The Kaituna Track is situated down the road from The Naked Possum. While it is possible to follow the track right on through to the Westhaven Inlet on the West Coast (an 8 hour tramp) most people prefer to walk only to the site of the old Kaituna gold workings (20mins) or on to the river forks, an easy 3 hour return jaunt.
The track is a well-defined, mild gradient, walking track wending its way into the lush bush clad valley beyond, and is an ideal walk for families and people of all ages interested in getting out for some healthy exercise or just soaking in the ambience of New Zealand’s beautiful native bush.
Magnificent specimens of the giant northern rata tree abound in the Kaituna forest and these trees often produce a stunning floral display during the summer months. Pockets of nikau palm, tree fern and beech forest are to be found amongst the native bush along the track as are a wide variety of shrub ferns, orchids and fungi.
Native birds are abundant and the birds to be seen here regularly include the kereru (pigeon), tui, bellbird, fantail, bush robin, weka, kea and native falcon.
Thirty minutes from The Naked Possum you will reach the Kaituna Goldfield, which was first worked in 1859. Little gold was ever recovered, although the area was worked until the late 1800s. A loop takes you through the remaining evidence of those frenetic days ….. stone water races, tailing heaps, a small tunnel and the odd bit of rusty equipment.
Continue on up the track. Upon reaching the forks about 45 minutes to 1 hour from The Naked Possum the sign reads “easy track ends – dangerous when flooded”. This is the best point to turn around and retrace your steps to return for much needed refreshments!