Huia Dam - Nugget - Twin Peaks Track Loop
Head to Carpark at the Huia Dam Road.
Through the locked gate (pedestrian access only), this is a pleasant stroll up the sealed road. Firstly you head up the Lower Huia Reservoir dam then from there on this road is then unsealed. You walk alongside & across a couple of bridges, then the road slopes upwards. The road forks (Smiths road to the right), we carry on straight ahead and across another bridge. The water is very peaceful & reflective of the scenery around & you can see the odd fish movement in the water & the occasional bird trying it’s luck.
From here there are high banks on either side covered in moss & the trees are overhead forming a nice green canopy. You will pass the Crusher Pipe Track and a while later the Christies Track on your left. The track then goes through a 62m metre tunnel with warning about wearing hard hats which we assume the authorities have put up in the remote chance that something falls on some extremely unlucky person.
After about 1 ½ of this track we cross a bridge & come across the Upper Huia Reservoir dam. The road/track was a nice warm up to the bush tramping treat in store ahead of us. On the right is the start of the Upper Huia Dam Track we take this to get up to the dam for 2 or 3 steep minutes. We decide the dam makes for a great morning tea (& with golden crunch cookies of course) spot next to a flowering Kowhai tree. It is very tranquil, sunny & flat. The view isn’t bad either. Across the dam and the real part of the tramp begins at the Nugget Track.
This starts off as it means to continue – straight up. There is plenty of mud & moss straight away. As you get a bit of height there are some magnificent kauri trees along with a pretty good view of the bush. There was heaps of mud (that wasn’t keen on surrendering our shoes) and plenty of stuff to duck under and climb over. Close to the end it gets even steeper (not quite vertical, but getting there) as you climb up a bit of rock. After about an hour we complete the Nugget Track and come across the T junction of the Huia Ridge Track which goes left & right. This point is about 470 metres above sea level. We head left. After close to ten minutes we come across the junction for the Twin Peaks Track on the left.
We head left. This track starts off fairly flat and after another 5 minutes or so we come across the sign marking the highest point in the Waitaks which is a wee clearing (at 474metres above sea level). We notice up here that all the trees are covered in moss. After a while the track gets really muddy (a lot more than the Nugget Tk) and there are quite a few obstacles of fallen trees to climb over. As well as lots of mud there are heaps of puddles & muddy puddles.
Now this is our kinda tramp. We realise that there’s not many places to stop on the side of the track , so as soon as found something with a sight clearing, so we stopped for sarnies & a nice hot cuppa .This track undulates a fair bit for quite a while, you can tell when you’re at each of the peaks at it gets a little bit rocky at each one and there’s a bit of a dip in between them. There is not much of a view from either of the two peaks, but once you get a bit past the second lower peak, a few of the spectacular views reveal themselves. From here it’s pretty much all down and some parts are pretty steep, especially where you come across a rocky bit where it’s tricky keeping you on eyes your feet as the beautiful view outwards keeps on drawing your eyes towards that too.
After lots of down we come across the junction of the Tom Thumb Track on the right. Also right before our eyes is the biggest Kauri I’ve ever seen named Tom Thumb (I’ve seen Tane Mahuta which may be higher, but this one it really wide). After gaping at this magnificent Kauri, we continued down the Twin Peaks track veering right, we also pass the track junction to the Goat hill track on the right. This track continues downwards for another 20 minutes to half an hour ,we pass the junction to the Tom Thumb bypass track on the right (who would want to bypass such a great kauri specimen?) After about 2 1/2 hours we complete the twin peaks track and come out at the Huia Dam Road. This loop takes about 6 hours in total (clockwise).
If you go the other direction it’s a tad more challenging and a lot more up on the Twin Peaks.
Total loop time still about 6 hours (anticlockwise) .
Also recommend having a look up Goat Hill Track (opposite tom Thumb) only takes about an additional 20 minutes return & you get a pretty view up top as the views up the Twin Peaks are fairly limited.
Level of Difficulty
Total Loop Time
6 hours (Spring 2011)