Wharekirauponga TrackBeginner - Intermediate
Submitted by Charlotte Foley
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Front country - easily accessible
Out and Back
Undulating, small hills only
Beginner - Intermediate
Note this trail guide is for the currently open portion of the track and so is a straight out and back as at April 2019.
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This is a well marked DoC track with the usual orange trail markers. It is very easy to navigate. After the first 5km, you will see a bridge and track off to your left. Just ignore this and continue straight ahead as this section is currently closed for Kauri Dieback Disease Control. Generally this is a really runnable track with some technical sections. Be aware that if there has been significant rainfall, and for the most of winter, the track will be muddy and times will be affected unless you're a mud expert.
Towards the end of the currently accessible track there is a short tunnel - phone torch is sufficient - with a healthy cave weta population. For the bug phobic the roof is high enough you won't accidentally disturb them. Shortly after this there is a mine shaft off on the right. Eventually you will come to a suspension bridge overlooking the river and a waterfall. This marks the end of the open track as clearly signposted and so the bridge becomes the turnaround point for this run.
Features of interest
This track uses one of the old mining tramways and so there are mining relics dotted along the way.
Make Up of Run
Technical Single Track: 20%
Moderate Single Track: 70%
Easy Single Track: 10%
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Approximately 10 min drive South of Whangamata or 5 minutes North of Whiritoa on the Waihi-Whangamata Road (SH25) turn onto Parakiwai Quarry Road. Follow the road to the end (gravel road can be a bit rough after bad weather but passable in standard car) and the track starts at the end of the road.
There is space for a dozen cars roughly but have never seen more than a couple. I've had no issues with security but it is remote so break-ins would go largely unwitnessed.
Short-sleeved thermal top, Windproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival blanket, Cellphone, Map, Gaiters.
No access to drinking water.
As per description above this track does become very muddy. The tunnel can be up to ankle deep water in winter and a phone torch can be handy on a more gloomy day.
Not a hazard but don't be alarmed if you hear helicopters buzzing around overhead. There is active drilling for gold further up the range and the track goes not far below their landing site.
Whilst this track is easily accessible it is not well used all year round and the cellphone service is patchy. Tell someone where you are going before you go.
It isn't a requirement that dogs be on a lead but there are signs up around supervising children and staying on track as there could be hidden mine shafts therefore I would strongly recommend keeping dogs on a lead.
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See other runs nearby:
Wentworth Valley Falls
Pete's Luck At Last
Onemana Forest Loop
Paradise in Onemana
Pauanui Trail - Stage 1