Puketi Forest, along with Omahuta Forest, forms one of the largest contiguous tracts of native forest in New Zealand’s Northland. Puketi is easily accessible from the Bay of Islands and Hokianga Harbour. Access to the recreation facilities can be reached from State Highway 1 or the network of secondary roads that skirt the forest.
There is a camping ground at the Puketi Recreation Area off Waiare Road, an ideal base from which to explore the attractions in the forest. A 24-bunk trampers hut and cabins at the Puketi Recreation Area are available for public use. Bookings are essential through the Department of Conservation Bay of Islands Office in Kerikeri.
The old logging roads within the forest are suitable for adventurous mountain biking. Biking is permitted on Pirau Ridge and Mokau Roads only.
Please check for up to date track information at the Department of Conservation Bay of Islands Area Office, Landing Road, Kerikeri.
Puketi and Omahuta Forests are home to magnificent stands of kauri, which are threatened by the recently discovered kauri dieback disease. There are infected trees near the old Omahuta Forest headquarters site at the intersection of Omahuta Forest Road and Takeketiti Road, but Puketi Forest is believed to be free of the disease. Please help to keep it that way. The dieback organism is spread in soil and the risk of introducing it on boots and equipment is high. For that reason the Department of Conservation has closed several walking tracks in the forest. Other tracks with higher visitor numbers have been upgraded to reduce the risk and remain open.
The tracks that are open as of 10 July 2019 are described below and shown on the map.
You should contact the Department’s Bay of Islands Area Office in Landing Road, Kerikeri (phone 09 407 0300) to confirm that tracks are open and to get up to date information on track conditions before visiting the forest.
Please comply with signs and notices, ensure that all boots and equipment are clean of soil before entering the forest, use the hygiene stations when entering and leaving, and stay on the track.
Topographical maps (scale 1:50,000) are recommended for the more challenging tracks and routes. Puketi Forest is covered by Topographical Map 260-P05 “Kaikohe”, published by Land Information New Zealand and available from many booksellers, tourist information sites and Department of Conservation offices, or online from www.linz.govt.nz.