Waharau Ridge GutbusterBeginner
Submitted by Nikki Newham
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The Waharau Ridge Track has reopened in late 2021 with significant Kauri Dieback upgrades, particularly on the north side of the loop (quite a few stairs)
From the sealed carpark at the Information Building head left around the back of the building and look for the purple track marker. Follow the purple track through the Puriri Grove and around the edge of the park toward the camping area.
Head toward the top of the picnic area where there are toilets and water. Stop at the footwash station and give your shoes a good scrub and disinfect. Once through the footwash station head up the 4 wheel drive track following the red marker poles. There are a couple of other tracks still closed (upper and lower link tracks) so be aware for barriers and signage.
Follow the track onwards and upwards. There's a small ford to cross around 3km in, hop the stepping stones or embrace the cooling from wet shoes, it's pretty benign in good weather, caution is required if it's been very wet.
Keeping going up, it's steep in places but the views are worth it. Somewhere about the 6km mark, you are near the ridge, there's a great viewpoint up here, definitely worth a stop.
Carrying on the ridge track which undulates for a few km, you'll come to what was a track junction - there is now only one option, to head down. Enjoy the downhill, the steps and a couple of viewing spots along the way.
Towards the bottom of the hill you'll come across a closed gate, follow the track round to the left even though you can see a track marker past the locked gate. The track has been rerouted due to Kauri Dieback upgrade work.
Head downhill, stay on the track that will turn into green track markers, hang a right just after the wooden footbridge back towards the carpark. The trail here is very pretty running through the established bush.
Once you exit through the footwash station, turn left and head uphill. The carpark is only about 200m away!
Make Up of Run
Untracked / Route only: 0%
Technical Single Track: 0%
Moderate Single Track: 0%
Easy Single Track: 40%
Farm Road / 4WD Track: 60%
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
Start is at Waharau Regional Park information Bbilding, just next to the sealed carpark. There is parking further into the park however this trail entry starts with the purple track just behind the information building.
Plenty of parking in the park, either at the first carpark next to the Information building or further into the park. Waharau Regional Park is about 1 hour from the Howick area of Auckland if you take the coast road. From Clevedon head towards Kawakawa Bay, then on past the Orere Point turnoff. Waharau is around 10mins driving time past the Tapapakanga Regional Park turnoff. From other Auckland regions it may be quicker to take the Southern Motorway, then SH2, then Mangatangi and Kaiaua.
All other tracks that used to connect to the Waharau Ridge Track are now closed. There are barriers and signage so it should be obvious where not to go.
Short-sleeved thermal top, Windproof jacket, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.
There is a water tap near the toilets at the top end of the picnic area, just before you head uphill on the red poled track.
Can be windy and cold at the ridge at any time of year. Track upgrade work has removed any muddy parts.
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