Kuataika / Anawhata Stream + Beach Loop
Head to Rose Track carpark on Anawhata Road. We start off on a short walk of close to 10 minutes up Anawhata Road until we reach the start of the Kuataika Track on the left.
This starts off through a
cow paddock for a few minutes overlooking the sea before the orangey brown clay track reveals itself.
This is wide enough for farm vehicles and is very steep sloping downwards which would be really slippery when wet.
There are some great views of the valley below. After about half an hour we reach the Anawhata stream (the Kuataika track continues straight across). Here we head left, down stream.
There is flat part on either side of the stream to walk either side, but today (still warm – being early autumn) we opt for wading through the stream. Almost straight away there is a deepish waterhole so we have a small swim to get to the shallower ground. There’s plenty of wading through this stream, (if you keep to the sides it’s not as deep) which vary from ankle to waist deep and also some deeper bits leading to a few swims.
After close to an hour in the stream we stop for a hot cuppa (& some golden crunch cookies) tea to maintain the body temperature. We’re absolutely spoilt for choice of
beautiful spots to stop – we find a nice sunbeam on the bank next to the
stream. There’s also a few bits of hopping from rock to rock & making your way around a few small rapids. There’s plenty of stunning scenery too......trees, moss, rocks, cool birds, a cave, a ravine, a sight of an old dam and of course the way the sun catches the water.
Towards the end of the stream where it becomes the estuary, it’s hard work, as
continuing in the stream it’s about knee deep for quite a while and the streambed becomes spongy to walk on (& you really feel your thighs getting a work out). After about 2 ¼ hours the stream/estuary comes out at Anawhata beach where we stop for lunch of Portuguese Sarnies & another cuppa.
We then head left & south, across beach past a really cool rock bursting
with character to the end where we see the sign for the Anwhata Beach Track,
which is uphill for about 20 minutes or so then connects to a gravel
driveway. Just before the top of the hill (but before the carpark ) there is a
small track to the left that leads to a lookout point. We can’t resist. On one
side you see the beach below & the other side you can see a waterfall &
straight ahead you see the Anawhata Stream – well worth a look.
We then head back to the driveway & a minute or two later we arrive at a gate for the Anawata Beach car park & Anawhata Road. We head down the road for about 400 metres or so you get your first glimpses of Whites beach & also on our
right we see a small grass clearing carpark with a an unsigned posted track. We
head down this narrow over grown track which first stops at a small clearing
with a large rock & a plaque marking where a shelter used to be. The track
then veers left & downwards. There are parts where it’s a very narrow goat track on a precarious ledge on the cliff side. The views are spectacular, but you really need to concentrate on your footing. After a while we realise this track doesn’t immediately head down to the beach as it heads towards Fishermans
At another point the ridge is extremely narrow on this goat track, where
you look down at rocky Paikea Bay on the right as well as Whites beach on the
left with the great Fishermans Rock straight ahead. Also in the sea in Paikea
bay is Keyhole Rock (which we reckon should be called Foot Rock, as you can
clearly see a foot in the middle of it–toes & all). After this narrow ridge
the track goes up with a commanding view of the Fishermans rock ahead. Then the
track heads downwards, here you need to keep your eyes on the track as the main
track straight ahead and down leads to Fishermans rock, but on the left, is an
overgrown track that is less defined towards Whites Beach.
We head left & across before we finally start heading downwards on the Whites Beach side. From here the track also becomes more defined. It is still narrow & gets pretty steep a tad precarious in places. You have to keep an eye on your feet so you don’t trip on the flax growing over the track. After about 45 minutes or so
from starting out on this track we reach Whites beach. This is smaller than
Anawhata but has a pretty similar rugged & secluded vibe.
We head across the beach (south) to the other side, cross the rocks where we see a rope on the rock face. We climb up the side of the rock kind of cliff-wall with the help of a rope, more out of safety than necessity. At the top of the rope is an unmarked track that we follow for a minute or two until it comes out at the Laird
Thompson Track at a kind of Y junction. This track goes both left (upwards)
& right (downwards – towards Piha). We head upwards on some stairs for 10
minutes then come out at another unnamed flatish track for a few metres with a
sign saying this is courtesy of the surrounding property owners. This track
then comes out at a driveway servicing a few properties we head up the driveway
and after a few minutes we see the sign for the Rose Track on the left (that
heads down to Whites Beach). We continue past this junction follow this steep
driveway upwards for about ¼ of an hour or so until we reach a gate at the top
& see our car in the carpark.
Total loop time , about 6 hours.
Level of difficulty
Moderate (swimming optional)
If walking alongside there are numerous stream crossings
and you'll still get wet feet.
6 Hours - swimming/wading down the stream - Clockwise
5 Hours - walking along side stream - Clockwise
4.5 Hours - walking alongside stream -Anticlockwise
4.5 Hours - swimming/wading up the stream - Anticlockwise (Summer 2015)
4 Hours -anticlockwise & omitting Whites Beach (Summer 2015)
4.5 Hours -anticlockwise, omitting Anawhata Beach, leaving stream at track that heads up hill, that meets driveway, then continuing on via Whites Beach (Summer 2016)
Access to the rope ascent at the other side of Whites Beach
is reliant on the tide not being full.
Otherwise you will need to go on the Rose Track instead.