The trip was based on the carpark beside the North Piha Surf Club. This commodious carpark proved a good
jumping off point for the day, as it was large & equipped with splendid public toilets/changing sheds.
From the carpark we did the two nearby loop trips, each of about 2.5 hours, as follows:|
Beach & Te Waha Lookout. We took the Marawhara Walk & White Track up to Anawhata Rd, thence down the
Rose Track to Whites Beach for morning tea. The Rose Track offered us a very pretty & easy descent from
Anawhata Rd, with its open aspect and broad coastal vistas. Returning from Whites Beach back up the Rose
Track we took the Laird Thomson Track to the splendid lookout at Te Waha Point. There is a steep short-cut
from the south end of Whites Beach straight up to Laird Thomson, but it would be very tricky for some
& is not recommended for a programmed club trip like this. From here we descended to North Piha Beach
and returned thereby to the carpark for lunch. With stops, the loop took us 2.5 hrs and was very enjoyable.
It done in the morning, as much of it is open to the sun & we wanted to avoid the worst of the heat.
(2) Maungaroa Lookout. This is another loop track south of the carpark. It is mostly in bush
and provided welcome shade during a very hot afternoon. It also offers on the return leg a very good
ice cream shop. We took the Nikau Grove Walk up the Wekatahi Stream, which was very pretty and shaded.
From here we took the Maungaroa Lookout Track, which involves a steep zigzag climb out of the Wekatahi,
followed by a long amble along the top. This track is very poorly marked, but well formed & quite good
going. The first lookout marked on the map was a non-event, but the second lookout, on a knoll near the
south end of the track, was well worth the 2 minute side trip to it. This was not signed so we took the
trouble to nail 2 pre-prepared signs on a tree to point the way to it, as it seemed a real shame that
track users might miss it. After this there followed a steep descent to Glen Esk Rd & the ice cream shop,
then the return to the carpark via North Piha beach.
It was a grand day out, and some folk lingered
afterwards to go for a swim, as the beach is patrolled in front of the surf club & offered good swimming.
We would certainly recommend the 2 loops for a future day trip, but newcomers are strongly advised to
do a recce (as we did) to familiarise themselves with the track entry points. The start of the Nikau
Grove Walk is well hidden amongst residential streets, and a guide book was helpful to us. Track conditions
underfoot were excellent