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Cascades - Waitaks 20km Loop, Auckland

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Cascades - Waitaks 20km LoopIntermediate - Experienced

Submitted by Ryan Cooke

Info Info

Trail Information

20.00km

720m

720m

 

Auckland

Auckland

Front country - easily accessible

Loop

Undulating, some big hills

Native bush

Intermediate - Experienced

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

-7.9%

+8.5%

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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Description

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.


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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

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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

    No

    No

  • Staying Safe

    Moderate.

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

    Patchy.

    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
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