The Waitakere Ranges are always a popular place to go tramping, and once again the two Waitakere Ranges
specialists Laurie and Phillip led a large group of people, this time into the Karamatura Valley near
We left The Bracken soon after 8am and met up at the Huia store with some people from West
Auckland, and from there drove to the carpark at the gate on the Huia Dam Road, at the start of the Twin
Peaks Track. After our introductions and prayer for the tramp, including a special prayer for Joy who
has been unable to come on tramps recently due to a very bad sickness, we set off climbing the Twin Peaks
The track climbed steadily to the junction with the Tom Thumb Bypass Track, then there
was a bit of a scramble over rocks (not really tricky) to come to the Goat Hill/Tom Thumb track junction.
A special platform had been built around a large spectacular kauri tree, and some of us left our packs
there to do the 15min climb to the Goat Hill lookout.
The best view from the lookout was northwards
looking down on to the Huia Reservoir with the Waiatarua TV mast on the skyline. Goat Hill is on the
edge of a former quarry, now completely overgrown, which was used to provide materials for the construction
of the Huia Dam and access tramline, now the Huia Dam Road track. There was also an outlook up the Manukau
Harbour, but the bush had grown up so much we did not get a very good view.
One of the ladies
had turned back so Laurie K went back to find her while the rest of us carried on down the Tom Thumb
Track, dropping down to cross the Karamatura Stream as it passes through a spectacular rocky gorge -
isn't God gorgeous!
Our intention was now to have lunch at the waterfall further upstream as it
was now about midday. Some of us misunderstood this to be to go up the stream bed to a little waterfall
we could see.
But really we had to go on to the Karamatura Track and carry on for about ten minutes,
passing some caves then climbing uphill, before taking a rough side track that led to the falls.
To see the quite tall waterfall, we had to clamber onto a rock at the end of the track, taking care not
to fall down the sheer cliff below us!
We had lunch a short distance back on the side track, while
Paul went back to see if he could find Laurie and the missing lady.
Our intention was originally
to carry on up the Karamatura Track, a long steep grunt, and come down the Fletcher Track, but because
we were a bit behind time and the group had some slow people in it, we canned that idea and instead went
for the Karamatura Loop Walk. This was a more gentle climb to a lookout where we could look down into
of the valley.
This came out back on the Karamatura Track shortly before the car park.
There was a new footbridge - but it was also possible to cross the steel girders of the old bridge instead!
We were out by about 2pm, and by then Laurie K and the missing lady had rejoined us. Laurie found
her easily, and they drove around from the start point to the car park so we could have afternoon tea
Laurie-style with the billy on the gas cookers on the tray of his ute.
Twenty minutes' roadbashing
brought us back to the start point, then homeward bound - via the ice cream shop at Huia, of course!