Friday, November 10, 2006

Auckland City Walk, Cascades Kauri Regional Park - 11th Nov 2006

Today we headed out West along Scenic Drive in Titirangi, then down Te Henga Rd, to turn into Falls Rd, past the golf course, to the carpark at the edge of Cascades Kauri Regional Park.

Nickname Pending chose the Auckland City Walk, named to recognise Auckland City's contribution to the Regional Park, because it was in our Day Walks of Greater Auckland book, and there was supposed to be a waterfall.

The carpark has a nice little area with information about the park, it's geological history and wildlife, and some really top notch long drop toilets in a cute little cottage.
Then it was into the bush. Near the start of the walk we crossed a small river by wire suspension bridge.

Then we generally wandered our way along the track, taking a few more pics along the way.

Mostly of moss. I seemed to have rather the moss obsession today. But I'll only put up my favourite.
After a while there's a short track you can take to the falls themselves. Now we'd been pre-warned by the book that there wasn't much to see. It was a nice walk, with some really quite spectacular rock formations and overhangs (which didn't photograph well). But yes there was some disappointment at the end. Here's the view of the falls from the end of the track.

If you squint you can just make out a little white bit in the middle of the shot. That's water rushing past.

However we went off track at this point and clambered over some big boulders, and managed to get this shot of the pool that the falls empty into.

Then it was back to the main track.
The bush here is older than the other tracks we have done to date. It's been regenerating here since at least 1925 when the park was opened, and it shows in the dense undergrowth that gives you a real sense that you are walking in rainforest. There are also, unlike other parks with kauri in their name, plenty of the Giants of the Forest, lording it over all of us and defying the small scope of a camera's frame. The track is surrounded by a multitude of flora species, and clearly there is a lot of bird life too, although we didn't see much beyond the odd tui when we visited. It's hard to hear the birds over the chatter of the streams that run along next to most of the track. The telltale ribbons and plastic markers of a comprehensive trapping programme show that the birds here are fighting a war with invaders, including stoats if the egg trap we found is any indication.

At the end we exited the bush just a bit up Falls Rd from the carpark where we had started, and walked back down the hill past one of the big frames that was so controversial all those years ago. Can't quite remember why now.

This walk would only take you about an hour if you didn't stop to take photos, and spend quite some time up the little track to the falls themselves. The walking is easy, not much up and down, although the track is quite rugged in places. I can't really explain the lushness of the bush without falling into cliches (and it doesn't photograph well), but hopefully many of the other tracks we have done in recent months will one day be as recovered from the scars of our country's settlement.

No comments: