This track offers a great opportunity to hear the enchanting dawn chorus of New Zealand's native kōkako birds.
Kōkako are one of our most beautiful native songsters, with an amazing repertoire of clicks, buzzes and mews.
In the 1990s, the Department of Conservation (DOC) monitored the 803-hectare Kaharoa Conservation Area for several years and determined that pest control was critical for successful breeding of kōkako as their numbers had declined to just 26 birds. When DOC had insufficient funding to continue its efforts, Kaharoa locals got together, drafted an agreement with DOC, and in 1997 formed Kaharoa Kōkako Trust. Since then the kokako population has more than quadrupled to at least 170 living in the area.
The Kaharoa Kōkako Track, also known as Hollows Track, offers a great opportunity to hear and probably see these incredible birds hopping branch to branch or gliding around high in the canopy.
The track meanders its way down through beautiful forest to Onaia Stream, a tranquil and secluded spot ideal for a picnic.
Other native birds found in the area include tui, korimako (bellbird), morepork (our native owl), kererū (pigeon) and North Island brown kiwi.
The track is 2.4km round trip, takes around 45 minutes one way, and considered by DOC to be an advanced tramping track.
Dogs are not allowed.
More information can be found on DOC’s site here.
Kaharoa Conservation Area is approximately 36km northeast of Rotorua. Follow SH36 through Ngongotahā and Hamurana, and turn right onto Kaharoa Road, then left into Kapukapu Road. Near the end of Kapukapu Road there's a car park and interpretation kiosk about the area. The start of Kōkako Track is a 15-minute walk further along the road.