Marawhara Stream Loop
Head to carpark at the end of Garden Road. Here you’ll see the sign for the Maungaroa Look Out Track.
This track starts off flat along side of a tranquil stream amongst plenty of Nikau, a few Puriri Trees and ferns.There’s a couple of easy stream crossings and soon enough the track turns & starts to head upwards once you pass past a nice rocky picturesque stream scene. From here it’s steadily upwards with a few zigzags away from the stream.
It doesn’t take long to get a bit of height and some views, initially of the valley you’ve just climbed out of & then as you make your way around there are some great sea views of Piha & beyond. After 35 minutes we reach the junction where the Maungaroa Lookout Track continues straight ahead and the Maungaroa Ridge Track begins on the left. We head left.
This track starts off flatish & then undulates fairly gently through young
kauri, before getting just a tad steeper and becomes orangey brown clay
underfoot. After about 45 minutes this track ends at the McKenzie Junction. The Pole Line Track across to the left, the Forbes Track across straight ahead and the Mckenzie Track on our right. We head left.
The Pole Line Track is pretty wide & very easy going at a slight gradient upwards and only takes about 10 minutes before this track ends at Anawhata Road going both left & right. We head left and walk along the road for about 20 minutes before we see the sign & start of the Hettig Track on our left. This is also directly across the road from the Chateau Mosquito Track.
We head down the Hettig Track which slopes fairly steeply downwards and is also quite overgrown. After about 10 minutes this track ends at the fairly narrow beginnings of the Marawhara Stream. The bush is pretty dense overhead , the light is dim & it’s a tad cooler even though it’s a bright sunny day. We head right & follow the stream, downstream. The track is quite undefined , but you can still just make it out, not that it’s that necessary as you just follow the direction of the water.
There’s plenty of obstacles with braches to climb over and under and we
cross this stream often, zig zagging our way down, across rocks, sometimes wading and the stream gets a bit wider too. As there is less light on this route it is very green and most of our surroundings are covered in lush moss.
Every now & then we come across a sunbeam. We seize the opportunity after a couple of wades into the cool water so soak up a bit of sun & have a hot cuppa tea with some golden crunch cookies. For just about the first 1 ½ to 2 hours our surroundings are pretty similar with dense bush & spots where the sun pieces through, until we reach a few rapidy things and the first of a few waterfalls. A couple of the routs around the water falls are pretty rough & a tad precarious. There is also a compulsory swim to be had – very refreshing.
We then stop to warm up again for a hot cuppa & have some lunch Thai Satay Sarnies . Another treat closer to the end , are some pretty big rocks that we have to clamber over. After about 4 hours in the stream we see the defined track which is the Whites Track which crosses the stream both left & right. We head left . We follow this flat track amongst ferns & nikaus for about 10 minutes before we come out at the road. At this point the same road (as signposted where the track comes out)is North Piha Road to the right & Marine Parade North to the left.
We head left down the road for about ¼ hour until we reach a signed track on the left (just after the bridge over the Wekatahi Stream) “To Garden Road”. We follow this short track between private
residencies for about 5 minutes until we reach Garden Road. We then head left again & walk down the road for a minute or two back to the
Total Loop Time about 6 ¼ hours.
Level of Difficulty
Moderate to Hard (with a just about compulsory swim, unless you're keen on making your way through plenty of Cutty Grass) . Climbing involved.
6.25 Hours - anticlockwise (Autumn 2012)
6.25 Hours - clockwise (Summer 2013)
6.5 Hours - anticlockwise, starting from top of Pole Line Track, on Anawhata Rd (Summer 2016)
The clockwise loop is slightly harder with finding Hettig Track from top of Marawhara Stream - veer left when stream forks. Also with climbing up waterfall from swimming in deep water can be challenging.