Twice Over The Kamais Intermediate - Experienced
Submitted by Tony Bullot
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Front country - easily accessible
Undulating, some big hills
Intermediate - Experienced
Not Suitable (Slow)
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Start at the carpark at the end of Whakamarama Road going anticlockwise on the loop track. After 200m take a right onto the marked Ngamarama track. After some stairs you run along the old logging tramline - it's generally straight with gentle inclines as the track cuts through the steeper hills. 4km up Ngamarama Track look for an unmarked track on the right, it seems to be an old forestry road but is well overgrown with Manuka and Toe Toe, especially the 1st 200m, it then opens up progressively onto an obvious but not maintained or marked track, by the end it’s a Quad bike track.
Here you ideally want to be following the route on your watch, or phone, or using a topo map - note there are some smaller overgrown quad trails not marked on the topo map.
After approx 7.7km, turn left left (west) onto Wairere Track - the junction is at a clearing and obvious, and there is a signpost at the junction (albeit off to the right (east) of the track you're on, about 20m in the bush edge).
From here, again stay on this track - after approx 9.7km (total), look out for a not-so-obvious track junction on the left and take this. You will start heading into thicker native bush. This junction is signed with an orange triangle, but the track you were on continues straight and it's easy to stick to that by mistake.
There is always a lot of tree fall on this next section of track so take care to sight and follow the orange marker triangles.
Stay on Wairere Track until you hit the obvious junction with the North-South track (11.2km), where you'll turn left (south).
From here, navigation is easier - stay on the North-South track, heading south, until you come to the Te Tuhu / Ngamarama track junction. Turn left (east), signed to Whakamarama Car Park, and stay on this track the whole way back to the start/finish at Blade Car Park.
Features of interest
Leland O'Brian historic tramline. Wairere Falls and plenty of mature native bush.
You'll go through large Mānuka and Kānuka forest which has grown after the area was cleared for logging. This is also a bit more rugged and less traveled than the overlapping and very popular Whakamarama Loop.
Make Up of Run
Untracked / Route only: 5%
Technical Single Track: 50%
Moderate Single Track: 35%
Easy Single Track: 10%
Start at the Blade Carpark, at the very end of Whakamarama Road.
The last couple of kms on Whakamarama road is single lane rough metal but there is a good size carpark and a toilet at the end.
Due to the large number of tracks around the start, plus the old logging tracks around the Clay Road area, following the route on your phone or watch (by downloading the GPX file provided) is highly recommended.
The eastern side of Wairere Track is not as well used as other tracks in the Kaimais, so again, care should be taken to stay on trail and follow the 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, Cellphone, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries.
Plenty of streams along the way (unless it's been a super dry summer), but always treat the water using a UV Steripen or tablets.
Stream crossings are relatively small, so should be fine even after rain, but still take care. They may be dry in summer. It will be very wet and muddy throughout winter.
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