Peak Bagging New Zealand

North Island Trip Reports and Comments => Te Toiokawharu => : Rubberduck-e July 03, 2012, 06:41:53 AM

: Mud!
: Rubberduck-e July 03, 2012, 06:41:53 AM
Without a doubt, what Te Toiokawharu lacks in views it makes up for in mud!

I gave up the idea of waiting for a dry stretch to tick this one of the list to thought I’d brave the mud I was pre-warned about and get stuck in (pardon the pun). An early and crisp start saw me set off from the camp ground next to the ranger station heading up the Karamatura track running along the Karamatura stream. Before long the turnoff to the Tom Thumb track came up and I hung a right steadily gaining in altitude before setting eyes on the legendary Tom Thumb, the ironically names Kauri. A magnificent tree, and a good place to have a quick snack and drink. Now from the start to here you will find the odd muddy patch of ground, but nothing to write home about.

The track from Tom Thumb to the Twin Peaks is just to the left of the track leading to the Goat Hill climb, the signs can be a bit confusing so don’t get caught out. From here things get decidedly more muddy. With slippery roots, clay, mud pools, un-netted walkways you just have to add the unavoidable muddy boots to the mix and you get a track is going to take names and collect bum prints all day long. I miraculously managed to keep my posterior mud free, but I’d be lying if I’d say the track didn’t get a few slips and scrambles out of me.

The grade is easy enough to cope with, but you will be too busy negotiating the mud traps to notice really. After what felt like it took way too long the twin peaks after which the track is named was knocked off and the track dropped steeply down. Keep a look out, there is a reasonably big Kauri just on the left of the track, nothing compared to Tom Thumb, but nonetheless still a biggie.

After a while you will start to climb again and with no fanfare or warning you will see a little sign indicating you have reached the highest point in the Waitakere ranges. Before you know it the track splits off into two directions, hang a left onto the Huia Ridge track.

A short distance onto the Huia Ridge track you will see something that will make you very, very happy, an elevated walkway, and with netting no less! Sadly its does not last for ever, but the precious few metres that was present was pure bliss (especially when you could see the reflection of water all the way under it, imagine having to negotiate that!). But end it does, and then you are back to play muddy hopscotch. The ridge track is roughly speaking a muddy section, then boardwalk, then down, cross stream, up, bag un-named peak, back down, and back up scenario, all lubricated with generous amounts of mud.

As the Ridge track heads down again avoid the ditches dug by the wild pigs and you’ll get to the Karamatura forks turn off and then a short while after that the Karamatura track proper (There is the optional side trip to a waterfall if you have the time) which will lead you back to where you started.

All up my day playing in the mud was bang on 6 hours.

Top tip: Would be a good tramp in the middle of a drought.
: Re: Mud!
: Claire Bear July 10, 2012, 02:16:10 AM
That's the loop we did too. It was really muddy for us too!!!