Not my left eye, it's Maraetai!Beginner - Intermediate
Submitted by Brad Stewart
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Front country - easily accessible
Native bushPlantation/exotic forest
Beginner - Intermediate
The Maraetai Forest is private land used for commercial forestry purposes. The good folks who own it let the Pohutukawa Coast Bike Club use it for mountain biking, hiking and trail running and who subsequently charge an annual fee of $50 for full use, a running/walking membership for $25/year. or $10 at the local G.A.S Station for a day pass.
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Maraetai Forest is a commercial forest for such purposes so please be cautious at all times. However, it is shared by a professional group for your pleasure of using the forest for biking and running. It is primarily a mountain bike forest. This route circumnavigates the forest. However you could easily add on 20km of lush trails winding in and out and around of this route. From the Rewa Road entrance you will find the old gates easy enough and from there the main forestry trail begins and loops right around the forest - so you shouldn't have a problem of getting lost. Starting from the gate, follow the main forestry trail for about 3km to a junction where you should find a sign saying "Trig Road". Naturally you can go either way, however the main flow is clockwise so stay left and carry on up and along the trail until you come to the big blue shipping container about another 2km away. This container is a meeting point as it is near the highest point and a great look out. From the blue container keep following the main trail and do not come off this trail. If you stay on this trail you will swing right back around to the junction and can then either go back up and around or make your way down to the Rewa Road gate for exiting. Once familiar with the loop, you will see many bike trails off the main track... And that's where the fun really starts!
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Features of interest
Lots of birdlife and the magical New Zealand flora - gorse! This is commercial forestry so expect fallen logs, some waterways, Auckland clay, lots of forestry roads and some cute Fantails.
Make Up of Run
Technical Single Track: 25%
Farm Road / 4WD Track: 30%
Gravel Road: 45%
The Rewa Road entrance is the best as it feels more secure and is closer to the main Maraetai Village etc.
You may also enter the Maraetai Forest at Okaroro Drive entrance which is a dead end so just go to the very end, park and follow you nose. Do not get this mixed up with the Whitford Forest which is nearby and closed for the foreseeable future as of June 2020 for deforestation reasons.
Travel by car is the only really viable option. Plenty of parking.
Its hard to get lost... Seriously.
Short-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Whistle, First aid kit, Cellphone, Map.
No water on site so take your own!
Lots of Auckland clay so in winter if you're going off the main track be ready for some gluggy clay on the shoes.
No hazards as such but will note that cell reception is limited. So as you can easily go off course do the smart thing and tell someone where you're headed.
Post run indulgence
The Stables Whitford
Craft beer and buffalo wings are great
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