Anawhata Mid Stream Loop
Head to Kuataika Track carpark on Anawhata Road. Start off on foot up the Anawhata Road, back in the direction you came from.
After close to half an hour you come across the Chateau Mosquito Track on your left.
Go up this track. After a few minutes the track turns a right angle to the left then this track is fairly wide, more than enough for a quad bike and slopes slightly upwards at the start and then undulates at easy gradients. The ground is orangey brown clay and can be a tad slippery at times.
After about 20 minutes or so from starting this track you’ll reach a junction the RGB Track is on the right and the Chateau Mosquito Track continues straight ahead. We head right. The track closes in straight away and slopes downwards at an easy gradient at first, then gets steeper. In between gaps in the trees you get a couple of nice views of the surrounding Waitaks and the valley below. Soon enough this track gets really steep with big downwards steps. There are plenty of roots and trees to hang on to on the way down and it doesn’t take long to get down the bottom.
Close to 20 minutes later we reach the Anawhata Stream. Instead of following the markers across the stream, we head left, wading and rock hopping downstream. There’s lots of flat slippery rock under the streambed so you really have to be careful too (this is pretty much all the way down the stream) It’s not long before we encounter our first picturesque waterfall. There is a bit of a ‘track’ to the right that we make our way down. Once at the bottom the waterfall and swimming hole, our surroundings are beautiful. The next waterfall we encounter shortly afterwards we also make our way down on our right. The third stunning waterfall is negotiated on a less obvious route on the left. After more wading we reach the fourth waterfall which we can climb down on the rocks to the right. We find this beautiful spot in perfect timing for morning tea of a nice cuppa and some oat and raisin cookies.
From here the negotiation of waterfalls are behind us and we make our way down plenty of rapids, wading and rock and boulder hopping passing the Nutting Stream, then a while later the Smyth Stream each feeding into the Anawhata Stream from the right. After about two hours since starting out on the stream we pass the Chateau Mosquito Track crossing. We continue past and after about 10 minutes or so we encounter our first of about 5 compulsory swims through very refreshing and very blue water surrounded by lovely green mossy rock on either side. A couple of these swims had a jump off point from fast running slippery rapids adding to the fun. After awhile we pass a small waterfall from the Trinity Stream above to the right, also feeding into the Anawhata Stream which makes for a brisk shower (whilst we’re already wet anyway).
Afterwards we find a delightful spot catching the sun, so we stop for our lunch of Mediterranean Herby Olive Omelette with Beetroot Relish on Focaccia. Warmed up we continue our way downwards and the stream goes through a gorge with the rock walls towering up on either side. We then encounter the remains of a dam from the milling days (one of the many in the Waitaks). From there is a bit more rock hopping and wading and a couple more swims – optional this time, as you also now have the option of walking on either side of the stream (dictated by when you run out of flatness at each side). After about 5 hours of following the stream we reach where the Kuataika Track crosses this stream on either side. There is no actual signage besides a marker designating part of the Hillary Trail.
From here we head left and upwards. This is a fairly wide orangegy brown track for a quad bike. This is pretty much straight up for close to half an hour at a fairly steady gradient. It doesn’t take long to gain a bit of height and in between gaps in the trees you get the odd view of the valley below from where the Anawhata Steam continues towards the beach. At the top of the track we reach a paddock where there is a marker pointing you in the right direction. From here it’s not long before you can see the car across the rolling green paddock and the stunning view out towards the sea.
Total loop about 7 hours.
Level of Difficulty
Moderate (with compulsory swims)
7 Hours - clockwise (Summer 2012)
7 Hours - clockwise (Autumn 2013)
5 Hours - clockwise, but starting the stream portion from the Chateau Mosquito Track (Summer 2015)
The last compulsory swim is just before the Trinity Stream waterfall (heading downstream)