A long story short …

The idea to tramp across the Kaimai ranges  just happened to come pass really quickly after checking out a topo 50 map of our neighbourhood . The Wairere Falls seemed a really interesting feature  being the highest falls in the north island as a goal but it did take some calculations as to how long it would actually take to tramp to make sure we could do it in a day . It does help a little that at the start of most tramp tracks there is a time indication as to how long travel times are generally but sometimes not totally reliable . This time it was – 6 hours . 

Before we even pull on any boots the basic preparations are always done – weather , the right maps , plenty of food and water , wet weather gear as weather does change , basic first aid stuff including emergency blankets , torches etc . 

To enlarge any image just mouse click on it . Featured images are at the bottom of the page . 

Every-one who heads out into the bush must always let a contact know what and where you are going . Check the bush rules on any DOC site . Over prepareing  is not a bad thing . 

As a rule we have a Topo 50 map which are easily obtained from outdoor shops such as Bivoac or Hunting and Fishing etc . Also i have a hiking  app based on the Topo 5o maps with gps on my iPhone which have found to be really accurate even with no cell coverage [ ihikeGPS NZ ] . Very handy for making sure you are on the right track . The next item on the agenda is a personal locator beacon . 

For this hike we started at whats called “the blade” by the locals . Its at the end of Whakamarama road [ half way from Tauranga to Katikati up the hill ] and gets you part way into the bush and some really interesting tracks lead from here .Its called the blade because years ago a bulldozer blade was left there for yonks until some-one stole it for scrap . There is a movement afoot to replace it .  There is lots of tram trails from the early logging days up there which makes for  a easy hiking base which are just awesome to walk if you have some hours to kill . Easy … 

The one we travelled is called the  Ngamarama Track which is part of the original “over the ranges” track called the Te Tuhi . It intersects the old tramways occasionally and easy to tell with the big cuttings thru some banks . Some pix to the right . All the images on the right i used a iPhone so as to get some illustrative shots for the story . 

As tracks go it was not showing much use at all . No crowds here . In fact we saw only one person all the time and it was on this track . But like all DOC tracks the orange triangles marked the way and that was a good thing as the grasses were getting a bit high . You have to watch where you put your feet . 

Talking about grasses the seed heads of one type  [ the name escapes me ] are really nasty . If you are a hairy male they really grab as you walk past . My gators weren”t that much use as when you brush past a bank they grab your arm hairs . Ouch … Makes for some seed pulling from ya socks after-wards ! 

Lunch at the junction of Ngamarama and the North South track . Yum …

From here we followed the north-south track northwards . There are no bridges as per the more used DOC trails  . Good tramping boots really are a very good idea . So is gore-tex …take my word for it !… No wet feet ! 

The terrain is really gentle but to keep to some sort of time-table you need to move along just in case . Just awesome to see some big Kauri trees – see pix to the side  . 

 Next way point is joining the Wairere track itself and following the Wairere  stream to the falls  .

The falls themselves are preceded by the chatter of groups of sight-seers . Bum . It is really pleasant to be walking with-out anybody around . Really quiet … so nice ! 

Its taken 6 hours to get to this point with breaks . Not bad . 

The feature images from the falls are at the bottom . 

The track down to the carpark and our handy family taxi service is a bit steep to say the least . Probably harder than the tramp along the top . Especially with most of  the  camera gear ! 

The path is not really formed – just well compacted over time around the rocks making its own pathway . The steeper bit has a wooden stair system . The stream at the bottom makes for some really good swimming holes and being a tad warm were well used . 

Some-how these wanders keep coming up . I only do tramps that lead me to a interesting place or some-thing worth photographing as a goal . A sort of destination thing …

A word to the wise . Make sure you prepare with good equipment , plan ahead and know where you are as well as some-one else knowing where you plan to be at certain times . People have been lost on the same track and needed helicopter rescue . Partly why i have a blue camera bag . You can see it from the air …

If any-one wants more info get in touch …

Happy wandering .


Old tramway cutting


Tramway cutting

Pulling those pesky seeds from the legs ...

Lunch at Junction of north-south and the tuhi



Amazing lattice like root formations

Always good to see the DOC signboard ...

Regenerating canopy ...







The track down to falls carpark . Not formed but trodden over time ...

3552 wairere rocks view web by M Handley.
Looking at the lip of the falls

3564 wairere edge web#03 by M Handley.

3574 wairere log web #05 by M Handley.
Driftwood ?

3593wairere top side-on web_ by M Handley.

3611 wairere face zoom web#04 by M Handley.
Up close and personal .

3621 wairere below lookout web_ by M Handley.