Kaimai Road, Henderson's Tramline track, north south track, Kaimais
Henderson's Tramline Loop, Lower Kaimai Ranges
Head to old Kaimai Road off SH 29.
We parked the car at the road side by the signage for the Henderson's Tramline (North Branch) Track. From here we walked south, down the winding road past various farmhouses and also enjoying the views out east. After about 20 minutes we reach a bridge and to our right is the carpark for the start of the Henderson's Tramline (Western Branch) Track. Here we saw the signage that marked the start of the track.
As we enter the bush a couple of metres on our right is access to the
stream which is a nice spot where you can sit take in the tranquil vibes of the trickling stream surrounded by plenty of moss (& perhaps enjoy a wade in the Summer). We then continue straight ahead and then cross the stream and now the track surrounded by lush green bush runs alongside the stream. Soon the track slopes upwards and we then reach un unmarked junction where there is a track heading left & down towards the stream.
We decide to explore & head left & down towards noise of the water. Just before the stream there is a T Junction, which we explore both directions. First we head left which leads to the stream at the bottom of the rocks were the water is flowing down a few rapidy parts. It’s quite a picturesque scene. Next I head back to the T junction & check out the other direction, leading alongside & upstream. The route is a bit harder as tree with plenty of supplejack has fallen over the way. I follow the route towards the stream , from here I follow the sounds of a water falling and cross over on the rocks making my way upstream. Past large rocks I am greeted by a waterfall with its own serene clear, aqua pool . I imagine is quite a treat in Summer, but being mid Winter, it wasn’t really an appealing option.
From here we back tracked back to the marked track, where we continued
forwards and gradually upwards. This is a great track with plenty of mud, ferns and dense bush canopy. There is an abundance of moss, trackside as well as growing on the trunks of trees and also hanging off them too, giving off that wonderful goblin forest vibe. The gradient is pretty easy going and has plenty of flat bits on which there are still some of wooden sleepers remaining across the track from when it was used as a tramline. In parts there is a carpet of small thin brown leaves underfoot adding to the good vibes. Close to about an hour we reach a clearing which would make a reasonable camp site.
Just over 1 hour& 20 minutes from starting out on the Henderson Tramline (Western Branch) Track, we reach its end at the T Junction of the North South Track heading both left (towards SH 29) & right (up the spine of the Kaimais). We head right. This is also an easy going track with plenty more canopy, mud & moss. there is a small stream crossing and the track also runs alongside a cool, clear green swamp. After just over half an hour from starting on the North South Track, just past a nice boggy, muddy patch we reach a T junction at a grassy clearing. To the left, the North South Track continues and to the right is the Henderson's Tramline (North Branch) Track.
We head right, but just a couple of paces as we decide to stop at this clearing in a sunbeam for lunch. We tuck into some Parmesan & Love Mayo (chilli, ginger & kaffir lime leaves mixed with mayo) Sarnies with a nice hot cuppa. We then continue our way on this tramline track which starts off flat and quite exposed with a few clearings, we also notice there is a fair amount of ice underfoot, even though it was around 2pm (justifying our additional layers). Soon enough, there is a gentle slope downwards and more of the sleepers across the track, which also catch the water juicy muddy puddles. After a while the canopy closes in again.
There are also 4 stream crossings the 2nd & 3rd are stunning – you’ll know when you come across them. The second one you climb down & cross over the rocks where 2 stream flows intersect, then you climb up & out again. After plenty of lovely, squelchy mud, the third stream, about 15 minutes or so later, was a pleasant surprise as came out of the bush for a while following a track alongside a deer fence (where we could even see our car on the other side of the valley) then when back down into the bush again. There we encountered the stream with lush green surroundings with vibrant mossy green rocks all about.
The fourth one was shortly after that, where you cross on rocks & the water
streams over and below. After that it was a few minutes across farmland.
After just over 1 1/2 hours on the Henderson's Tramline (North Branch) Track we reach the car.
Total tramp/loop time about 3 ¾ hours.
Level of Difficulty
3.75 Hours (Winter 2013)