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Dalys Clearing Loop Track, Kaimai-Mamaku Forest Park

About to enter the Kaimai-Mamaku Forest Park. Photo: Alana Srubar-Vernon
Kaimai-Mamaku Forest Park
Daly’s Clearing Hut, 16 bunks
Drive to the end of Franklin Road, off Waitawheta Road, from SH2 near Waikino
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Walking the track in reverse of the suggested route is recommended, as going the other way around would be much harder on your legs. It starts with a brief interlude through some farmland, following the Waitawheta River from the car park on Franklin Road, before entering the native bush of Kaimai-Mamaku Forest Park, from where you follow Waitawheta Valley Tramway, where there are relics of the old kauri logging rail line.From the turn off to Dalys Loop Track, the track climbs steadily through forest with glimpses of some pinnacle-like rock outcrops every so often.

With a quick hop across Romanga Stream you’re at the hut.Dalys Clearing Hut has been repainted in vibrant colours by community volunteers. There are two bunk rooms and a deck area. Entering the bush again, the track continues through some fantastic forest with nikau clusters, until it meets the Mangakino Pack Track and North-South Track junction.

Taking the right turn towards Dickey Flat, continue heading down a spur, enjoying the views with a steep drop to Mangakino Stream on the left.

At the next junction, take Dean Track back towards Franklin Road. Dean Track clearly isn’t as popular as the North-South Track, with the route looking like it doesn’t get the maintenance of the other tracks.

The final 30min of the walk is on farmland.