Getting Here and Around
The 28-km-long (17-mi-long), intermittently paved Tapu-Coroglen Road turns off State Highway 25 in the hamlet of Tapu to wind into the mountains. It's a breathtaking route where massive tree ferns grow out of the roadside hills. But it's not for the faint-hearted as stretches of the road are quite narrow with access for only one vehicle. Signs indicate these places. About 6½ km (4 mi) from Tapu you come to the magical Rapaura Watergardens. Travel another 3½ km (2 mi) along the road and pull over to climb the 187 steps up to the huge, 1,200-year-old Square Kauri, so named for the shape that a cross section of its trunk would have. At 133 feet tall and 30 feet around, this is only the 15th-largest kauri in New Zealand. From a tree-side platform there is a splendid view across the valley to Mau Mau Paki, one of the peaks along the Coromandel Ranges. Continuing east across the peninsula, the road passes through forests and sheep paddocks—a shimmeringly gorgeous drive in sun or mist.
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