Piha Valley - Centennial - Home - Winstone - Kite Kite Track Loop
Head to carpark at the end of Glen Esk Rd.
Start out on Piha Valley Track and walk along enjoying the meandering stream to your left on this flat track amidst plenty of nikau and moss which bring images into your head of the book “Where the Wild Things Are”.
The track starts off flat and easy going. You’ll also pass the junction on your left for the McKenzie Track, but on this occasion we continue straight on. There is a very small stream crossing then the track heads upwards steadily and there are a few stairs as well, to warm you up. At the top of the stairs the Piha Valley Track ends after about an hour at a T junction of the Centennial Track going left and right. We head right.
The Centennial Tk continues steadily upwards. There are also a few views of the valley below too your right. On the track, we encounter an interesting kauri which had fallen over and continued growing and the 2 branches coming out vertical have become 2 trees in their own right. After about 20 minutes hour or so we this track ends at another T junction of the Home Track going left & right. We head right.
This track still heads up on a ridge a bit but soon flattens out. At this stage our tummies are rumbling, but we don’t really come across a clearing or viewpoint . We decide to stop trackside for tea and biccies. Refuelled, we continue on to find the junction for the Winstone Track (approx 20 minutes from starting on the Home Tk) on the left. We decide to head left where the bush looks a bit more dense. This track was fairly even and flat with only slight rises and falls. After another ½ hour we arrive at the junction of the Connect Track to the right and the Winstone Track continues to the left. We head right on the Connect Track. About 5 minutes later we arrive at the stream at the top of the Kite Kite Falls.
There are pools up here also for a sit and a cool down in the summer. You can see where the rock has been cut for keeping beams in place for the dam that was once here. These also look like great places to sit. The view from the top of the falls is pretty impressive.
We cross the stream at the top of the falls & head left toward the Kitekite track. More great views looking towards the falls to the left. We go down a few steps until reaching the junction of the Knutzen Track. This leads down to the bottom of the falls. The Kitekite falls are most impressive, but is also a popular spot for visitors so it’s unlikely that you will get this spot to yourself. Then cross over the rocks and up the stairs where there is a pretty good view point of the falls in their entirety. There is a picnic table here and some information on the damn and Mr Knutzen the mill manager.
From here, it’s all down hill gravel track and you come across the junction which meets up again with the Kitekite track and you are alongside the stream & amongst the nikaus. This track continues all the way to the carpark.
Total Loop Time approx 2 ½ hours.
Level of Difficulty
2.5 hours (Winter 2011)