Auckland Baptist Tramping Club

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Base map: NZTopoOnline, extracted March 2005, Crown Copyright Reserved  

A glorious sunny end-of-summer day brought out 16 people to explore the Montana Heritage Trail, which had been set up a few years ago on pre-existing tracks in the Cascades area of the Waitakere Ranges.

One car load left The Bracken at 8am to meet up with the others at 9pm at the Cascades car park. After our customary prayer and introductions we set off on the Upper Kauri Track, passing a Pou, or carved Maori figure.

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It was a steady climb up a largely boardwalked track to a lookout.
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Beyond this the track continued to go uphill before levelling out, to eventually come to the Long Road Track
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The Montana Heritage Trail officially followed two small bush track loops alongside the broader Long Road Track. As we tramped we enjoyed the praise-and-worship music of cicadas chirping. We had our elevenses at eleven at the Simla junction.
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We then followed the Fenceline Track, eventually dropping down to the western side of Waitakere Reservoir, where an earth dam had been built to keep the water from flowing down a valley below. The full state of the reservoir was a far cry from eleven years ago, when water levels were so low Aucklandís water supply was under a serious threat.
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We continued on to the main Waitakere Dam to have a look.
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Our lunch stop was near the western end of the main dam.
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Afterwards we went back across the dam to explore a track below the dam.
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On return to our lunch spot, we continued along the Fenceline Track, very soon dropping steeply into the Waitakere valley.
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Our tramp finished with the Auckland City Walk, coming out at our car park. And being an Auckland Regional Park, there had to be one of those picture frames!
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A wonderful tramp finished with a let-down - Laurie had forgotten to bring the gas bottles for his burner so we could not have our Westie cups-of-tea hospitality.

COST: $4