Wild Things - New Zealand's trail running community
New Zealand's trail running community


don't have an account?

Cascades - Waitaks 20km Loop, Auckland

Trail Directory proudly supported by Further Faster

Update Your Header Picture

Cascades - Waitaks 20km LoopIntermediate - Experienced

Submitted by Ryan Cooke

Info Info
Map Loading

Trail Information







Front country - easily accessible


Undulating, some big hills

Native bush

Intermediate - Experienced

3:30 (Slow)
2:30 (Moderate)
2:00 (Fast)



CLOSED DUE TO KAURI DIEBACK. You can sign up to e-updates re the track situation in both the Waitakere and Hunua Ranges here.

Download PDF Guide

Fastest Known Times (FKTs)

Please set your gender to see your position on the FKT leaderboards.


There are currently no male FKTs for Cascades - Waitaks 20km Loop.


There are currently no female FKTs for Cascades - Waitaks 20km Loop.

Filter FKTs

The more , the harder the FKT will be to beat. Learn about Fastest Known Times.

Missing your time?

Register or login as a VIP and get yourself on the FKT leaderboard!

Register Now


IMPORTANT: Please ensure you use all of the Council provided Kauri Dieback shoe wash stations you come across on the trail. Scrub then spray.
Please clean your shoes before running and after you are finished.

Start beside the information board at the car park. Follow the gravel path downhill a short then cross the swing bridge. Follow Auckland City Walk track for about 100m, and then turn right up Upper Kauri track. Follow this track up for 3km ignoring any other tracks (ie Cascade Track on the left or Lower Kauri on the right). At 3km you will get to a junction with Long Road, take this track to the left.

Continue on Long Road, following the 3 small side tracks (labelled Montana, they soon join back to the main trail after a short distance), you will get to a clearing and track junction (approx 4.7km). From here take Ridge Road Track directly ahead. Continue on this trail for 4km until you emerge onto Cutty Grass track. Turn left here, and continue on Cutty Grass until reaching Scenic drive (just over 3km)

Turn left onto Scenic drive, (stay left and take care with the traffic!) for 300m until the Fairy Falls carpark. Cross the road and follow Fairy Falls track for 100m until reaching a Kauri dieback spray station. Turn left up Old Coach Road Track. After 400m this pops out on Scenic drive again, turn right and up the road 100m where Old Coach Road track heads back into the bush.

Follow the trail until Tawari Road (gravel road), turn left and follow it until Scenic drive again, Turn right along Scenic drive, cross over Mountain Road, then shortly right into Spraggs bush carpark. Follow Spraggs Bush track. Turn left at the junction that indicates Tuaranga Road to the right. Go straight ahead where you get to a 3 way intersection where all directions indicate Spraggs Bush track!

You will soon arrive on Scenic Drive again. Turn right here and follow Scenic drive (again, watch the traffic!!) for nearly 1km until reaching the Waitakere Dam Carpark on the left. Follow the Dam Road to the left down the hill. This is an asphalt road, but the grass verges on the sides are easily wide enough to run on.

After approx 1.2km, and before reaching the dam, there is a tiny track that is on the right (named Cascade View however the sign is not currently there). Head down this track for some awesome views over the valley. The track pops back out on the dam road shortly after, so continue on. Just before reaching the dam, turn sharp right to join 'Waitakere Tramline Walk' and head down the stairs. Turn right and follow the tramline to the end, (going through a short tunnel along the way!), then at the end turn left up West Tunnel Mouth Track.

Follow Andersons all the way down the hill, across the stream at the bottom, then once you hit Auckland City Walk track, turn right. Follow this to the end until you reach the top carpark, turn left down the road to get back to the carpark you started from.

Trail Community

Find people who are interested in this run.

You must register or login to view this content.

Features of interest

1/2 way down Dam road on the left is a very very short track that indicates "Giant Kauri". Worth a detour for a look
Cascade View Track has views over the Cascade Valley
Lots of Kauri in various other spots on the run (ie heading down Andersons)
Tunnel on Waitakere Tramline

Make Up of Run

Technical Single Track: 15%

Easy Single Track: 75%

Sealed Road: 10%

Route Data


You must register or login to view this content.

