Kakamatua Stream Loop
Head to the Carpark on Huia Rd, just after and opposite the first turn off to Cornwallis Beach (between Pine Ave and Cornwallis Rd)
Here you will see the sign for the start of the Farley Track which starts off fairly flattish and gravel underfoot (with just a slight incline) for close to 5 minutes or so and you then reach a junction.
The Farley track continues to the left and the Panto Track is straight ahead. We carry on straight ahead. We are also happy to notice that the gravel dissipates and we are walking on natural earth. Being summer, there’s not much mud as it has pretty much dried up. There is plenty of Kio Kio on either side of the track, as well as ferns and palms too. The track continues steadily upwards on a pretty easy gradient. After a while there is also lots of Kanuka trees as well.
After about 45 minutes we reach a grove of mature Pine Trees and a view point over looking Big Muddy Creek and across the Manukau Harbour. Less than 10 minutes later, the Panto Track ends at the T junction of the Parau Track going left and right. We head left . The Parau Track at this part is fairly flat and after about 2 minutes later we pass the junction to the Nihotupu ridge track on our right. After a while the track starts heading downwards, a wee bit steep in parts. In between gaps in the trees, we also get a few glimpses of the ridge that the Twin Peaks Track is on. After about 20 minutes later we reach the Kakamauta Stream. The Parau track continues straight ahead over a bridge.
Here we leave the track and head left and follow the stream, going downstream. At this part is it shallow running over the rocks, some of them flat and slippery and there are also rocks covered in lovely green moss giving a beautiful tranquil atmosphere. We walk through the stream, mostly rock hoping with a bit of shallow wading. Soon enough there are a few small rapids and the descent starts to reveal itself. Before we know it, we reach our first beautiful waterfall to negotiate. We decide to head up to the right as the bush is less dense and then we find a route downwards back to the stream.
Once back on the stream we head back up to the waterfall and delightful waterhole and find a spot for morning tea of a refreshing cuppa and some Peanut Brownies. Afterwards we make our way downstream making our way around parts that are a tad deeper than we wish to wade through. After few more small rapids, we make our way down a little waterfall to find a larger one, with limited options of making our way down. So we head back up the small waterfall and up to the right again to find another route down back to the stream. This second bigger waterfall was pretty much our last challenging bit to negotiate.
From here it was wading for a while until the bank flattened out on alternating sides and then we walked stream-side amongst ferns and occasional Paritaniwha, crossing the stream often, as it twisted downwards and flat bank would give way to rock face alternating from side to side. When the bank was dense with bush we’d wade again. At the junction of where the Tihihana Stream meets up with the Kakamatua Stream, there is a nice flat dry rock triangle which was the perfect spot for lunch. We tucked into falafel infused with feta sun-dried tomatoes, olives, onions and peppers in a wrap with baba ganoush – yum.
After about 3 ¼ hours in the stream we reach the Farley Track going both left and right where it crossed the stream. We took the path to our left. This part of the track was fairly flattish with plenty of ferns and Pate. After about 15 minutes, we see a tranquil wee water fall to the left. From here the track starts to head upwards on an easy gradient. About 20 minutes later we reach the junction where the Farley Track meets the Panto Track again (now on our left). We follow the Farley track, now veering right and gravel underfoot again and we reach the car park a few minutes later.
Total loop time was 5 hours.
Level of Difficulty
Easy , with a couple of moderate route finding
5 Hours (Summer 2012)