Waitawheta Tramway - Bogeys and BluffsBeginner
Submitted by Lesley Mochan
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Front country - easily accessible
Out and Back
Native bushRiversideOpen farmlands
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From the car park, follow the road down to the entrance of the farmland track, and follow the markers through the paddocks to get to the gate at the entrance of the bush. Just to your left is the track junction for the Bluff Stream and Kauri Loop walk which is another great run. Follow the prominent tramway and you will come across the Dalys Clearning turnoff on the right approx 3km from the start. A lovely waterfall is just on ahead. Another 0.5 km is the Twin Kauri track on the left which loops onto the Kauri Loop walk. Keep following the tramway and soon you will cross 5 swing bridges which have beautiful views of the river and gorges. After the last bridge, the track continues on for about 2.4 km before you reach the alternative track (1.2km) to avoid the river crossing. Back on to the tramway and it is around 2km to the hut. On the way you will pass the track to the old Waitawheta hut and campsite (toilet), and the sawmill site. From here it is not far to the junction to the hut, veer right across a small bridge and after a short climb will arrive outside the lovely Waitawheta hut (booking is necessary if you plan to stay over). There is a toilet here too. Return on the same route.
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Features of interest
The track following along the historic Waitawheta Tramway to the Waitawheta hut. the area is famous for the milling of Kauri and native timber and you can visit the Waitawheta sawmill remains. A replica logging bogey (tram cart) is one of the features, along with plenty of information boards, and the original tramway. At the hut, there is also a short loop track that has some interesting features. The walk also includes amazing bluffs along the narrow river gorge and 5 swing bridges.
Make Up of Run
Easy Single Track: 95%
Farm Road / 4WD Track: 5%
From Waihi follow Frankton Rd, which crosses Old Tauranga Rd (if you are coming from Tauranga), onto Waitawheta Rd for around 3.5km, turning left onto Franklin Rd veering over the one way bridge and you will arrive at the car park about 2km further on. You can also come from Karangahake, turn right off the main highway over the one way bridge at Owhoroa falls, and onto Waitawheta Rd.
The carpark at the end of Waitawheta Rd is beside a residential home and should be relativity safe. It does get busy, so it pays to arrive early. there are no toilets here. There is no public transport.
All tracks are clearly marked.
Long-sleeved thermal top, Windproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival blanket, Cellphone, Map.
Plenty of water from the river and waterfalls. Also water available at the hut.
Very muddy after rain.
The river, but the swing bridges avoid the need to cross the river.
Take care along the tramway as there are sleepers, iron nails, and lots of rocks which makes for uneven footing
Post run indulgence
The Falls Retreat
Waitawheta Rd, on right just past the Owharoa falls.
Awesome setting and yummy pizzas. Great for a glass of mulled wine on cold days or a beer on hot days Great staff and service
Flat white cafe
21 Shaw Rd, Waihi Beach
Delicious food and good coffee Overlooks beach Gets very busy in summer though
Waikino Station cafe
Waikino, Karangahake gorge
Old fashioned food
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