Long Rd - Lower Kauri - Whatitiri Track Loop
Head to the end of Long Road.
The Long Road Track starts off past the gate and straight ahead on a gravel road heading upwards. On the left you’ll pass the junction of the Whatitiri Track. The road has a few bends here and there and continues steadily upwards.
There are some pretty good views on either side the higher up you get. Towards the top it flattens out and on the right is a paddock full of curious cows that follow on the other side of the fence.Then the bush finally closes in, the mud appears and the tramp begins.
After about half an hour we come to the junction of the Lower Kauri Track on the left. We head left. This track starts off flatish for five minutes or so and also see quite a few mature Kauri. Over head there are lots or colourful lorikeets all flying through the Kauri tops screeching away happily. The track then descends fairly steeply (still plenty of Kauri about) and there is also a fair bit of mud.
It doesn’t take long before we are at the bottom encounter our first stream crossing. We decide that this also makes for a pretty good cuppa tea spot, there isn’t too much room so we stop by the side of the track. It’s very green down the bottom here and there is plenty of moss and the occasional branch to duck under and plenty of muddy puddles. The canopy is also fairly dense, but when the sun shines you see beams of light streaming though giving off a majestic vibe.
The track crosses another small stream and then slopes upwards but fairly gradually . On the higher ground are more mature Kauris with great big roots under foot as well. There are also a few views on the left where there the trees part occasionally. After about an hour the track ends and we arrive at the T junction of the Upper Kauri Track going left and right which is also a wooden walkway. We head left .
There are plenty of mature Kauri up here and our track heads down and onto a gravel path. As you get down a bit you can hear the Cascade Falls on your right. The path continues on a windy but steadily descending path pathway with a few stairs as well. After about 20 minutes or so, at the bottom on this track you arrive at another T junction of the Auckland City Walk going left and right. We head left.
We follow this track for a few minutes then cross the bridge over the Whatitiri Stream. About 5 minutes later you are at the end of the Auckland City Walk and are at a carpark. There is a sign by the flax pointing left for the Whatitiri Track. We head left and pass through trees for about 5 steps and come out at the grass area/paddock. There is no visible track here, but continue straight on past a low tanalised marker pole in the ground with a triangle pointing straight ahead to reassure us we’re heading the right direction.
We head down the grassy bank were the track appears and then leads to the Whatitiri Stream where we cross over on the rocks. The track is flat, muddy and easy going. It then starts off heading away from the stream into the bush but them comes out onto a clearing and alongside the river. There is lots of long grass which looks quite inviting for a comfy lunch stop right next to the stream, so we give in to temptation and find the perfect spot.
Refuelled we continue on our flat easy going walk by the stream mostly in cleared area, but we still go through a few pockets of trees and 2 more very small stream crossings. The track then slopes gently upwards on the edge of the bush next to gorse and cabbage trees. From here on it is more like a farm walk, this is still actually very pleasant in the sun. As we get to the top there is still a nice view of farmland and valleys below on one side and of the bush above on the other.
The track then turns at a right angle (right) where you climb a fence and here the track disappears and you need to look out for the marker poles on the ground. We continue straight through the paddock and pass the fenced-off camp ground on our right. Eventually we come across a sign on the left and a gravel road. This heads upwards to the T junction of the Long Road Track (going left and right)which we arrive in about just under an hour later. We head right and back track towards the car. This loop took about 3 ¼ hours in total.
Level of Difficulty
Total Loop Time
3.25 hours (Winter 2011)