Author Topic: Tramp with a surpise...  (Read 1199 times)

Tramp with a surpise...
« on: May 01, 2012, 02:01:17 PM »
After a quick breakfast at the Kopu Café we headed up State Highway 25A and a quick and careful U-turn got us a park on a gravel rest area just in front of the track’s start. The beginning gave an idea of what Kaitarakihi had in store, a very overgrown track where you needed your wits about you to make sure the trail markers were being followed.

An initial climb soon turns into a more gentle tramp where you don’t seem to notice and real major elevation change to higher ground (something that confused us a bit until we got to nearly the end…             …as you’ll see). About 45mins – 1 hour in you will see the turn off to the Devcich Kauri track. It is emphatically NOT 15mins to the massive Kauri as stated on the sign, allow 30mins – 40mins one way. It is extremely overgrown in sections, more so than the main track so make sure you spot the next trail marker before carrying on. Disappointingly no Kauri dieback cleaning station present.

Stick to the track as best you can, once on the ridgeline running towards the peak at several areas you will find yourself on the knife edge of a ridge where a fall either side would end badly. This is especially true around halfway (about 40mins – hour past the turn off to the Devcich Kauri track) – if you see a tall (but not particular thick) Kauri on the left of the track be careful, to your right is a cliff, and it is straight down.

After about 2 hours or so our confusion as to how we were to get to 852m without any great elevation change was cleared up. Almost abruptly a clearing in the canopy will give you a view of the peak and soon after you will find a very steep section with a chain running up it to help with the climb. This only goes up a limited way up the climb and after that you are on your own as the gradient relaxes a little bit. Still be careful as most of the track from here is still pretty steep and part of it looks more like a creek than a track so can be slippery.

If you or your tramping buddy has an issue with heights, then probably not the track for you.

The summit views makes the effort worthwhile, a sign with Kaitarakihi summit in clear red letter marks your arrival at 852m and one of the highest points in the Coromandel (A mere 40m below the highest point of Mount Moehau at 892m).

From here just retrace your steps and head back. We decided to do the Devcich Kauri track on the return leg. Essentially after a gentle drop in elevation the gradient increases steadily and you will find yourself heading down the side of a ridge. You might get glimpses of the Kauri and then all of a sudden find the behemoth on your left. With a 10.5m girth it is a magnificent sight and makes the slog down and back up the ridge very much worthwhile.

With a slightly sick companion we took our time and finished the Kaitarakihi/ Devcich Kauri tramp in just over 7 hrs.