Woodland Road, Katikati, SH2, Waitengaue Stream Track, Waitengaue Stream, Ananui Stream,
Head to grassy carpark (just before a driveway/bridge to a farm) at the end of Woodland Road (south), just outside of Katikati on SH2. We pass signage with various track info , cross over the stile and head off on the Waitengaue Stream Track which starts off in between farm land and the Waitengaue Stream.
The track is easy and flat at this stage and there are some really cool golden feather like type of toi toi growing either side & over the track. After about 10 minutes we cross over a suspension bridge then it’s back in the bush. There are a couple of wide steam crossings as the track makes its way on alternative sides of the Waitengaue Stream and then makes its way alongside a Tributary of this stream. The stream is not always in sight, but you can hear the constant trickle fairly close by on this gradually undulating track. There canopy coverage encloses us in the bush & there is plenty of birdsong about too.
After about 45 minutes we leave the close proximity of the Waitengaue Stream Tributary , the track undulates a tad more, but the gradients are still pretty easy going. About 1 ¼ hours from starting out, the track comes out at the Waitengaue Stream again.
The track continues directly across the stream, but from here we head right into the stream, rock hopping & wading our way down stream. There are parts alongside the stream that are fairly flat and when not too overgrown, we walk alongside the stream as well. For most parts, the stream is not too deep when wading. After about half an hour we reach the first stream on our left, which is the narrower, Ananui Stream flowing into the Waitengaue Stream.
Here, we head left up the Ananui Stream. This narrow stream has quite a few boulders to climb over and the surrounding bush is also pretty dense. With the limited light, there is a lot more moss about. As well as being vibrant and green, some of the moss is really plush & feels just like a shag carpet and it’s difficult to resist from giving it a wee pat. There are limited parts where you can walk to the side of the stream, so mostly it’s straight up the middle up through rapids & small waterfalls (some being pretty slippery).
There is plenty of climbing over & under fallen trees too. You have to watch your hand and footholds too for loose rocks & branches over head & underfoot. We also encounter a descent sized landslide with fallen trees, & branches that block the route upstream and climbing over is a bit of a mission as it unstable & slippery under foot.
After about an hour up the Ananui Stream the rock wall towers before us and moments later the Ananui Falls appear. We climb over many fallen boulders at the bottom of the massive narrow ravine and are welcomed by the cascading Ananui Falls right before & above us. These falls are fairly gentle, they make up in serenity from their lack of drama. There is a light spray over the ravine from the 106m drop, so it’s a tad cooler. This place made for a perfect lunch spot where we tucked into our Avocado & Salad Wraps.
Afterwards, from here we backtracked the way we came. Our way back was slight quicker knowing the best way to get around the various obstacles we had encountered. We reach the car 5 ¾ hours from starting out.
Level of Difficulty
5.75 Hours (Autumn 2014)