The Kaituna track in the Kahurangi National park and 15kms south of Collingwood links the Aorere Valley with the West Coast of Golden Bay.
The track begins at the popular bush café , The Naked Possum which is a welcomed stop after your walk.
The most popular part of the track is an easy 2 hour return walk to the Kaituna Forks following the original pack horse track to the Kaituna goldfields where you see old gold mining workings.
The native forest is beautiful and lush with magnificent specimens of Southern Rata, Rimu and Pukatea with a understory of ferns , palms and beech.
The gradient of the track is gentle and there are lovely views of the river valley and forest as you go.
At the forks if the day is warm there is a great spot to jump in and cool off !
For the more adventurous and experienced the track then climbs steeply and you follow a ‘route’ for another 7-8 hours to come out at Knuckle Hill , Westhaven Inlet.
It’s a great short walk for all ages, and immediately you feel like you’re in the middle of dense NZ native forest without going very far.
Access to the river is also easy at a couple of places.
Its especially vibrant in late December when the southern rata is in bloom.