Guided Tours

Introduction

Pa Harakeke offers visitors to the Pureora region inspiring and culturally enriched experiences that will linger long in the memory of the intrepid traveler. An idyllic location beneath Pureora Mountain and adjacent to pristine native bush, Pa Harakeke offers a range of adventure activities to suit all ages and various levels of fitness. The options include; Cycle Trails, Mountain Treks and Native Bush Walks which are available as self tours or personalized guided experiences.

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GUIDED TOURS

Timber Trail - Mountain Bike Experiences – Self Guided
The Timber Trail is now officially open to mountain bikers of all levels of fitness and experience. The 85km Timber Trail features magnificent native bush, swing bridges, fantastic bird life and wonderful mountain views across the central plateau. Pa Harakeke is the gateway to the Timber Trail and offers the following self guided Timber Trail experiences.

Pure-ora Descent (14kms)
Take our shuttle to the top of Mount Pure-ora and experience the thrill of biking 14kms down to the Pureora Village and back to Pa Harakeke. We will supply you with a Mountain Bike, Pump Water and Snack Pack and Shuttle you to the top of Mount Pureora. Allow 2-3 hours. Cost is $49 per person

Piropiro Crossing (26kms)
Take our shuttle to the top of Mountain Pureora and ride 26kms to Piripiro Flats which is the half way point along the trail. The shuttle also collects you at Piropiro and brings you back to Pa Harakeke. We will supply you with a Mountain Bike, Pump water and a Lunch Pack and provide the shuttle rides. Allow 3-4 hours. Cost is $79 per person

Ongarue Spiral (45kms)
Take our shuttle to Piropiro Flats and bike 45kms to Ongarue Village. The shuttle also collects you at Ongarue and transports you back to Pa Harakeke. We will supply you with a Mountain Bike, Pump Water and a lunch pack and provide the shuttle rides. Allow 4-5 Hours. Cost is $109 per person

Exclusive 2 Day Timber Trail Package Experience
Pa Harakeke offers an exclusive 2 day biking package including, fully serviced quality chalet accommodation, mountain bike hire and shuttle pick up and drop offs along the trail. Plus continental breakfast(s) and 2 packed lunches.

Day 1. Arrive in the morning. Settle in to your accommodation, get kitted up with your bike, maps and lunch then set out on the first section of the Timber Trail ride which commences at Pa Harakeke. 40kms later you are met at the Piropiro Flats parking area and brought back to your accommodation via our forest roads. Have a pleasant evening at your chalet accommodation.

Day 2. Next morning after breakfast we shuttle you back to Piropiro Flats and you complete the second section of 45kms through to the small settlement of Ongarue. Our shuttle meets you there and brings you back to Pa Harakeke where you depart for your next destination or enjoy another evening in your chalet accommodation.

2 Day Timber Trail Experience – Stay 1 Night $297 for 1 person or $459 for 2 people Twin Share

2 Day Timber Trail Experience – Stay 2 Nights$441 for 1 person of $612 for 2 people share twin

Group discounts available for 4 or more people

All New & Exclusive Ginseng Tour

Pa Harakeke now offers fully guided Ginseng Tours during the summer period. Both Asian and American Ginseng are grown under forest canopy producing high grade ginseng which is wild in look, taste and smell. The tour includes a visit to our Ginseng Plantation located in our nearby forest, a traditional welcome to our Pa Harakeke facility and a sampling of our ginseng tea made from our dried ginseng root, plus morning or afternoon tea.

Bookings are essential

Allow 2 hours for the tour – Cost is $75 per person

Pa Harakeke Eco-Cultural Tour (Daily) – Cost NZ$32 per person

The Eco-Cultural Tour is a blend of nature and Maori culture which provides visitors with an opportunity to learn about the natural environment of the distinctive Pureora region, plant a native tree selected from the nursery and engage in interactive sessions involving the ancient art of Harakeke weaving. The tour includes a visit to the Maori Pa overlooking Pa Harakeke and to learn about the life of the Maori in ancient times. Sampling Maori food is a rare treat and as too hearing the chants and stories of yesteryear.

This personalized guided walking tour is available twice daily at Pa Harakeke and takes approximately 2 hours. The cost is $75 per person. Included in the cost is the native tree, food tastings and weaving material. Visitors receive a tree planting certificate and a harakeke momento of their visit.

