MTC + Stream Track loop (Mataitai Forest)
Luckily we got in to do 1 tramp before the closure, but we’re slightly disappointed that we didn’t get in quick enough to explore more of this .
In April 2012, DOC closed the Mataitai Conservation Area – the oldest and largest kauri forest in the Auckland region – for a period of five years to prevent kauri dieback from spreading there.
Anyway, once it re-opens.....
Head to Mataitai Forest grassy Carpark on the left, off Ness Valley Rd. We start out over a gate & alongside cow paddock until we cross the stream on a small wooden bridge. We enter the forest through a kind of majestic tunnel of tall punga on either side , the track then slopes upwards and soon you are heading up plenty of stairs for about 20 minutes or so .
At the top of those you reach the junction with the MTC Loop Track going straight ahead down some stairs & also heading right & upwards. We head right which starts off with a gentle incline before it gets a tad steeper amongst lots of pungas, ferns & kanuka & via long grassy clearing. Once at the top, the track then heads steadily down , from here you see a few young kauri and some more moss to the mix. This moss is light green as has a carpet feel – it’s actually very comfortable to sit on (& lie on too –yep we couldn’t resist). There are also bountiful brown leaves underfoot as the track gets remarkable steeper and then zig zags down to a tranquil stream crossing.
There is a small waterfall both to the left & right (which is slightly the larger of the 2) of the track. At this stage we’ve been going for about 1 ½ hours so we decide to go to the first waterfall we see, which is on the left & we find a great spot on a rock right in front of the falls for tea & Golden Crunch Cookies. From here we continue up & down quite a few ridges & leafy (underfoot) gullies that I lost track of how many there were, but it was definitely pretty hard yakka. These gullies have the most cool looking palms & vines too. We also cross a the same stream about half a dozen times too. Also the actual track is poorly defined , so you really need to keep an eye out for the markers (which are pretty clear).
After about 3 ½ hours from starting out, we reach the junction we plan to turn down, as on this loop we added the Stream Track to it to make it a tad bigger. We leave the MTC Loop Track & start on the Stream Track with plenty more ups & downs & eventually walk next to a small slow moving trickle of a stream then up & away from it for a while before we come back again, this time there’s enough water flowing for a couple of rapidy waterfall things, we pretty much follow the stream here , with a few crossings thrown in & are lucky enough to spot a couple of baby goats –so cute (& their mum who came bounding down the hill once the kids started bleating).
After another hour thereabouts we reach the junction meeting back up with the MTC loop track. From there we cross the stream one last time & head up some stairs for our final uphill for 20 minutes . Then we reach the junction of where the MTC Loop track meets up with itself. From here we back track down hill back to the car.
Total Tramping time was 5 ¼ hours.
Level of Difficulty
Total Loop Time
5.25 hours (Summer 2011)