It had rained heavily in the last 3 days making the tracks rough. Fletcher adds a bit more, it climbs up a steep spur then onto a ridge following the bluffs to Don McLean Track. I’m following Fletcher – Karamatura – Tom Thumb Tracks in Huia.
The first section is a steep climb, moving quickly towards the ridge. The rain had washed debris down the hill, completely disguising the track. I followed the markers for a good part of this ascent.
It’s not a well-worn track, maybe in the summer but I’m walking in winter and I don’t expect to see anyone. I do know that there is one other person is on the track because I could see his tracks (I knew he was male because of his boot size, bush skills I learnt from my father finally come into play). I did catch up with him later, he’s from the South Island and needed some time out in the bush. I related to this very well.
I reached the ridge and it ascends gently up along the bluffs. Every now and then you’ll see Huia and Manukau Habour. Closer to the top of the bluffs the track leads to the left into the thicker native bush, this is where I saw the Miromiro (Tom Tit).
No matter how many times I tried to take a photo, I couldn’t get a steady shot. Thanks to DOC images I can show you what they look like. I love them because they are like the fantail, darting in and out of the trees keeping a safe distance but enough to make me follow them. This was a beautiful section, walking to the end of Fletcher and onto Don McLean. All up this took about an hour and a half to reach the top.
Don McLean is an easy walk to the Karamatura Forks. I’ve been at this intersection many times before coming from other directions. Even though there are no views, it’s a great place to stop for the peaceful sounds of the local wildlife. I headed down Karamatura Track which is part of the Hillary Trail. It starts off with a nice easy descend then drops steeply.
The Karamatura Track continues down towards Huia, take the 2-minute side track to see the waterfalls. There are a few waterfalls along the track to admire. The heavy rain hadn’t turned the waterfall into a raging torrent, it had dropped considerably. I was the only person here for some time before I crossed the stream and moved on to Tom Thumb Track.
I really enjoyed this track, its another track that isn’t well worn and the flora and fauna is untouched. I heard the pigs and could see where they’d been digging for grubs. I’ve never come across a pig in the Waitakere’s Rangers but I do hear them. To the top of this track, it takes about 40 minutes on gentle ascend.
This is where I had lunch, under Tom Thumb’s Kaui. It’s a great place to stop and listen to the noises in the bush. After lunch, I returned to Karamatura track and out to the car park. I really enjoyed this track for the challenge and the flora and fauna along the way.
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Time: 4-5 hours (Winter)
Surface: Rough, muddy, steep with one stream crossing
If you have any questions about this track, please let me know I’m happy to help.