Fairy Falls - Old Coach Rd Loop
Now this one here is what I recommend for people starting out and takes about 2 hours for the total loop.
Head to Fairy Falls Carpark on Scenic Drive in between Piha Rd and Mountain Rd.
Cross the road and you’ll see the sign for the Fairy Falls Track.
Pretty much at the start you’ll approach a junction of the Old Coach Road on the left, but we continue straight on down the Fairy Falls track.
This starts off pretty flatish on a gravel pathway (designed for the masses) for about half an hour. You will also pass the junction for the Goodfellow track on your left, continue past it.
As the track descends, it’s not long before you can hear the sounds of the Fairy Falls Stream. which there are a couple of small crossings. The sound of the water becomes louder and you will come across some wooden stairs where you will see the top of the falls and some reasonable sized kauri. There are a couple of pools where you could be tempted to cool down in the water. Being mid winter we carried on down the many stairs to the bottom of the falls.
Here the water falls onto rock and you can walk right up to the falling water which continues into the stream. From the bottom (you’d be pretty silly to think the track ended here) you cross the stream and continue along the track which is a lot more natural than the flattened walking track above. The bush is more lush down here with plenty of moss, ferns and a bit of mud.
After a couple more smaller crossings the track starts to head upwards at a fairly even gradient. As you get higher you get a few glimpses of the Waitaks and Auckland city beyond. The track ends where it reaches Mountain Road (there is also a carpark here as well). On your left is the sign and start of the Old Coach Road Track.
This heads upwards straight away, after a few minutes it also becomes fairly wide too and carries on steadily upwards and parallel with Mountain Rd. You will then cross over the drive way which you cross over and the track takes you right past a ranger’s house. The track now flattens out and there is plenty of Kanuka trees overhead. You will then come across the junction of the Goodfellow track on your left, we pass this and continue straight on the Old Coach Road track. The track then comes out at the end of Tawari Rd (where there is another carpark at this dead end rd), then goes back in the bush again.
A few minutes later the track comes out on the road again, but on Scenic Drive, but this is not the end of the track. Continue down on the left of the road for a few minutes until you come across sign where you go back in the bush again. After 15 minutes or so you come back the junction where the Old Coach Road Tk meets back with The Fairy Falls Tk. We head right and out of the bush to complete the loop where our car is in the carpark across the road.
Level of Difficulty
Easy (more of a walk than a tramp)
Great for beginners - plenty of stairs though.
Total Loop Time
2 hours - Anticlockwise (Winter 2011)
2 hours - Clockwise (Spring 2015)