Overlapping Runs

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

Cascade Kauri V1

Cascade Kauri V1

Length: 10.70km

Cascade Kauri V2

Cascade Kauri V2

Length: 15.50km

Cascade Kauri Outer Loop

Cascade Kauri Outer Loop

Length: 15.50km


You must register or login to view this content.

Your Trail Wishlist

All the runs that are on your To Do list (no limit).

Add to wishlist view wishlist

Your Trail Dreamlist

The runs you most want to do (limited to 10).

Add to dreamlist view dreamlist

Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    The trail starts from the car park at the end of Falls Road, off Te Henga (Bethells) Rd, which in turn is off the northern end of Scenic Drive. Falls Road passes through Waitakere Golf Course and changes to gravel past the club house.

    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.

    Park information (from http://regionalparks.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/cascades)
    Summer gate opening hours: 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. (Daylight savings)
    Winter gate opening hours: 8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. (Non daylight savings)

    28 km

    35 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    Care to be taken along all the small side tracks along Scenic drive
    Other track junctions generally marked well


    Lightweight fleece top, Windproof jacket, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.

    No water on route, however is available at the carpark at the start/finish

    Ridge Road and Cutty Grass tracks can get quite muddy and boggy after lots of rain

  • Post run indulgence

    Swanson Railway Cafe
    Swanson Railway Station
    Good coffee!

  • Blog Posts and Articles
  • Sponsor this trail

    If you are interested in learning about sponsorship opportunities, please get in touch below:


See other runs nearby:

Centennial Park trails (Campbells Bay)
Rangitoto Romp
Cascade Kauri V1
Riverhead Rambling
Goldies Goodness
Hunt For The Wilderpeople
Christies Lollipop
Cascade Shorty
Okura Bush
Kuataika Double & Wainamu Bush
Titirangi Trainer
Cascade Kauri V2
Pipeline Loop
Puke Ariki (Point View Reserve)
Mangemangeroa Track
Inner City Bush Trails
Waikowhai Stairs, Bush & Beach
Wainamu - Why Not?
Cascade Kauri Outer Loop
Flat Fun in the East
Rangitoto - Motutapu Double
Western Rangitoto
Rangitoto - Motutapu Double V2
Rangitoto Circumnavigation
Puhinui Stream Forest Trail
Kuataika Half Marathon
Tiritiri Magic!
Te Ara Hura West
The Wenderholm Wonder
It may be only 4.5km... BUT...
Mangere Mountain Crater loop
Motuihe Island Loop
Anzac Loop
Tawharanui Loops
Hunua Hustle
Maungakiekie Loop
Watercare Coastal Walkway
Partial Lunacy Mission
Sanders Reserve
Around the Outside at Te Atatu
Fernhill & Burnside Escarpments
The Rangicircum
Te Henga Trail
The James Vowles Inspiration Circuit
Takapuna Rocks
Riverhead Gates Challenge
Low Tide at Mahurangi West
Mercer Bay Magic
Northcote Trails
Long Bay Beach, Bush & Cliffs
Bus Station to Beer Spot
Karamatura Loop
Hobson Bay Loopity
Lake Wainamu Loop
Duder Dude
The Riverhead Capital E
Onetangi/Trig Hill loop
Simple Beauty
Must Love Sand and Stairs.
Ernie's Pukupuka Combined Loop
Espresso Love
Northcote Multi Trail Loop
Te Ara ki Uta ki Tai
Beach Haven Bridges to Pitches
Strip Trig to Barlow
Puhinui - not just for Horses

Show all

Got a favourite trail? Tell us about it.

Share the love and add your favourite trail(s) to our growing trail directory.

Submit A Trail

Become a member today

Start enjoying the many benefits to becoming a member of our thriving community.

Become a member

Great brands at great prices with our VIP member's discount

Stay up to date

Sign up to our newsletter for latest offers and trail guides

Share this trail with a friend:

VIP Membership

Please register as a VIP or login to your VIP account to view this content.

Cancel Login Register

Membership Required

You can see up to three trail guides without being logged in but after that we require you to be logged in to your Free or VIP account. If you don’t yet have an account you can register here.

Login Register