With the first sunny weekend for seemingly several months, we embarked on an exploration of Dunn’s Bush as part of a bigger ongoing mission to discover tramps finishing with a pub*, in this case the Puhoi Pub.
Dunn’s Bush was owned by farmers Val and Arthur Dunn. In 1981 they gifted a section of bush to the crown, which is now administrated by Doc. Then in 1994 they gifted a further piece of native Bush to the QEII National Trust. Both sections are now open to the public.
The bush leads walkers through a 3km trail of regenerated and mature northland flora, ranging from impressive 900 year old kahikitea trees, a proliferation of nikau palms, and juvenile kauri forest (in this instance juvenile means kauri which are a mere 50 – 100 years old, and haven’t yet dropped their lower branches). There’s also an array of bird life to keep you company, although mostly this consists of some rather plump kereru gorging themselves on the nikau fruit.
The walk finishes at the top of a ridge where it meets up with the Te Araroa walk
(the trail which will cover the length of NZ) and offers vast views of Puhoi farmland, stock, and the occasional wild goat.
A large sunny rock at the ridge makes for the perfect picnic spot, before returning back to the car park.
On completion we eagerly made a beeline for the pub, a five minute drive down the road. To our dismay it was filled with an army of leather clad bikers, so we opted to continue on to Muldoon’s Irish Bar in Orewa, before returning home.
All-up a great Auckland day trip, and Puhoi itself has several local attractions that are worth checking out as well.
To get there:
From Auckland, head north on the Northern Motorway, past Orewa, and turn off at Puhoi. Continue through Puhoi, and head up Ahuroa Road. Dunn’s Bush is signposted on the left.
Duration of walk:Approximately 2 hours return.
*Other possible contenders include the Kaimais via the Te Aroha Domain, Arthur’s Pass, and the Waitakere Ranges via the Swanson Railway Station.