Mount Pirongia is a distinctive Waikato landmark. Its many peaks are actually volcanic cones created by successive eruptions about 2.5 million years ago.
Mangakara Nature Walk
The Mangakara Nature Walk on Mount Pirongia is an enjoyable one hour circuit through native forest. Perfect for children, the easy track meanders through ancient forest past large rimu, kahikatea, tawa, pukatea and kohekohe trees and crosses over the Mangakara stream before looping back around. Educational signs describe point of interest and the mountains history along the way with something new to discover at each station.
There are numerous tracks to the summit. Mahaukura – Tirohanga Circuit (8–11 hours) is a longer distance but with a gradual climb. This track is well signposted with bright orange plastic markers, but considered difficult. It leads through many steep sections but gives excellent views from Wharauroa lookout, Mahaukura peak (899 m) and Tirohanga peak. In winter and after rain the track becomes muddy and slippery. There are many narrow sections with a tangle of tree roots and rocks. There is a lookout platform on Pirongia summit from where it is possible to spot Mount Taranaki summit and Mount Ruapehu summit on a clear day. On the west side there are Kawhia and Raglan harbours.