Cascade Kauri V1Beginner - Intermediate
Submitted by Mal Law
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Beginner - Intermediate
CLOSED DUE TO KAURI DIEBACK. You can sign up to e-updates re the track situation in both the Waitakere and Hunua Ranges here.
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Starting from the car park drop down the hill on a gravel path, cross the creek and turn left on Auckland City Walk. After around 1 km turn right on Anderson Track which before long crosses a shallow stream (usually possible to keep feet dry with some nimble rock hopping.) On the far side of this stream the trail starts to climb steeply, with several long flights of steps to negotiate.
Towards the top of the climb you enter a beautiful grove of young kauri trees and at about 2.5km reach a junction where you turn right, following the signpost to 'Waitakere Tramline Walk'. A short, gnarly downhill (watch out for slippery boulders) spits you out on the Tramline Walk. Turn right and follow one of the few genuinely flat bits of Waitakere trail, along the tramlines and through a short tunnel (headlight not necessary but maybe advisable for the more nervous!)
The tramline ends a short way further on and you leave it to your left and climb a series of concrete steps to reach the Watercare road. Turn right across the dam and at the far end turn left along the shores of the reservoir following Fenceline Track. This re-enters the bush and soon after starts climbing towards Simla, the high point of the run that you reach a little over 6km in.
Here you take a right on to Long Road Track and enjoy a sweet short downhill, followed by undulating trail through the bush. The route twice leaves the broad 'Long Road' for single-track diversions signposted 'Montana Heritage Trail' - the first leaves is on the right, the second is on the left, and both rejoin the main trail after just a few hundred metres. Missing these is no big deal but they are much nicer to run than the unmaintained, clay surface of the main trail that they have been designed to avoid.
After around 8km you come to another major junction where you turn right on to Upper Kauri Track. This undulates for a few hundred metres before starting the more obvious descent back towards where you started.
Along the way you'll see the currently closed Lower Kauri Track to your right, and run sections of boardwalk through stunning kauri forest. Stay on the Upper Kauri, ignoring the right turn for Cascade Track, and enjoy a km or so of very fine downhill to rejoin the Auckland City Walk next to the stream at the bottom. Turn left, re-cross the bridge, and finish with the short climb back to the car park.
(The stream makes a great place for a cold, leg-refreshing dip)
Features of interest
Beautiful kauri forest, a tramway, a long tunnel & the 'Ark in the Park' habitat restoration area.
Make Up of Run
Technical Single Track: 10%
Moderate Single Track: 10%
Easy Single Track: 80%
The following trails overlap with this run to some degree. You may wish to combine them but please note that to qualify for FKTs on these runs you should record a separate Strava activity for each
The large DoC car park at the end of Falls Road, off Te Henga (Bethells) Rd, which in turn is off the northern end of Scenic Drive.
Plenty of parking although in peak times in gets full quite early in the day. There's a toilet and good info board/map here too.
Just keep an eye out for signposts and you can't really go wrong.
Short-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.
No readily available drinking water on the route so take your own.
Sections of this trail (particularly the Anderson Track) can get very muddy in winter and after heavy rain. However the later parts of the route have been at least partially gravelled and make for some of the driest winter running in the Waitakeres.
This is a popular area with walkers so watch out for large groups of slower-moving people as you fly downhill.
Sponsor this trail
See other runs nearby:
Centennial Park trails (Campbells Bay)
Hunt For The Wilderpeople
Kuataika Double & Wainamu Bush
Cascade Kauri V2
Puke Ariki (Point View Reserve)
Inner City Bush Trails
Cascades - Waitaks 20km Loop
Waikowhai Stairs, Bush & Beach
Wainamu - Why Not?
Cascade Kauri Outer Loop
Flat Fun in the East
Rangitoto - Motutapu Double
Rangitoto - Motutapu Double V2
Puhinui Stream Forest Trail
Kuataika Half Marathon
Te Ara Hura West
The Wenderholm Wonder
It may be only 4.5km... BUT...
Mangere Mountain Crater loop
Motuihe Island Loop
Watercare Coastal Walkway
Partial Lunacy Mission
Around the Outside at Te Atatu
Fernhill & Burnside Escarpments
Te Henga Trail
The James Vowles Inspiration Circuit
Riverhead Gates Challenge
Low Tide at Mahurangi West
Mercer Bay Magic
Long Bay Beach, Bush & Cliffs
Bus Station to Beer Spot
Hobson Bay Loopity
Lake Wainamu Loop
The Riverhead Capital E
Onetangi/Trig Hill loop
Must Love Sand and Stairs.