Visitors are welcome to visit Pa Harakeke, wander the paths around the complex including the cultural walkway and also visit the Maori Villag

Eco-Planting Tour – Carbon Offset Program (Daily) – Cost NZ$ 32 per person

This tour is available daily and provides an opportunity for visitors to offset their carbon foot print created when traveling to and around New Zealand, by planting their own tree at Pa Harakeke as per local Maori custom. The Eco-Planting Tour commences at Tarapikau (The Guardian), introductions follow and then on to the Native Plant Nursery where visitors are introduced to a range of native plants and trees. Visitors select their own native tree and then it’s off to find a suitable site to plant the tree. When a spot is found visitors get to prepare the ground for their tree and whilst planting it a karakia (prayer) is said by the guide in keeping with Maori tradition. A photo is taken of the visitor with their tree and a GPS plotting point recorded. On return to the Pa Harakeke Centre a Certificate is completed, the photo appended to it and the GPS Point recorded on it. Visitors will be able to call back to see their tree at any time, whilst also being able to observe it on Google Earth each time the NZ maps are updated. Allow 30 minutes for this tour. The tree is included in the cost and all equipment is supplied.

Combo Tour – Pa Harakeke and Eco-Planting Tour – Cost NZ$ 58 per person
This tour combines all of the features of both Tours and takes up to one and a half hours to complete.

"Tinihanga Trail" Tour – (By arrangement) – Cost NZ$ 95 per person

The Tinihanga Tour takes visitors deep into the Maraeroa Forest to visit a special place known as “Tinihanga” (the Deception) which is home to the largest stand of Tanekaha bush in the North Island. Some 50 years ago stood the majestic, Totara, Rimu, Kahikatea and others, now mostly Tanekaha have survived the fellers axe and are the guardians here. Tinihanga was where the great Rereahu Chief “Te Peehi” came to grief at the hands of a neighboring tribe. Stories abound about the mysterious happenings after his death. These will be told by the guide as you make your way through the virgin bush which only the local hunters ever get to see. Bird life and rare plants aplenty provide the avid nature lover with a special treat to be remembered for a lifetime.

These Tours are by arrangement only and take up to 4 hours. The tour package includes morning or afternoon tea.

Pureora Mountain Trek

Pureora Mountain is an imposing figure on the Pureora skyline and although only 1200 meters to the summit the views over Lake Taupo and across to the sacred mountains of Ruapehu and Tongariro are quite stunning. The Trek is therefore a must do for those who seek the challenge of completing a summit climb but also to capture the sights that only the most intrepid of trampers ever get to see. The ascent and descent are punctuated with stories told by the guide about the native vegetation, the history of the land and also about the Rereahu people. A scheduled stop at the Totara Track on the return trip to Pa Harakeke to hear the magical tunes of the abundant native bird life will simply amaze you.

The mountain trek is an alpine walk and although not difficult it is 2 hours to the summit and 1 hour back down to the car park. The tour takes approximately 4 hours and is accessible by most people who are used to walking. The tour costs $95.00 per person and includes refreshments and shuttle transport. The shorter Totara Walk is a gentle graded track. The tour is by arrangement only and bookings can be made through our website or by email or phone.

Experienced trampers and trekkers are able to complete the walk via the DoC Roads and Tracks. Maps are available for those happy to complete the Mountain Trek at their leisure.

Pureora Native Bush Walks

This walk through pristine native bush and amidst the beautiful chorus of the native birds will really stir the senses. The sense of tranquility will captivate and invigorate you and transport you to another time when man first came to Aotearoa. Also take the opportunity to taste the edible bush plants offered by your guide and learn about the Maori medicine plants that are still in use today. The Bird Tower is in close proximity and allows a close up encounter with the birds amongst the tree tops. It is also the site where logging of the last remnants of native bush was halted by environmentalists and which has seen the Pureora Forest Park preserved for future generations. The nearby Buried Forest is a reminder of the Taupo eruption and how whole forests were buried under meters of ash.

The tour is by arrangement and takes approximately 3 hours and includes refreshments and transport around the Native bush sites.  The cost is $85.00 per person.

Nature lovers and experienced trampers are able to complete the walks via the DoC roads and tracks and which are adequately signposted. Maps are also available for those happy to complete the walks in their own time.

