Home / Piha Stream & Gorge Loop
Head to the end of Glen Esk Road .Start out on Piha Valley Tk, cross the bridge, walk for a few paces & look to your right, as the junction veers off to the Home track.
This is long steady ascent which tests the fitness levels a tad
and has lots of young Kauri. This is mostly uphill with a little bit of
flat and a wee bit of down. You gain a bit of height here & get a few views
& walk along a ridge passing the Winstone Junction on your right. Roughly 50 mins from starting out is the junction for the Centennial to your left.
We head left, this is all steadily downwards & fairly steep. After close to 20
minutes we reach the Junction for the Piha Valley Track on our left. We continue down the Centennial Track which now veers to the right & down a few stairs too. After about 10 minutes or so we reach the Piha Stream and some of the remains of Black Rock Dam. The Centennial Track continues across the stream, but we head left & follow the stream (downstream).
There are plenty of obstacles with logs rocks & wee rapids & wee waterfalls to navigate your way down. There’s plenty or rock climbing , some compulsory waist deep wades & a couple of compulsory swims too. There is one point where you need to make your way over & down a log jam which is pretty high,& slippery. There are some bits if wood nailed in as a kind of ladder to assist, but you still have to do a bit of reaching/extending your legs.
From this log jam , the Piha Gorge presents itself – this is quite a magnificent place to see. Simply stunning scenery with lots of moss, rocks and there’s a lovely water fall on the right side too. After close to 2 hours in the stream we notice a track on the left. As it’s Autumn we have cooled right down so we follow the track which then leads on to the Piha Valley Track at a T junction going both left & right.
We head right where the track is adjacent to the stream. After
about 10 minutes we pass the junction of the McKenzie track on our right. This would be a second option of coming out of the stream. We continue along the Piha Valley Track. After about 20 minutes from starting this track we reach the car park.
Total loop time about 3 ½ hours. There is also the option of following this stream all the way to the carpark which could probably stretch out the loop to 4 ½ hours, but once you cool down it’s best to listen to your body, get out of the stream & get warm – definitely will return in Summer when a its a tad warmer.
Level of Difficulty
3.5 Hours (Autumn 2012)