Tom Thumb - Karamatura - Bob Gordon - Fletcher Track Loop
Head to Huia Rd carpark.
Once through the gate, head up Twin Peaks track on your right. This track starts off at a slight incline, after you pass a small bridge over a stream it then continues as it means to go on – steadily upwards.
After about half an hour you come across the junction with the Tom Thumb Bypass Track to the left and the Twin Peaks Track carries on straight ahead & upwards. As much as we’re keen to see the great kauri, Tom Thumb again, we’re also curious to take a track we’ve yet to see. We head left. The Bypass Track is fairly level ,narrow and winding on the side of the hill. It’s actually a pretty cool track with rocks to cross over (that were wet & slippery at the time), logs to climb over & trees to duck under –including a large Rewarewa growing at a right angle from the rock in the hillside. After another half hour we come to the end of the Bypass Track and to the junction of the Tom Thumb Track going both left (straight) & right (up).
We head left and straight for while. The track side becomes more rocky (& mossy) and soon descends, it’s not before you hear the Karamatura stream rapids. We arrive at the stream about 1 ¼ hours from initially starting out, we cross and find a great spot on the rocks to enjoy the surrounding scenery whilst enjoying a hot cuppa. We head upwards about 15 metres or so and are at the end the Tomb thumb Track & the junction of the Karamatura Track going both left (down) & right (up).
We head right & up. We had our warm up & now the loop begins. This track continues upwards along the side of the Karamatura Stream (that is obscured by bush) & you can hear there are quite a few rapids. On the opposite side of the stream there is some impressive mossy rock overhanging a kind of bog. After that we came across a small stream crossing and then a junction with The falls to the right (& down) & Karamatura Track to the left (& up). We continue left. From here the track continues upwards and gets steeper & zig zags for about 20 minutes. After that it eases off a bit , but is still consistently uphill. Towards the end of the track, it flattens out for the last ten minutes and there are plenty of Rimu over head & on the ground, brown leaves/needles that have fallen, there is also plenty of mud. After about an hour from starting this track we reach the junction of the Karamatura Forks. To the right is the Huia Ridge Track, to the left is the Donald McClean Track and straight ahead is the Bob Gordon Track.
We head straight. The Bob Gordon track starts off pretty flat, easy going and surrounded by lots of Kanuka & Pungas amongst lots of other stuff. Eventually the track slopes downwards & leads to a small tranquil stream crossing. Then of course the “Down Up Stream Rule” applies . The uphill part doesn’t take too long & seems pretty mild –perhaps because we had just done the Karamatura. About just over half an hour we came to the end of the track at the T junction of the Donald McClean Track going both left & right.
We head left for about 2 minutes then come to the junction on the right to the Fletcher Track. The head right. The Fletcher track starts off gently downhill through plenty of Rimu , then undulates as you have to up & down 3 kind of peaks. Every now & then you get views on the right of Mt Donald McClean & the Manukau heads. Then the track descends slightly steeper and after a while you start to get a few views on the left between the trees of Huia Bay and beyond. About an hour after starting this track we reach the tree that nature designed as a seat which is on the ridge above steeper downhill part of the track that is on the left.
We continue straight ahead for a few metres to a stunning viewpoint on a ledge overlooking Huia Bay beneath us. This is the perfect spot for lunch. Refuelled we headed back to the seat tree and went down the steeper part of the track that was now on our right. We continue steadily down hill until it flattens off a bit and there are some pretty cool big trees here , there is one particular one where the track goes under two huge trees that have merged into one. There is plenty of mud as well. The track then descends again but is orangey/brown clay and is pretty steep and wide (and pretty, slippery when wet). There are also quite a few young kauri about. After about 1 ½ hours from starting the Fletcher Track, it ends at the junction of the Karamatura Track going both left & right.
We head left. This part of the track is only slightly sloping uphill and is a gravel walkway. After a couple of minutes there is another junction to the left for the Karamatura Loop Track. We head left. This track is also a gravel walkway but inclines steeper uphill and also has a few stairs. This track runs alongside a small stream and is very lush & green with dense canopy and has quite a peaceful vibe assisted with the trickle of the stream. At the top of the walkway you overlook some magnificent mature kauri in the lush valley below. Further along is a lookout where you are able to view the imposing rockface & also bush across the valley of the Karamatura Stream. Up to the left we sighted a high water fall that looked stunning as the water fell quite a distance, we also noticed a couple a guys abseiling down it (& mentally added to my “to do list”). After a minute of two this walkway ended (total of about 20 minutes)and came out at the junction of the Karamatura Track heading left (up) and right (down).
We headed left a few metres, this part of the track was also gravel. Until we came to the junction on the right to the Tom Thumb track. We headed right. From here be backtracked across the stream, Tom Thumb Bypass and down the Twin Peaks Tracks back to the car.
Total Loop time 6.25 hours
Level of Difficulty
Total Loop Time
6.25 hours (Spring 2011)