily passable but some bog holes will challenge most trucks! A winch or tow may still be needed.

Care is needed around the two new culverts.  Repair any damage after the group has passed through and also damage by the weather and water run-off. Be sure to use a spade to divert water run-off and away from any wheel ruts left on culverts to protect them.

Cabin accommodation at Pureora park HQ is very good and affordable Ph (07) 878 1080 for bookings.

Local Accommodation

Pureora Forest Park Lodge.
Situated between Mangakino and Te Kuiti off SH 30. The Lodge offers everything from Self contained accommodation to dormitory style living arrangements.
The Lodge is close to many outdoor activites from Walking, Mountian bike riding and 4 Wheel Driving.
Booking can be made via: S Sands, PO Box 37, Te Kuiti.
Phone: (07) 878 6288 (non biz hours)
Mobile: 021 1049 707
Email: Pureora.forest.lodge@vodafone.co.nz
Or DoC on (07) 878 1080

How to get There:
                                                                                                        

  1. On State Highway 30 from Te Kuiti to Mangakino & linking onto SH 32 from Tokoroa.
  2. Approx 1.8 kms west of Barryville, GPS position: 2732100E, 6297705N.
  3. Look for signs indicating Pureora North Block Access and other logging company signs.
  4. Turn north on Waitaramoa Rd.
  5. Veer right onto Ngaroma Rd just before Otamaroa stream culvert, GPS Position, 272930E, 6304415N
  6. Pass the Ngaroma sign and continue to the 4WD zone.
  7. Distance of 21 kms from SH 30.

 How to get there, Click here for large scale map, 740 KB

Acknowledgements:

 

A large amount of work has gone into developing this new area by the King Country and Taupo 4WD clubs in association with the Dept of Conservation (DoC). The clubs have themselves contributed money and resources into clearing the tracks including weed spraying to kill gorse and blackberry bush to open the tracks up for your enjoyment.

For more information contact:
alanmans@paradise.net.nz
Phone: (07) 873 6338
Mobile: 021 900 582.

Article written and maps supplied by Alan Mans from the Kings Country 4wd Club.
Edited by Alan Hejl (tweaked a little) from the Auckland 4wd Club.

 Track Details, Click here for large scale map, 860 KB

For more information about Pureora Forest Park visit these websites.

Click Here for DoC info for Pureora Forest Park

Click Here for more info about the DoC cabins at Pureora Forest Park
Copyright Alan Hejl & Alan Mans, 2007
Use this information and maps at your own risk! I take NO responsibility for the information contained in this article as track conditions can change at any time.Go prepared for your trip. Arm yourself with the knowledge, experience and equipment for any bush excursion.This is a remote area so be smart and not DEAD! 
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Article added 24 July 2007. Updated 29.12.2009





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