Mount Ngongotahā is a volcanic dome that sits 757 metres above sea level and overlooks the city of Rotorua.
The Nature Loop Track on the mountain is a short walk, perfect for families or school groups looking for a great walk close to town. The track is a circular loop with gentle grades and even surfaces, and showcases the beautiful flora and fauna of this maunga.
The first part of the track follows an easy grade through unlogged native bush and, about 10 minutes into the bush, visitors can see one of the largest rātā trees in the Bay of Plenty. Affectionately known to locals as “Pat”, native birds such as kaka (parrot), tui and korimako (bellbirds) love the nectar of the rātā flowers.
The Mt Ngongotaha Bush Restoration Trust has worked hard to protect “Pat” by adding a viewing platform to give visitors a closer perspective of the tree without damaging its roots. A metal plate surrounds the trunk to stop possums climbing the tree and eating its leaves which can kill the trees.
Past this tree, a sign-posted intersection directs you to where the Nature Loop Track begins.
After 1.3km, the Nature Loop Track crosses the Jubilee Track. The Loop Track continues on, looping back onto the Jubilee Track after a further 1.2km.
To get there:
This track starts from the Violet Bonnington Reserve located at the Rotorua end of Paradise Valley Road. It is a 15-minute drive from the city centre. For more information on the trail, click here.