Booms Flat Waiora Circuit.Intermediate
Submitted by Gillian Twinem
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Front country - easily accessible
Undulating, some big hills
Native bushRiversideOpen ridges/tops
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This is an easy to navigate route, with orange triangles the whole way, and proper DOC signage at every junction. Easy start up the Booms Flat track, which is quite overgrown at the minute [April 2018] as the road has been closed. It quickly starts to climb, becomes steep and rooty. An hour of tramping brings the junction with Whangaiterenga track, which will take you back down to the valley floor.
Continue straight ahead up the ridge to the locally famous Orange Peel Corner - big sign here. Turn right at Orange Peel along the top of the Wainora track - this currently [April 2018] has a sign saying track closed due to storm damage - this is no longer the case. Undulate along the ridge in the bush. There is a single scramble over some house size boulders along the ridge and then you attain a great viewpoint on a rocky outcrop - 360 degrees from the Pinnacles, the interior of the peninsula, all in native bush and with birdsong across the valley. Excellent!
Continue along the Wainora with Table Mountain looming ahead. The track turns downhill and reaches the Wainora kauri. From here there are the infamous 690 steps back down to the valley floor. At Wainora campsite turn right along the gravel road for the final km back to your car.
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Features of interest
Climb from the Kauaeranga Valley to the ridge, with 360 degree views into the Coromandel Ranges. The whole valley was a logging area, with dams and remnants of tramways remaining. Good bird habitat - shining cuckoos, ruru, tui, bellbirds etc.
Make Up of Run
Technical Single Track: 10%
Moderate Single Track: 60%
Easy Single Track: 20%
Gravel Road: 10%
From Thames drive up the Kauaeranga Valley Road, past the DOC visitor centre and another few km to park at Booms Flat campsite and the start of the Booms Flat track.
Plenty of parking, have never heard of any problems with safety. No public transport.
Orange triangles throughout and good signage. Would be useful to have a map for backup so you know the lay of the land.
Waterproof leggings, Lightweight fleece top, Short-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival blanket, Cellphone, Map, Gaiters.
There are streams at the bottom of each track but nothing at all when you start climbing. The loop starts and ends in campsites - longdrops and water taps.
Muddy in the rain. Ridge is exposed for a short distance. Otherwise you are in the bush.
I got 4 stings from native bees which attacked me as I was walking along an open piece of track. They stung through my clothes! I had to sprint a short distance to get away!
Post run indulgence
Thames wharf. Drive back down the valley into Thames - when you reach the main road at the BP, turn right and immediately left.
Fish and chips, then sit down next door to eat them with a coffee or a cold beverage. Then eat cake. Enjoy the view over the Kauaeranga river as it reaches the Firth. Mingle with the rail trail cyclists.
Kauaeranga Valley Cafe.
At the DOC visitor centre, sadly only open for the summer season.
Home made counter food, great coffee, gluten free and dairy free options.
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