Kerry's Lollipop Beginner
Submitted by Simon Wickham
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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 at Panto Tracks western end (which is also Farley Tracks eastern end) I'd usually do this clockwise as it gives a nice quick downhill finish (esp in summer) to the loop - this is how its run on the profile below.
Start up the hill for a few hundred metres to the first fork and a Kauri Dieback station (spray the shoes) and head left onto Farley Track. This is great little single track that undulates its way up and over a few spurs on the way round to Kakamatua Track (Note: Farley Track shows as 'closed' on Council's website but this is only the section beyond this loop to Huia that is closed - so don't panic it's all good). You'll drop in and out of little valleys that are a bit damp in winter, through nice native bush and a couple of small streams and come to a fork with Kakamatua Track (turn right and head up this track). This is a great ridge track with a couple of good climbs (short and hard) and mainly otherwise undulating fun ridgeline running in native bush on a beautiful single track through to a regenerating Kauri forest. Some great views to your left across the Huia Dam and Valley from a few vantage points are to be savoured along this track. Head on and after a short downhill you'll see next junction with Parau Track and here you turn right on Parau Track (a left turn here takes you out to Huia Dam Rd, another access point for this loop). Parau Track undulates then heads downhill into Greasy Gulch (esp. in winter) and some nice downhill into a steam bed. The track heads uphill via a ridgeline that is split by two stream beds and the tougher climb out of the valley that gets the quads into gear starts here. Follow this grunter up till a junction with the Nihotipu Ridge Track (closed) and keep on Parau Tk, head to your right until a junction with Panto Track (again take a right). (Note: If you did turn left here you'd go downhill all the way to Huia Rd - another access point for this loop). Don't do that - go right and the climbing's over for the day, enjoy a downhill to the finish along Panto Track - let the legs and the mind run free on this wide open single track back to the car.
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Features of interest
Valleys and ridges, this run has a bit of everything - stream crossings, views of Huia Valley and Dam/Lake, views of Manukau Harbour back to the city
Make Up of Run
Technical Single Track: 40%
Moderate Single Track: 40%
Easy Single Track: 20%
Take Huia Rd from Titirangi and the carpark and trail head is on your right about 300m after you pass Mill Bay and Pine Ave (which are on your left). It's a small carpark on the right hand side of the road just before a bend so keep your eyes peeled and slow down after Pine Ave.
3-4 car parking in a gravel park close to the road edge - no public transport. Never had any safety issues parking here.
The junctions are all marked and signposted and the tracks are well marked with orange triangles
Thermal leggings, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival blanket, Cellphone, Map.
Plenty of stream crossings with no neighbouring farms etc so options abound at your own risk
Winter comes with greasy tracks and mud = more fun, slower times (the times posted are winter times)
Post run indulgence
Huia Food Store
Too many treats to name, great food, great coffee in an old historic general store setting that's worth a little detour further along Huia Road to get to
Iti (formerly Takahe)
Good tapas/small plates, great craft beer and good coffee
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