Friday, February 26, 2016

Karamatura Falls - Tramping around Auckland

The Karamatura Falls are located in the Huia Regional Park which is about an hour's drive from Auckland.

About Huia and the only Huia Store:
"Huia - Just like Hawai but only cooler"
Huia is a quaint suburb in Western Auckland. It has just one store - The Huia Store - which serves up delicious food and also serves as a general store. It celebrates its 130th anniversary this year(2016). The store is a must visit - it retains an old world charm. It has a small corner where books are up for sale. We had a cauliflower and broccoli salad as a pre-hike snack. They have salads in portions of 8$, 12$ and 16$.
A regular coffee is 4$ and a large costs 5$.
The ultra cute Huia Store

130 years of Huia

Search for 1320 Huia Road, Huia. This leads to the Huia Hall. Opposite the hall, there are two roads leading to the right - one to the Ranger's Office and another is an unsealed road. Get onto the unsealed road and drive to the car park.

Time to get there : 
An hour from Auckland by car.

What to wear :
Sturdy boots as the track can be quite muddy and slippery in some places.
Most of the walk is inside the forest so it can get cold depending on the time of the year so carry a layer of warmth.

Things to carry :
* Sufficient Drinking Water
* Lunch and snacks
* Garbage bag - you must carry away all your rubbish
* Swimming costume and towel

Karamatura Falls:
Type of falls : Horsetail
Karamatura Loop Track
The Karamatura Falls

Karamatura Loop Track and diversion to the falls:

At the start of the track, there are camping grounds.

Go past the camping ground and follow the Karamatura Loop Track. This track is supposed to take 1hour return. I recommend doing this track in an anti-clockwise pattern cause otherwise you would end up tiring yourself climbing up the wooden steps.

In the first couple of minutes, you come across remnants of the timber milling days. After about 20 minutes of walking, you come across a sign which directs you to the left to follow the Karamatura Loop Track. Ignore this and head on straight a couple of meters and follow the next sign to the Karamatura Track. This will be the diversion to the falls. Follow along this track until the next sign post which takes you to the falls. A small stream crossing is required but is easy with lots of stones to step on.

Once at the falls, one could also get down into the water and then get onto the huge stone to finish some reading and packed lunch.

On the way, there are plenty of places to get down to test the water and for photos or a relaxing read. 

Return via the same route to the Karamatura track and then complete the Karamatura Loop Track which is mostly downhill and easy. 

The whole walk took us about 90 minutes with about a 20 minute break to dip our feet in the water.

Huia Regional Park
View from Huia Point
Other things to do in the area:
* Visit the Huia Dam
* Twin Peaks Track - gets you to the highest peak
* Lower Huia Dam Road - 1 hour return - one to do when the lake is overflowing (possibly after the rainy winter)
* Mt Donald McLean Walk - 30 minute return - on a clear day, can view Mt Taranaki
* Whatipu Caves - 50 minutes return