Wainora & Booms Flat Loop - Kauaeranga Valley, Coromandel
Head to Wainora Campsite Carpark on Kauaeranga Valley Road.
We follow the signage leading to a well maintained flat gravel track (designed for the masses) lined with plenty of
ferns amongst lots of lush bush. It’s not long before the track runs alongside the tranquil Wainora Stream. There are also about half a dozen new wide bridges
that crisscross over the stream too. After the bridges, the track starts to
slope steadily upwards. Then it’s not too long before you make your way up
stairs and more stairs, enough to get the blood pumping that’s for sure. Once up
the numerous staircases there is a seat (if you need it) and a view across to
Table Mountain. Also to the left you can see the Billy Goat Falls, aka, Sleeping
God Canyon of the Atuatumoe Stream.
It’s pretty easy going again from here. After about 50 minutes from starting out, we reach the Junction with a signpost. To the left is the Cookson Kauri and straight ahead the Wainora track continues, as well as the Wainora Kauri also being straight ahead. We head left and down a track for a couple of minutes are then greeted by a magnificent, tall, straight Kauri. This really makes you wonder what the bush would have been like before the days of destruction. We then head back up to the junction and continue on the Wainora Track.
After this junction, the gravel gives way to nature, and it begins to feel like a proper tramp with beautiful mud and roots underfoot with plenty of great moss on either side. The track undulates a bit and we also pass a fairly big kauri (but nowhere near as big as the Cookson), with no signage but has a fence in front of it and we are wondering if this is the Wainora Kauri. We continue on and after close to half an hour we reach the sign pointing to the Wainora Kauri on the right. This was also massive, not as straight as the Cookson, but very impressive all the same. After more marvelling, we continue on our undulating track, whilst heading upwards more
than down. There was no obvious spot to stop, so after we were gasping for a cuppa, we stopped trackside for a nice hot tea and some energy giving golden crunch cookies. We cross a stream again and at one point the water flows right on the side of the rocky track.
After close to 2 ½ hours there is some signage and the track turns at a right angle to the left. Soon after is a bit of a steep climb and about 10 minutes or so later we are up on a narrow , exposed ridge and are rewarded by spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding hills and valleys of the Coromandel Ranges and also another perspective of Table Mountain. If the timing had of suited, this would make a great spot to stop for a bit. We also see across to the ridge over the valley that we’ll need to get to after a fair dip in the terrain first. We make out way down steeply at first, then back into the dense and mossy forest below before the track continues steady upwards.
After close to an hour from the last signage the track flattens out we soon arrive at another signposted junction known as Orange Peel Corner. To the right is Crosbies Hut and to the left is to Booms Flat Campsite. We head left. From here the track heads steadily downwards with a few flattish and undulating bits. There were a few views on the left every now and then too. There was no spot that really jumped out at us for a lunch spot, so we just stopped in a sunbeam, trackside for our lunch of Parmesan & Love Mayo Sarnies, washed down with a hot cuppa. With comparing the descent to the ascent, we noticed that there was a touch less moss about, but still plenty of mud. There were also a couple of trees to negotiate our way under and around to add to the fun, as they’d fallen on the track in parts.
After about an hour since the last junction we arrive at the next one. To the right is the track to the Whangaiterenga Campsite and straight ahead is the Booms Flat Campsite. We continue straight on. From here it slopes a tad more steeply and best of all, there’re no stairs. After about 45 minutes our surroundings become a pine forest and there’s orangey clay underfoot. Soon enough we’re on a gravel driveway and it’s about 5 minutes or so later that we arrive at the Booms Flat Campsite. We then come out at the road and head left. Roughly 15 minutes later we’re back at the Wainora Campsite.
Total loop time: 6 hours.
Level of Difficulty
6 Hours (Winter 2012)