Huia dam rd, lower huia reservoir dam, Smiths Rd, crusher pipe track, hamilton track, summit track, Kauri, Nihotupu ridge, waitakere views, parau track, kakamatua ridge track, totara, huia, manukau heads, farley track, parataniwha
Huia Dam Rd, Crusher, Hamilton Summit, Nihotupu, Kakamatua, Farley 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 past the grazing sheep then from there on this road is then unsealed. You walk alongside and across a couple of bridges, then the road slopes upwards before heading downwards again. The road forks (Smiths road to the right), we carry on straight ahead and across another bridge. The water is very peaceful amd reflective of the scenery around and you can see the odd fish movement in the water and on this occasion ducks and a swan too. From here there are high banks on either side covered in moss and the trees are overhead forming a nice green canopy giving the road a tunnel like vibe. We finally reach the Crusher Pipe Track on your left, (about 45 minutes from starting out). It’s not long at all until you see a bigarse pipe which we follow across a bridge
then up some steep stairs before this pipe disappears into the side of the hill.
From the stairs we follow a wide grassy track gently heading uphill. After 15 minutes from starting out on this track , we find the welcome sight of the Hamilton Track on out left with plenty of inviting mud. It really does surprise me when I read about wussey trampers out there that don’t appreciate natures gift of slipping, sliding and squelching in the mud . Anyway we love it. This is a great track with lots of mud and tree roots to navigate your way through. There a few things to climb over and duck under too. There’s also lots of moss and vibrant green dense bush. Somewhere along this track we
discovered a wee sunbeam on some brown, dead fern branches inviting us to have a
seat which proved to be nice and soft too. This was a great stop for a cuppa and some golden crunch cookies. After about 45 minutes we reach a crossroad intersection. The Hamilton Road continues straight ahead and the Summit Track is left and right. There is also a sign here with a map on it and a dot showing where you are. We reluctantly say goodbye to the mud and head right on the Summit Track which starts off upwards at a moderate incline. This track undulates a bit and has some nice big Kauri on it too. Once around the top of this track we also noticed that higher up the trees were less dense, but there are also lots of thick vines to contend with.
With the trees being less dense we found the track poorly defined and had to really keep an eye out for the markers as it was pretty easy to go off the track. After about 50 minutes from starting the Summit Track we reached the T junction of the Nihotupu Ridge Track going both left and right. We headed right. This part of the Nihotupu Ridge Track is still pretty poorly defined so you have to stay vigilant for those markers (especially when the track appears to split). This track also undulates for quite a while . There is a fairly hardout steep descent too before a ridge with some great Waitakere views and on a gentle incline . We then head up one more steepish incline before we find a nice clearing on more soft dead ferns for a wonderful lunch of Pesto and Fejoa Chutney Sarnies. After about an hour from starting the Nihotupu Ridge Track we arrive at the T junction meeting up with the Parau Track (going left and right). We headed right and less than 5 minutes later we reach the junction of the Kakamatua Ridge Track on our left. The Parau Track continues straight ahead. We head left on the Kakamatua Ridge Track. This track starts off upwards and makes its was through lots of young kauri. There are a couple of big ones too and a magnificent Totara (you’ll know when you see it). From there the track is reasonably flattish with some nice views of Huia and the Manukau heads on the right. The track then continues downwards which more views intermittently between the trees. After about ½ an hour we reach the T junction of the Farley track going bother left and right. We head right. This is quite a gentle track starting off fairly flat before gently sloping downwards. After a while you hear water & we’re greeted by a tranquil waterfall leading to a small stream surrounded with beautiful Parataniwha. The track follows the stream with wee bridges here & there as you cross a couple of times. There’s also a bit of mud here too for you mudlovers. After about another half hour or so we reach the junction where the track ends at the intersection of the Parau Track heading right and also straight ahead. We continue straight ahead on the Parau Track then after a few minutes across the swing bridge across the river and come out on the Huia Dam Rd again, then we head left back track to the car.
Total Loop time about 5 hours.
Level of Difficulty
Easy to Moderate
5 Hours (Autumn 2012)