Goodwin Rd, Wairere Falls, Wairere Stream, Wairere Falls Track, Ancient Maori Track, Kaimai ranges, waikato, mossy trees, goblin forest, waterfall,
Wairere Falls Loop, Kaimai Ranges
Head to the carpark at the end of Goodwin Rd.
Just before you reach the carpark, you’ll see the Wariere Falls on
your left. From the carpark you’ll see the signage .
We follow the flat track into the bush and past the loos on the right. Quite early into it we are greeted by plenty of lovely vibrant green moss on either side of the track as well as some cool mossy rocks too, some of them pretty big. It’s not long before we cross our first bridge over the Wairere Stream. After less than 20 minutes we reach our first junction with signage. Straight ahead is the Wairere Falls Track and also towards the lookout of the falls. To the right is the bottom of the Ancient Maori Track.
We head straight and this track follows the stream. There are a couple more bridges that cross back & forth over the stream too. Now, I’m not usually a fan of manmade walkways, but with this one I reckon DoC did a nice job and the walkway allows you to hug the side of the rocks right over the stream. The scenery is simply beautiful. After the 3rd bridge the ascent begins with plenty of stairs & upwards gradient too. Just over 40 minutes from starting out we reach the lookout which is a platform viewpoint overlooking the majestic Wairere Falls.
It’s a winter’s Day and the mist & cloud is hanging low on the Kaimais. It almost appears that the falls are cascading down from the mist giving a beautiful yet eerie vibe. With the waterfall & mist, images of the 80’s movie “Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan” come to mind (before he gets brought into civilization). After soaking in the cool vibes we continue upwards. About 20 minutes of steady incline, we pass the junction (with signage) for the top of the Ancient Maori Track on the right. Also around here there are gaps between the trees where I imagine would be a pretty good view out to the Waikato, but today we were un in the clouds, so it was bright white beyond.
From here the track levels off and it makes its way through mossy trees giving off that goblin forest atmosphere which we always enjoy, the surrounding mist really adds to the ambience too. After about 10 minutes or so we reach another signposted T junction at the Wairere stream. To the right the Wairere Track continues along the stream into the Kaimais . To the left the track also running alongside the stream heads to the lookout at top of the waterfall . There is also the option of walking straight ahead a couple of paces into the stream (which wasn’t really an enticing option being winter).
We head left passing a few rapids, after a couple of minutes we reach the lookout platform at the top. We see the water going over the edge and we can just make of the bottom through the mist -it’s certainly a long way down. As for looking out though, it’s just bright white cloud. I bet from here there’d be a great view of the Waikato farmland beyond (we’ll just have to come back in the Summer for views & a swim).This mist/cloud really gave this spot quite an odd perspective, yet enjoyable experience all the same.
From here we backtrack the way we came until we reach the junction of the Ancient Maori Track. There is a warning that it was steep & not maintained. We head left & down the steep track. This looked fairly well used & it even had markers, personally I thought it was as maintained as a track needs to be, I prefer the absence of stairs. It was steep though and slippery too, as a lot of it was clay and it was wet too from a bit of previous rain. This just added to the fun, but we really had to watch our footing & I was grateful for my trusty stick. A lot of the surrounding bush was more like scrub, I imagine there’d be some great views on the way down too.
After a while we were back in the bush under some tall Punga Trees. As it was just starting to rain, we decided this would be a suitable spot to stop for lunch. Here we tucked into our lunch of Roast Vege Wraps & a nice hot cuppa. Once in the bush, we found the track a tad less steep, but still headed steadily downwards. After about 45 minutes or so from the start of
this track, we came out of the bush where the track then ran alongside a cow paddock then down into the bush again for a few more minutes, until we came back out at the Wairere Track.
From here we now headed left and back tracked to the carpark, just in time for the onset of steady rain. Total tramp time about 2 ½ hours.
Level of Difficulty
Easy - but hope you like climbing up stairs
2.5 Hours (Winter 2013)