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Waitakere Tramline Track, Waitakere Ranges Regional Park

Magnificent kauri on the Waitakere Tramway Walk. Photo: Alistair Hall
Waitakere Ranges Regional Park
From the Waitakere Reservoir car park on Scenic Drive
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This walk takes in a number of Waitakere tracks which, happily, make a loop. Mix and match as you like.

Start out at the car park at the top of the Waitakere Reservoir road. It takes about 20-minutes to reach the reservoir – take the 30-second diversion to see the large kauri about 10-minutes in, it’s well worth it.

Once across the dam, you’ll enter the bush and immediately need to clean and spray your footwear at the trigene station to ensure you don,t spread kauri dieback. Don,t ignore these stations – it,s important you clean and spray at each one you come across.

This station is at the start of the Fence Line Track. Pretty soon you’ll be walking among large kauri, some growing right next to the track with their roots crisscrossing from one side to the other and it’s impossible to avoid stepping on them. It’s a wonderful experience to be in a forest with such large and ancient trees.

A steep descent follows to Anderson Track. The trail continues on an easy gradient to Kelly Stream where a few well-placed rocks allow the sure-footed to leap across without getting wet. The easy going of the past 90-minutes will be quickly forgotten as you huff your way up the steep ridge. Steps make it easier in places, but thighs will get a good work-out. Halfway along the ridge is another trigene station and a sign warning walkers they are about to enter a patch of healthy kauri – failure to use the station is not an option here.

About 15 minutes later the Waitakere Tramline Walk is reached. This is an historic walk along a still functioning tramline that was built in 1905 to help in the construction of the reservoir. It takes about half an hour to reach the reservoir, passing through a tunnel and beneath a water race.

Then, there’s one final stretch left – back up the road to the car park.