Wairoa Cosseys Track + Suspension Bridge Loop
Head to the Carpark at Cossey Dam.
The maps show this road as Cossey Access Road. The actual signpost for this road states Massey Road .
We start out by going through the gate and follow the signs as we pass over the dam.
On the other side of the dam is where the Wairoa Cosseys Track starts.
On the side of the dam there are sheep grazing, the water is calm and there is also
a grassy area with picnic tables, but still being a dam, there’s a touch too
much concrete about for us.
We follow the signs and make our way on the gravel track veering to the left. From
there this track inclines steadily, after about 20 minutes or so upwards we reach a
wooden platform with a view looking out over Cosseys Reservoir. From here, the
track continues upwards but is a fairly slight gradient and also the growth on each side closes in a bit giving it a better vibe. Some parts feel almost tunnel like with the Supplejack overhead.
After about 40 minutes the track forks,
straight ahead is a gate for continuing on the Wairoa Cosseys Track and to the
right is the Massey Track. We head straight on and through the gate. The gravel
dissipates, the mud and tree roots become more prominent and the tramp really
begins. The incline continues and gets a bit steeper in parts There are some pretty decent sized Rimu and Totara about along with lots of Rewarewa, Puriri, Pongas and moss too amongst plenty of other stuff. It feels nice to get away from that gravel and enjoyable to walk in a bit of soft mud. You need to keep your eyes on your footing as there’s plenty of lovely roots about, some of them very mossy.
After a fair bit of uphill, the track undulates a bit giving the track a bit of variety. We notice that there’s quite on over kill on the first half of this track with the orange markers, so there’s very little chance of veering off track. After a while we pass a track on our right signposting a private track to Camp Adair. After about an hour and 15 minutes from starting
out, we arrive at a wee grassy patch and a marker indicating the half way point of the track also there’s a pretty good view on our left of the surrounding Hunua ranges. The spot would make a reasonable place to stop, but it’s still a tad early for our morning tea, so we carry on. After half an hour or so we’re gasping for a cuppa so we find a nice spot on some dead fern branches (nature’s seats) and stop trackside for a cuppa tea and some golden
Refuelled we continue. Even though this track undulates the slopes are not too steep and there are also a fair amount a flat bits. There’s also a few patches of growth to duck under and climb over to keep it interesting. We also pass by another random grassy patch and make note that there’s another potential good stopping spot. We also notice on the second half of the track there are a few less markers, perhaps the overzealous person that
attached the markers at the beginning realised they need to make them last. It’s not that you really need many of them, as this track is pretty well defined and in more or less a straight line. Also on this second half of the track there are quite a lot of stairs, way more than necessary, I prefer the natural terrain of the hill. After a while we catch glimpses through the trees of the Wairoa Reservoir on our left.
After 2 hours and 50 minutes from starting out we reached a junction. Straight ahead is the Suspension Bridge Track and to the left the Wairoa Cossey Track continues towards the dam. The signage to the left states Suspension Bridge Loop, as this remaining part of the Wairoa Cossey Track forms the rest of the Suspension Bridge Loop as well. This part of the track is designed for the masses and has gravel and is pretty much flat with a slight
downwards gradient with a quiet pleasant walk through young regenerating forest. It’s not long before we get views of the Wairoa Reservoir and we also come across a platform view point. After about 15 minutes from the last junction we reach the end of the Wairoa Cossey Track and arrive at the Wairoa dam.
There is another pleasant grassy picnic area at this dam, perhaps a tad nicer than the Cossey Dam. There are a dew ducks (swimming in pairs) here too adding to the ambience. We head right and follow the road/pathway alongside the reservoir. This road then curves around and away from the reservoir and heads downwards. We also pass the start of the Wairoa Loop Track on our left and we continue straight ahead and follow the road. We pass through gates and still following the road straight ahead.
After close to 20 minutes later we see a wooden suspension bridge, being where most people would start out on the Suspension Bridge Track/Loop. After crossing, this track pretty much heads upwards at a pretty reasonable gradient, enough to get the blood pumping. Close to the top of the hill is a wooden tower look out. On the side you can see surrounding farmland and on the other side where you’d expect to see the reservoir, there
are plenty of tall Rewarewa amongst other stuff. They may need another level to this tower to get a decent surrounding view. A couple of minutes after the tower we arrive at the junction and the end of the Suspension Bridge Track. This loop took about an hour in total.
From here we make our way back on the Wairoa Cossey Track. Approaching this track from the opposite direction we get an entirely different view point and it’s like a different track but with less surprises. We make our way to the first grassy patch and stop for our lunch of Vindaloo Sarnies. From there, we back track all the way back to where we started and arrive back at the car 6 hours and 40 minutes from starting out.
Level of Difficulty
Moderate (with plenty of easy bits)
6.75 Hours (Winter 2012)