Submitted by Jo Burton
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Back country - remote
Out and Back
Undulating, small hills only
Native bushOpen farmlands
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This is a well marked DOC track - just follow the orange markers. It is eell maintained apart from a short scrub section approx 0.5km long just before the end of the track. The track may be slippery and muddy following heavy rain. There's a river crossing at the bottom of the track to access the Kahikatea campgound (long drop loo) and the Kauaeranga visitor centre.
Don't be put off by the steep 20m decent from the carpark, that is literally the only steep part of the track.
You have a gentle 350m decent over 6.3km into the Kauaeranga Valley, no turns so easy to follow the route.
Then a gentle 350m ascent back to the carpark.
90% runable with a few technical ups and downs across streams which may be more tricky following heavy rain.
Features of interest
Native bush, Fantail accompaniment Waterfall/swimming hole approx 5 mins before end of track
Make Up of Run
Technical Single Track: 10%
Moderate Single Track: 59%
Easy Single Track: 30%
Farm Road / 4WD Track: 1%
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Clearly marked track just off SH 25A. From Thames, access the parking area at the end of the passing lane, just before the top of Kopu Hikuai hill.
From Tairua/Whangamata side, 2km over the brow of the hill.
Large parking area, don't park on the big H! Heli guys might not be too happy. Take extra care if approaching from Tairua/Whangamata side as you have to turn right across the top of the passing lane.
Follow the orange markers, if you do go off track then return to the last point you saw an orange marker.
Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival blanket, Cellphone, Map.
Water available at the Kahikatea campground (end of track)
Likely to be muddy after rain, also do not attempt to cross the river at the bottom if it is full and flowing rapidly
Gorse and cutty grass along the track but generally avoidable apart from the scrub section at the end when you will need to take care.
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See other runs nearby:
Thames Over The Top
Pinnacles & Billy Goat
Rocky's Path Tararu
Booms Flat Waiora Circuit.
Kauaerangi Small Trails Tour
Cooksen Kauri Trail
Maratoto To Golden Cross
Crosbies Hut via Karaka Track
Crosbies Hut via Waiomu Track