Kaimai Ranges

The Kaimai Range is 37,000 hectares, spanning from Paeroa to Rotorua, it is one of the largest forest parks in the whole of the New Zealand. It is full of beautiful scenery with a wide range of wildlife, from Bellbirds to the pesky marsupials. It also has a lot of history linked to the following:

Highest peak:
Highest peak is Mount Te Aroha, reaching up to a height of 952 metres high. With many walks, and on a clear day is is possible to see Mt Ruapehu and the Matamata valley.
Mt Te Aroha has five different tracks around Mt TeAroha and is one of the icons of the Kaimai Range.

Crash site:

A flight from Auckland to Tauranga turned into a disaster. It all started in 1963 on a foggy morning, the pilot decided to lower the plane for landing, but he lowered far too early and it smashed into a gully in the the Kaimai Range. All 23 passengers and staff on board were killed. It was the first helicopter rescue in New Zealand because the bush was too dense to get the medics up there fast enough. There is a memorial in line with the crash today beside the road side on State Highway 2.

The Kaimai Tunnel:
The Kaimai tunnel was built on the 12th of September, 1978. It runs straight through the Kaimai Ranges with a length of 8.9 kms of tunnel linking the Waikato to the Bay of Plenty. To build the Kaimai tunnel cost a total of 56 million dollars. It was built for the purpose of carrying passengers and freight.

Wairere Falls:
Wairere Falls is the highest waterfall in the North Island. It is 153 metre drop in two steps over the Kaimai cliff The waterfall is located between Te Aroha and Matamata. There is a walk leading up to the look out and further up, the Wairere Falls. There is also an old Māori track that is linked to the main track. It is located at the end of Goodwin Road. Deer and pigs can be seen near the track as well as a variety of birds which makes it a good hot spot for all of those hunters that are keen on hunting.

Photo credits:

Mt Te Aroha http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-visit/bay-of-plenty/tauranga-area/mount-te-aroha/
'Kaimai air crash memorial', URL: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/media/photo/kaimai-air-crash-memorial, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 11-Apr-2014
"Wairere Falls - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia." 2009. 12 Nov. 2014 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wairere_Falls>