Like all of the top 5 walking tracks in Te Mata Park, other than Giant Circuit, walking Karaka Wander in a clockwise direction is recommended. The track starts left of the signboard at the Main Gates Car Park. It is estimated to take 1 hour 15 minutes.
I would soon be amongst those great limestone cliffs. Glimpses appear early, but this trail starts in the bush.
This walk is named for a grove of ~200 year old karaka trees along the way. Unfortunately I don’t recognize that tree well enough to know when I passed through that grove. I suspect it was early on.
Like the rest of Te Mata Park, this landscape looks best in panoramas.
A lot of the walk follows the same long valley, between the same two ridges.
The track emerges from the right side of the valley pictured below, and continues on the left side. The track in the middle is for mountain bikes. It looks like a lot of fun.
I crossed the road for a look at the now-familiar view over the Tukituki River from Saddle Lookout.
There aren’t many trees on this side of the valley, so there are lots of great views.
For me the highlight of this walk is the cliffs.
The last part of the track is back in the trees. If I recall correctly, the track shown below is another mountain bike track.
These days it seems that there is always a painted rock.
Te Mata Park has a great landscape. I’ve enjoyed every walk in the park so far. Considering how easy it is to get there I predict that it won’t take long for me to do all of the named walks. This park is also a big reminder that I need a mountain bike.
Please enjoy the full gallery of 17 pictures below. To view on imgur click here.