Waitawheta Valley
Kaimai Mamaku Forest Park

14 - 15 December 2013

For a practice for upcoming week long tramp, we headed down to Waitawheta & Waitengaue Valleys in Kaimai Mamaku Forest Park. I was joined by Vanessa, Chris S and Hamish.

Day 1 Travel to Paeroa
Franklin Road – Waitawheta Hut
via Ananui Falls
Waitawheta Tramway, Bluff Stream Kauri Loop Track, Ananui Falls Track, Waitengaue Track
8 Hours
Day 2 Waitawheta Hut – Franklin Road
Waitawheta Tramway
Travel back to Auckland
4 Hours

Track Profile

Track Profile

Day 1 (Saturday):
We left Auckland at 8.00am to head down to Paeroa which is a 2 hour drive, this is where we got our last supplies and some morning tea.  Soon we headed through Karangahake Gorge to Franklin Road.
At about 11.00am we put on our packs and set our course to Waitawheta Hut, today is the longest day of our tramp as we have to cover the most distance.  Firstly we headed over some farmland for about 20 minutes until we reached the bush.  We turned off the main Waitawheta Tramline Track onto Bluff Stream Kauri Loop Track and this is where the first of the many river crossings of the day started.
We then headed uphill, and we started to get quite a sweat on, as it is a very hot day.  This took us up to see a few remaining massive Kauri trees, as there was a lot of logging in this area back in the day.  On the way to the falls we stopped to have lunch on the track, luckly we stopped when we did as a thunderstorm started to rumble nearby and as a bonus we had cover from the trees from the rain.
Finally, we got to the highlight of the day which was visiting the 106m high Ananui Falls.  We took a bit of time here admiring the awesome falls and views, which included cooling down from the heat.  Considering it was about 3.00pm, we have only reached halfway point for the day, so we continued on; the hard part of the day was behind now us.
View from top of Ananui Falls
Before reaching the hut we had to go through a couple of valleys, and this is where we started to run out of energy,  especially with some small steep uphill bits combined with the heat made it challenging, however we made it to the hut just after 7.00pm.
Once at the hut we cooked up dinner and relaxed outside on the deck.  The hut was pretty much full, as you have to book in advance online.  It was a very pleasant warm evening.  Once dark we visited the glow worms nearby, after that we went to bed as we were very tired.  

Day 2 (Sunday):
This morning we took it lazy, as it was only a short day.  Once we had breakfast and packed up, we headed down the Waitawheta Tramline track back to the start.  This track follows the river and where the old logging tramline used to be.  There were a few river crossings, however DOC is currently in the process constructing 2 more bridges.
Near the end of the track we went off track to a nice water hole that we found the previous day.  We all went for a refreshing swim followed by lunch; this was a great way to finish.  By 2.00pm we had reached the road-end.  From here we headed to Paeroa to have an ice cream on the way home.

  • NZTopo50: BC35 - Paeroa


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