Sacred Marae Experience – (By arrangement) - Cost NZ$ 95 per person

Miringa Te Kakara is an ancient place of higher learning which was established in pre-European times and ensured the ancient Maori traditions were retained and passed on to the next generation. The Situated only 15 minutes from Pa Harakeke the opportunity to visit this ancient whare wananga (house of learning) is a not to be missed. The Tour starts at Tarapikau (The Guardian) at Pa Harakeke then a short journey by road to the ancient wahi tapu (sacred place). The guide will talk about this special place and show you why it is so revered by Maori around the country as the place to learn the ancient traditions. Although many of the buildings are in a ruinous state and some long gone, the atmosphere remains. Today in fact Miringa te Kakara is a place of pilgrimage as the original cross house at Miringa Te Kakara built in the 1600’s was found to have been built to the same triangular patterns and forms that were used in the building of the Pyramids of Egypt and the Stonehenge of England. Hundreds of overseas visitors take the opportunity to visit Miringa te Kakara each year and this opportunity is now available by way of a Guided Tour.

This tour is also by arrangement and can take up to 4 hours. The tour package includes morning or afternoon tea.

Ginseng Plantation & Pa Harakeke Tour – By arrangement – Cost NZ$ 65 per person

Ginseng, a traditional and ancient food and medicinal plant used extensively across Asia and North America due to its curative powers and life enhancing capabilities can now be found growing at Pureora amongst our pine trees.  Quite remarkably the word Pureora means “Wellness”. Pa Harakeke staff have been involved in growing wild simulated Ginseng for several years now and have found this medicinal herbal plant grows successfully under pine tree canopy in the nearby Forest. A tour of the Ginseng Plantation is incorporated with a brief Tour of Pa Harakeke to provide a unique blend of cultural activities. Harakeke has its own medicinal qualities the properties of which are known by and used by the Maori people whilst Ginseng is widely used by Asian peoples. A blend of Pia (harakeke gel) and Ginseng makes a unique lotion with health properties for the skin and the body. The Tour starts at Tarapikau (the guardian) with a Karakia (prayer) to give thanks and to seek a safe and happy journey. The tour then takes in the Harakeke plantation, the native nursery, the whare parua (earth floor house) before departing for the Ginseng Plantation. On reaching the plantation a walk through the plantation with the Tour Guide giving a talk on how the Plantation came about and what stage the plants are at. The chance to see a ginseng root being harvested and prepared adds another dimension to the Tour. The Tour party returns to Pa Harakeke to see the Ginseng products and Harakeke products on show.

These tours are by arrangement only and take up to 2 hours. The package includes morning or afternoon tea

Pureora Forest Park Tour – (By arrangement) – Cost NZ$ 75 per person

The nearby Pureora Forest Park is another fine example of New Zealand native forests with an abundance of mature native trees such as the Totara and Rimu and amazing birdlife. The dawn chorus is particularly spectacular and a must for the bird enthusiast. The tour starts at Tarapikau (the guardian) and after a Karakia and welcome the tour departs for Pureora Forest Par which is only 10 minutes from Pa Harakeke.  The guided tour then takes you to the Totara Walk, the Bird Tower, the Buried Forest, the Old Hauler Engine site, the old Ngati Rereahu Pa site and the current village of Pureora. It is the stories told by the Guide about the area, the trees and plants and the birdlife and the history that makes the experience an enjoyable and memorable one. Returning to Pa Harakeke a brief tour is given of the Pa Harakeke complex before enjoying either morning of afternoon tea.

These tours are by arrangement only and take up to 3 hours. The package includes morning or afternoon tea.


FUTURE TOURS

Walking or Cycling Tours - (By arrangement) – Cost (To be confirmed)

The Pureora Cycle Trail is currently being developed by the Department of Conservation in conjunction with local land owners and will comprise a two day cycle ride or three day walk through some beautiful native bush and scenic views along the way. Use of the Pureora Cycle Trail will be free to visitors however guided walking and cycle tours can be arranged with Pa Harakeke staff as another option. The Pureora Cycle way is planned for completion towards the end of 2011.

These tours will be by arrangement only and will commence when the Pureora Cycle Trail is completed


Customized Tours

We are keen to meet the needs of travelers and are able to customize tours to match those needs. Please contact us to discuss your particular needs and we will arrange a package to suit your requirements. Other Tour options include a Tour of our Ginseng Plantation and a Sacred Marae Tour of Miringa Te Kakara one of the ancient places of learning known as Whare Wananga (House of Learning). Also ask about our Carbon Offset program which enables travelers to offset their carbon emissions created when traveling.

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