The 85 hectare reserve is managed by the Department of Conservation and has a 449 metre high summit. It has a significant Maori history with its strategic location the cause of many battles. The dominant plant species is Tawa and Rewarewa, Kohekohe, Kawakawa Mangeao and Kamihi scattered throughout. The summit track begins at the entrance on Kakepuku Road. It then crosses farmland before entering the bush, with a steady climb to where it emerges to an open area on the upper southern slopes.
Track information: 1.5 to 2 hours to reach the summit and at least 1 hour return.
Grade: Moderate (some steep sections).
Mountain of Legend & Battle
According to legend the name of the mountain is "Kakepuku-te-aroaro o Kahu" meaning swollen stomach of Kahu. Named by Rakataura, High Priest of the Tainui people who referred to the advanced pregnancy of his wife Kahurere. Tribes battled for possession of the mountain with a group of Tainui occupying it in the 16th century, and the Maniapoto people taking procession towards the end of the 17th century.