The Big Redwoods Track in Te Mata Park is 2.7km long and takes about an hour to walk. At the beginning it follows a similar route to the Karaka Wander. At the end it follows a route similar to Giant Circuit. In this post I haven’t included pics of a lot of things that are shared with tracks I’ve shown you in previous posts, but this track’s scenery is as epic as any in the park, and takes in both large redwood groves.
Te Mata Park’s mountain bike tracks really look like a lot of fun.
The Big Redwoods is a peaceful place with lots of space and lots of shade. A covered picnic area invites you to take a break, and stay for lunch.
These are the tallest and oldest redwoods in Te Mata Park.
There are the usual limestone cliffs, and other photogenic landscape.
Lemon-scented eucalyptus are beautiful trees and I’m glad I finally know them by name. These look like they’ve survived a fire.
Once the track joins with Giant Circuit it eventually passes one end of the other redwood grove, planted in 1974 by the Hastings Rotary Club.
I’ve returned often enough that every walk in Te Mata Park takes me to parts of the park that I’ve seen before, but they’re well worth revisiting. Every walk also shows me something new. This post doesn’t really do justice to Big Redwoods Track.
Near the end of Big Redwoods Track is that great lookout point over the Heretaunga Plains, worth posting again.
Please enjoy the full gallery of 8 pictures below.
My visits with redwood trees in Hawkes Bay made me nostalgic for the giant redwoods of California. The internet turned up this great page that contains some epic photos, the best of which I’m sharing with you below.
Like all of the top 5 walking tracks in Te Mata Park, other than Giant Circuit, walking Karaka Wander in a clockwise direction is recommended. The track starts left of the signboard at the Main Gates Car Park. It is estimated to take 1 hour 15 minutes.
I would soon be amongst those great limestone cliffs. Glimpses appear early, but this trail starts in the bush.
This walk is named for a grove of ~200 year old karaka trees along the way. Unfortunately I don’t recognize that tree well enough to know when I passed through that grove. I suspect it was early on.
Like the rest of Te Mata Park, this landscape looks best in panoramas.
A lot of the walk follows the same long valley, between the same two ridges.
The track emerges from the right side of the valley pictured below, and continues on the left side. The track in the middle is for mountain bikes. It looks like a lot of fun.
I crossed the road for a look at the now-familiar view over the Tukituki River from Saddle Lookout.
There aren’t many trees on this side of the valley, so there are lots of great views.
For me the highlight of this walk is the cliffs.
The last part of the track is back in the trees. If I recall correctly, the track shown below is another mountain bike track.
These days it seems that there is always a painted rock.
Te Mata Park has a great landscape. I’ve enjoyed every walk in the park so far. Considering how easy it is to get there I predict that it won’t take long for me to do all of the named walks. This park is also a big reminder that I need a mountain bike.
Please enjoy the full gallery of 17 pictures below. To view on imgur click here.
We both had the weekend off after arriving in southern Hawkes Bay, and it was a nice one. We returned to Te Mata Park and walked the Giant Circuit.
We followed the park website‘s recommendation that we walk the Giant Circuit in a counter-clockwise direction, unlike all of the other signposted walks in the park.
Very near the car park there is a platform with a great view to the north and east toward Hastings and Napier and the bay.
Te Mata Park is very accessible. It’s a large 99 hectare (about 245 acres) park with 5 well marked walks. It has an epic landscape, with forests and cliffs and great views of southern Hawkes Bay. The best views are from Te Mata Peak, the highest point in the park at 399 meters (about 436 yards)). The landscape demands that I shoot lots of panoramas, both horizontal and vertical.
I knew that we’d pass a grove of giant redwoods, and I thought we’d arrived when we reached the grove shown above. A plaque informed us that this grove was planted in 1974. The Giant Redwoods grove was planted in the 1930s. As I’ve come to realize, past residents of southern Hawkes Bay loved planting redwood trees.
Giant Circuit climbs steeply out of grove and valley to the top of the surrounding cliffs.
The track then follows the ridge along the western border of the park.
The redwoods in the Big Redwoods grove are a lot larger than the ones we saw earlier. The grove itself is larger too. There’s a 3rd redwood planting somewhere in Te Mata Park.
The track continues through a beautiful valley below some picturesque cliffs. This valley extends along most of the southern end of Te Mata Park. On the left, in the pic below, is one end of the ‘Hogs Back’ ridge whose opposite end is Te Mata Peak. The Rongakako Trail follows the top of this ridge.