Auckland, Featured, Hiking, Hiking Tracks, New Zealand, waitakere ranges
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The highest point in the Waitakere Ranges

Goat Hill Lookout Track

The challenge isn’t the height of this point, the challenge is how to get to this point.  It’s a damp rainforest with muddy tracks and often very steep terrain.  There are three ways to get here and we opted for the long way, 12.6km.  Refer to map details below.  

Te Toiokawharu Peak

Te Toiokawharu Peak

We started the track at 9am from the Karamatura Car Park in Huia (approx 40mins out of Auckland city).  There are several tracks leaving from here and they all take you up the hill.

Karamatura Waterfall

Karamatura Waterfall

Karamatura Track starts off nice and easy with a gentle incline to the popular waterfall, although this morning there was no one here.  From here it’s a steep climb most of the way up to the junction where it flattens out, slightly.

Karamatura Track Overgrown Walk

Karamatura Track Overgrown Walk

Trees have fallen onto the track and in some places, they have continued to flourish where they land. Mostly, we are hurling ourselves over or under trees.

Huia Track

Huia Track

At the junction, we head north along Huia Ridge Track.  It starts off pleasant but doesn’t take long before we’re in mud and skimming along the edges of the track trying to find sturdy ground.  It’s not that we are afraid of mud, it’s deep and we don’t fancy losing a boot to the mud.

We were so focused on where to put our feet that we often forgot to look up. At one stage I felt close to being knocked out I hit the branch hard.  Sunglasses are not a good place on your hat through here.

Twin Peaks Mud Track

Twin Peaks Mud Track

From Huia Track we turned onto Twin Peaks Track.  The track doesn’t get any better, it would have been the toughest part of the entire loop.  We have two peaks to climb and the first one is the highest.

Highest Point in the Waitakere Ranges

Highest Point in the Waitakere Ranges

It was a welcome sight to see this sign at the highest point, even though we know we are half way and still have a hard slog in front of us.  To note, my GPS says we are at 474 metres. It’s a small but significant note to point out.  After taking an evidence photo that we made it we head off down the hill and head to the other peak, then down again.

Tom Thumb Kauri

Tom Thumb Kauri

We reach the giant Kauri Tree and know we don’t have far to go.  For our lunch, we decided to walk up to Goat Hill Lookout.  Now had we’d know how steep this was we probably would have stayed at the Kauri Tree for lunch.

Goat Hill Lookout Track

Goat Hill Lookout Track

The steep walk to the top was made worse with hunger.  However it doesn’t take long, we reached a little grass clearing and views right out across Huia and to Auckland.  The sun was casting the perfect amount of rays and the wind was swirling around above us, it was the perfect place for resting and eating.

Tom Thumb Track stream crossing

Tom Thumb Track stream crossing

After refuelling, we head off down Tom Thumb track.  This was a lot muddier than when I was here last, it slowed us down but at least it was a steady descent down to the stream crossing.  From this part, it was an easy walk all the way back to the carpark.  We didn’t see anyone or any marks of other people on this track, it was a great feeling knowing we were the only ones way up in the hills.

Overall, this is a great track with great scenery and we are happy we did it. It took us 6hrs and we are fit hikers.

Track Details:

Distance: 12.6km

Time: 6hrs (Clockwise)

ViewRanger: http://my.viewranger.com/route/details/MTU0NzgwOQ==

Te Toiokawharu Map

Te Toiokawharu Map

Other tracks in this area: 

Huia Tracks – Fletcher, Karamatura, Tom Thumb

Omanawanui – Gibbons Track – Walker Ridge Tracks

Huia Dam to Upper Nihotupu Dam

Happy Hiking,

Annie.

 

2 Comments

  1. Pingback: Walking amongst the Kauri giants | Free as a bird

  2. Pingback: Mt Zion, the wetlands + a spectacular waterfall. | Free as a bird

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