The Puketoki Reserve

This reserve is in the Whakamarama area, between Tauranga and Katikati. It was donated to the Tauranga County by a Mr H.H. Sharplin in 1926.

The tracks are well maintained, with the Short Loop Track being gravel, while the Long Loop Track generally has a good dry surface to it. It is one bush reserve where you are allowed to take your dogs.

To get to it from Tauranga, drive north until you reach the Whakamarama shops - and turn left into Barretts Rd, immediately before the shops. Coming from Katikati, you will need to turn right just past the shops.

At the next intersection (only a short distance) turn left and then right another few hundred metres along. This is now Whakamarama Road and wends its way past farms and lifestyle blocks, climbing all the way. Some pleasant views of the Bay of Plenty and Kaimai Range can be seen on a clear day.


Approximately 6 km from the main road you will drive past a school. After another 1.5 km there is a road going to the left, Odey's Road, and a signpost to Puketoki Reserve.

Take this road, and after about 800m, you will see the parking area for the reserve. There is a toilet to the right of the track entrance.

About 20 or 30 m inside the bush, there is an intersection. It doesn't matter whether you do the tracks clockwise or anticlockwise. The Long Loop Track more or less follows the perimeter of the reserve and takes about 1hr 10 mins to do, unless you take the time to stop and look at plants etc.

The Short Loop Track provides a smaller circuit within the Long Loop Track, and takes about 20 minutes. It is a great track for young kids (or elderly folk who want to enjoy an easy stroll in the bush.)

In the summer, make sure the kids take their togs - they'll want to get into the streams for a dip!


Just inside the reserve, and in one or two other places you will be able to see the remnants of a tramway - a railway line used to remove the timber that was milled in the area in the 1920's-30's.

It is also worth making the effort to see the large rimu in the reserve. It is on the Long Loop Track, but you dont need to do the whole loop if you set off in the anticlockwise direction, in which case the return trip to the big rimu is probably less than half an hour.

At the parking area there is a barbecue area, and a river with swimming holes.

The Puketoki Reserve is a great place to have a day out with the kids (or a quiet stroll without them!).