Beautiful spring sunshine, great friends, our dog and a simply wonderful track and environment. Today we enjoyed walking the long-version of the Puhinui Stream Forest Loop – great native bush, parklands of Totara Park and a picnic – the kids even had a swim in the stream, not really a swimming paradise but lots of fun!
If you are looking for a fantastic family walk out south, this is one for you to enjoy. The bush includes large and mature native trees and the track through the bush is well maintained and full of interest. The southern part of the track is mostly flat and easy, while the return part of the loop is hilly.
The added attraction of this walk is immediate access to Totara Park and the Botanical Gardens. We enjoyed a great picnic on the grass next to a pond – our friends even bringing a camping gas cooker to make pancakes for lunch !
Details of the Puhinui Forest Loop Walk can be found here:
This walk is through an extensive site of native bush alongside Totara Park & the Manurewa Botanical Gardens is beautiful, challenging and interesting. The most common access for this loop track is from Everglade Rd, which has plenty of parking. An interesting aspect of this walkway is a large flight of stairs at the turn-around point of the loop. The northern side of the track has a number of steeper sections and more stairs. The southern side of the track is largely flat and follows the Puhinui Stream.
Enjoy huge trees, historic buildings, bubbling stream and other points of interest along the way. I have also enjoyed running this track too with it being half flat and half undulating.
45 – 60 minutes
Dirt – flat on southern part of loop
3 – large stairs and undulating
Fine for southern part of loop only
Toilets, Tennis Court and Outdoor Public Swimming Pool
Huge Trees, Stream, Plenty of Points of Interest, near Totara Park and Botanical Gardens
This loop bush track skirts alongside the wonderful Totara Park & Botanical Gardens. The track is unpaved but well maintained. It follows the winding and pretty Puhinui Stream through lovely native bush, alive with plenty of birdsong. The stream itself has a few babbling waterfalls and remnants of past dams.
The southern section of the loop is a relatively flat and easy track, while the northern portion is undulating and contains many flights of stairs, being suitable for those becoming more confident with walking. Dogs are welcome on a lead.
There are several entrances to this walk, however we recommend commencing from the end of Everglade Drive where you will find plenty of carparking in this quiet street. Begin your adventure through the gate and take the right-hand track as we recommend completing the loop anti-clockwise. This direction has one long, steep flight of wooden stairs to climb as you transition to the northern part of the track. However, you are rewarded with many more downhill sections on your return home.
As you walk along the southern section, you are greeted with groves of wonderful, thick green Nikau Palms nestled in among many large trees such as Totara, Rimu and Puriri. The sounds of the tui and other native birds ring through the air from the treetops. There are short wooden posts with numbers that highlight unique aspects along the walkway. Look for remains of an old dam in the stream. The southern section finishes with a stroll through fields, pretty trees and flowers.
The return loop commences when you cross the bridge and are met with a daunting flight of stairs to climb. Take your time to ascend and once at the top turn left and enjoy the undulating walkway that gradually descends back to the start of the loop. There are a couple of side-tracks that can be taken to various lookouts. The upper path contains many fantastic large trees and provides opportunities to enter the grassy farmlands of Totara Park.
Buggies and Wheelchairs
The lower southern section is suitable for buggies and wheelchairs but the upper northern section is unsuitable due to stairs and steep sections.
Today was my first visit to St Johns Bush. This little gem of a nature walk is in a reserve of beautiful native trees and bush, with a stream and a mighty Kauri tree.
This is a great spot to take vistors to show them native New Zealand bush without having to drive to the Waitekere Ranges.
The only sounds we could hear were the calling of the birds, the rain dripping off the trees and the running of the stream. All this in an urban area!
We arrived via a back entrance so we got a little lost at first, however once we found the main entrance and a map, it all became clear.
There is no nearby cafe, so we drove up to nearby Meadowbank shops and found a choice of 3 cafes.