View over Manukau Harbor

Huia

I had never been to Huia Regional Park, so I stopped in at the Arataki Visitor Centre for help choosing a walk there, and to ask about conditions.  A loop starting along the Karamatura Loop Walk, the diverting onto the Karamatura Track, Donald McLean Track, and Fletcher Track was recommended.  I started at a carpark near the Karamatura Campsite.

Carpark near Karamatura Campsite
Carpark near Karamatura Campsite

You can view the full gallery of 12 pictures below.  To view on imgur, click here.

Huia is another regional park within the Waitakere Ranges.  It is close to Makukau Harbor, not far from Whatipu.  The drive to Huia offers views of the harbor coast, but this walk is mostly bush, at least until you get to the top.  Just before things get really bushy you get this view of two big steep hills.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but I believe I was about to climb the one on the left.

Near the start of the Karamatura Loop Walk
Near the start of the Karamatura Loop Walk

Visitors are made aware of the area’s history of logging, and some relics are displayed.

Preserved relics of the area's logging history
Preserved relics of the area’s logging history

The trail gets steep before the falls, but gets much steeper after.

Karamatura Track
Karamatura Track

You have to walk off the track a bit to get to Karamatura Falls.  The hills are steep on all sides, forming a sort of little grove that includes the pool at the base of the falls.  It’s a great spot for a break, so I had lunch.

Karamatura Falls
Karamatura Falls

After this things get very steep.  The forest is dense, and the roots form something like stairs.  Not your normal stairs, like you’ll find in a place with room for stairs – think stairs like you might find in central Amsterdam.  Without these I’m not sure that any kind of surface would make it possible to walk up.  Conditions were fairly wet and muddy, but although the climb is exhausting, slipping wasn’t a problem.

When the bush opens up there are views of the other cliffs.

View from Karamatura Track
View from Karamatura Track

The top is a very narrow ridge.  Without the dense trees it might be pretty intimidating.

At the top of the ridge
At the top of the ridge

The track continues along this ridge for a short distance.  Openings in the bush offer views over the harbor.

View over Manukau Harbor
View over Manukau Harbor
View over Manukau Harbor
View over Manukau Harbor

The descent along Fletcher Track is steep, it was muddy, and slipping was definitely a problem.  I was running out of daylight so I had to keep moving – walking that track in the dark would be dangerous, even with a light.  I put my camera away and focused on finding the best footing I could.

This is a great walk, but it would be a good idea to do it in dry conditions, and only when you are up for a real workout.

You can view the full gallery of 12 pictures below.  To view on imgur, click here.

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