Getting Tofrom The Tramp

Most of the tracks in the Kaimanawa Forest Park are isolated and difficult to reach without a vehicle. The Urchin-Umukarikari Circuit is the exception, located off a major road, SHI, and near a major town, just 15km south of Turangi.

From SHI, head east on Kaimanawa Rd and cross the bridge over the Tongariro River above the Waikato Falls. Beyond it, follow signs to either Urchin Track or Umukarikari Track. It is 8km from SHI to the start of the Urchin Track, ending with a steep climb along a rough gravel road. It is 6km between SH1 and the Umukarikari car park. For those who have to return to their vehicle at the end of the tramp, it's a 6km walk from one trailhead to the other.

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Urchin-Umukarikari Circuit

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InterCity (§ 07-386 8918; www.intercitycoaches .co.nz) will drop you off at the start of Kai-manawa Rd, but you have to clear it with the driver first and purchase the full fare for Turangi to Waiouru ($24, one hour, four a day). Alpine Scenic Tours (§ 07-378 7412; www .alpinescenictours.co.nz) will also drop off and pick up at the trailheads, but it is a flat fare of $100 for up to 10 people. For four or more trampers this would be the way to reach the tracks.

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