The Lindemann Pack Track

Easy 4 hours. Allow 6 or more hours if you want to doddle, explore old dams, paddle, botanise, or just sit and enjoy the peace and beauty of some of the pools.

This walk is a loop track, and is a pleasant days outing. Alternatively, if you want to just have a little stroll in the bush, it is the closest entrance to the Kaimai Forest Park to Katikati, being only 5 minutes drive from town.

The track was originally developed in the early 1900’s during the logging of kauri in the Wairoa headwaters area. Supplies were taken on pack horses along this track to the logging camps. As you do this walk, imagine loaded pack horses negotiating some of the stream crossings and gullies.

To get to the Lindemann Track, take the main road heading north from Katikati. About 1 km from town, turn into Lindemann Road which will be on your left, and keep going to the parking area at the end of the road. There is a picnic area there, with a spectacular view of the Tauranga harbour and the Bay of Plenty coast on a fine day. A toilet block is nearby too.

Enter through the gate and follow the farm track down the paddock (dodging the gorse) for about 100m, and on the fenceline on your left you’ll see a small gate. Go through the gate, and follow the track close to the fence through the second gateway and carry on up the track into the bush. Going up that grassy slope into the bush is as steep as the track gets, so don't get too worried - the rest of it is easier!

Just a note about those gateways - it is easy to miss them if you aren’t observant or if you are busy talking with others, and you’ll end up walking on down the farm track on the right to the river. Some people have even gone across the river and carried on following the bulldozer track along the fence line until it starts to loop around and then they realise there is no track into the bush. So look out for those small gateways!

The other thing to notice is that there is a track called the Ridge Track leading off to your left (under the ferns) between the first and second small gate. That is where you will come out at the end of your walk. There is no reason not to go around the Lindemann Loop by going that way, except that you will have a good uphill climb for about an hour. If you want to give your legs and lungs a good work out, go that way!

Back to the walk....The track winds along at a gentle gradient in and out of gullies. There are numerous small streams to cross but there is no need to get your feet wet, though take care in case the rocks are slippery. In the damp gullies there is usually an array of mosses and liverworts on the rocks and banks, and many of the streams have little pools and waterfalls.

On some of the exposed spurs shrubby rata can be found covered in orange-red flowers in the late summer and autumn. In the spring, green hooded orchids and spider orchids can be found alongside the track, as well as white flowered native irises.
From some vantage points on the track there are views out towards the coast, with the Bowentown entrance, Mayor Island and even White Island being visible. There are changes in vegetation, with beech trees appearing as you get closer to the Wairoa watershed. Unfortunately there are some rather large pines, self-sown many years ago, and in places there is also gorse. It is difficult to believe that nothing has ever been done about removing these foreign invaders of the native bush.

After about 2 hours there is a beautiful narrow gully with water trickling down a high waterfall, and dripping down off the liverwort-clad walls which are overhanging in parts. This would have to be the most beautiful spot in the Kaimais. Pause and enjoy it!

Shortly after that gully there is a junction in the track, where the Wairoa Track comes from the north to meet the Lindemann Pack Track. Follow the signs south to the dams and the Ridge track.Take care on some of the smooth parts of the track - they can be very slippery if damp. In various places beside the track there are remains of large kauri stumps and logs.

After about half an hour of going in and out of small gullies - one of which has a particularly beautiful pool - there is another junction with signposts, pointing to Cashmore's Clearing and a dam. If you have time, explore and check out the remains of the dam.

About 200m back before the junction there are the remains of a wooden hut on the left, several metres off the track.There is no hut to see as such - just 3 posts still standing, and a few other pieces of timber with nails still visible. Unless someone has shifted it, there is a brown painted post (a DOC sign post) lying near the edge of the track and the hut remains are a few metres into bush to the east of this post. This hut was the cookhouse for one of the logging camps.

Continuing southwards, the track passes the rotting remains of an enormous kauri log which would have been over 3m in diameter. Its centre is well rotted and hollow. Perhaps it was already rotting when it was felled, and for that reason it was simply left there. Further on, the track follows a man-made water course, where water was diverted from one stream to feed into another, and soon the remains of another dam come into view.

From there the track continues through some dense damp bush, with the some boards to prevent too much damage to some of the softer muddy parts of the track. Eventually the track starts descending. Take extra care if the track is damp, as some of those little steep parts can be dangerously slippery. After about 45 minutes of mostly steep downhill you will arrive back at the carpark at the end of Lindemann Rd.

Your feet might complain, but in your mind there will be pleasant memories as there is something for everyone to enjoy and appreciate on this bush walk - the historical relics, the plant life, the bird sounds, the quiet pools, the waterfalls.....

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