Mt Tamahunga Walkway & back (Omaha)
Head to Carpark on Omaha Valley Road.
This starts off on farmland and we follow the orange markers through the paddock, up a lush green grassy hill. We then walk alongside some
pines then through another paddock until we reach the start of the bush about 15 minutes later.
There’s some signage here with a bit in info on birds and trees. There’s also a really cool old Puriri tree here too. We continue through a wee avenue of palms on the fairly easier upwards gradient. The gradient does get steeper and being spring time we are greeted by some lovely Kowhai with a Tui having a feed. There are plenty of ferns, Nikau and a few Puriri about amongst plenty of other stuff. We are happy to see there are plenty of roots and mud underfoot too.
The gradient gets even steeper and we get a decent work out on the calves. Close to the top we arrive at a rocky part which flattens off before we start going upwards again. We pass a sign on our left, mid track (pointing right to summit and left to the road), which we thought was pretty obvious, but we then see behind the sign is an unmarked track . We see this is in the direction of the weather equipment /antenna thingy on the other peak and probably leading onwards towards Matakana Valley Rd.
We continue onwards and upwards and soon the track splits to the right in a small loop, where there is a view point from a rock of Omaha Beach below. We continue on and just a minute or two later at we’re at the summit . It’s taken us just under 1 ¼ hours from the car park to reach. At the summit there is a grassy clearing surrounded by trees, a trig and a wooden platform (which could be either a helicopter landing pad or a strange, but great, place for a stage). There is a hint of a view of Omaha past the trees by the trig to the right. If you climb up on the trig you can get an unobstructed view of Omaha and beyond. As for the other direction, the trees are too high to reveal anything.
Afterwards we continue to the other side of the clearing where the bush is a bit more thicker on this side and slightly overgrown - this is more like it. We gather this part of the track is probably less trodden as its likely that more people just head to the summit and back from Omaha Valley Rd. We carry on through the dense epiphytes and the track heads downwards fairly steeply and down a couple of rocky parts. These rocky parts are quite exposed and reveal great views of the east coast beaches northwards and of the surrounding farmland to the left. Also on the right we can see right down on the Omaha Quarry. It’s not long before we’re back in the bush again.
After close to 45 minutes from the summit we come out of the bush at a grassy clearing. As there’s a sunbeam we decide this is a great spot for a cuppa and some golden crunch cookies. Continuing forward for another few minutes the track runs upwards and alongside a fence line on our left and the edge of a pine forest to the right. There is plenty of mud here too and plenty of signs that cows tramp around this part of the track too. After about 15 minutes we’re at the end of the pine forest and we follow the track though gorse bushes on either side. We follow the fenceline and before we know it, there are more views revealed of northwards east coast beaches, Hen & Chicken islands and surrounding farmland. We can also see our intended route, where the track ahead dips down, before heading up a decent sized hill. From here the surrounding hills look great covered in the yellow gorse flowers (probably to the contrary opinion of the local farmers).
Once up the muddy stairs at the top of the hill (that we were previously looking at), we are now rewarded with views on our right down towards Omaha and Mahurangi Peninsula, various islands and you can also see Rangitoto on the horizon. We continue onwards for a few minutes and come out onto exposed farmland giving even better views of the coast where Pakiri beach and also Little Barrier Islands can be seen in addition to the previous coastline and islands.
The track pretty much now takes us alongside the fence line in a cow paddock. Close to the end we come across a gate with some signage and also a junction. To the left, leads downwards towards Pakiri Beach. Straight ahead for another minute or two leads to the end of the track at Rodney Road. We reach the end of this track about 2 ¾ hours from starting out.
We admire the view and then turn around and back track the way we came to enjoy the track from a different perspective and enjoy those views all over again. We do stop mid bush (sheltering from a rain shower) before the summit to enjoy a lunch of Chermoula Sarnies washed down by another cuppa. We return back at Omaha Valley Road carpark just under 5 ½ hours from starting out.
Level of Difficulty
Moderate, with plenty of easy bits
2.75 Hours - One Way (Spring 2012)
5.5 Hours - Return (Spring 2012)