Anatoki-Waingaro-Kill Devil Experienced
Submitted by Will Hayward
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Back country - remote
Point to Point (one way)
Undulating, some big hills
Native bushRiversideLakesideOpen ridges/tops
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The route is fairly easy to follow but fairly tough and very remote in the middle. It is usually tramped in about 4 days. The first section on the Anatoki Forks track is single track along a river valley with some nice views; the track is in fairly good condition but has lots of small slips to clamber over.
From the Anatoki Forks Hut to Lake Stanley is a route which is very technical and goes over a high saddle - expect to move slowly. This part goes through thick forest and is very remote so move carefully as it's not the place to sprain an ankle!
From Lake Stanley the going gets easier (but not easy) on rough single track to Waingaro Forks Hut. The last section from Waingaro Forks Hut to the trail-end at Ururwhenua is a historic pack track that is also used by mountain bikers so is relatively easy but climbs about 500m and has a million switchbacks on the way down.
Features of interest
Whio habitat. Lake Stanley was created in the 1929 Murchison Earthquake and the drowned beech forest looks very unearthly. The way out over Kill Devil Track is a historic mining pack track.
Make Up of Run
Untracked / Route only: 20%
Technical Single Track: 30%
Moderate Single Track: 30%
Easy Single Track: 20%
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
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Start at the trailhead of the Anatoki Forks Track. From the DoC brochure: "Turn off the State Highway, one kilometre south of Takaka Township, onto Kotinga Road. Follow this road until nearly the end. Turn right at the sign and follow the road 3 km to a small car park and intentions shelter." The last couple of kms of road are very rocky - you'd only want to try them in a 4WD.
Small area to leave a car but if you're doing this trail as suggested you'll end up in Uruwhenua so better to get someone to drop you if you can manage it. No public transport once you leave the State Highway.
The trail is well marked so hard to get lost. However the portion from Anatoki Forks Hut to Lake Stanley is marked as a route with orange arrows only so you need to take some care.
Waterproof leggings, Thermal leggings, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries.
There are several rivers and huts so water is available but may not be safe to drink without treatment. I took a Life Straw which was very helpful.
I did the route in summer. In winter it would definitely be very muddy in places and the tops on the way out on the Kill Devil track would be very exposed.
No particular hazards except weather. However the middle of the route is very remote and self-extraction would take a long time, so you should be prepared to stay overnight no matter how fast you expect to be.
Post run indulgence
Commercial Street, Takaka
Good coffee, yummy food, and the best fresh fruit ice cream in the Bay
Sponsor this trail
See other runs nearby:
Separation Point Loop
Totaranui Big Loop
Pupu Hydro Run
Gibbs Hill Loop
Boulder Lake to Anatoki Forks
The Rameka to Pigeon Dance
Asbestos Cobb Loop
Diamond in the Rough
Wainui Falls goddess
Low Hanging Fruit
Awaroa Beach & Coffee