Waitawheta Sawmill started operation in 1923 They built a tramway up the Waitawheta valley to get the timber to market’s
Quick Facts about this walk
- Location: North Island NZ
- Distance: 18 km
- Time needed: 6 Hours 40 Minutes
- Difficulty: Medium
- Wheelchair Access: No
- Route: Round Trip
- Elevation: 400m
- Wet Feet: Yes
- Toilets: Yes
- Dogs: No
- Mobile Coverage: No
- Last Updated: November, 2019
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Summary points about this walk
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Points of interest along the walk
Point 1: Woodland Road Car Park
This is a very pleasant drive out for Katikati on this country road, just watch out for the farmer brown on his tractor and the faithful old dog running along side. there is no proper car park so park well off the road and make room for farm machinery
Point 2: Waitengaue River Turnoff
The walk up the Waitengaue Stream is a enjoyable easy walk. It was just the three stream cross that spoiled the walk. Six minutes in to the walk you are met by a swing bridge, great no wet feet, we were wrong. In an hour and a half you walk on to the old hut site, it is a good placed to have a break and to pitch a tent. You are only 5 Mt from the first river crossing and wet feet? one of three till you reach the turnoff.
Point 3: Waitawheta hut
At the Ananui falls turnoff look across the river and you can just see the orange marker hidden in the trees. You will have to cross the river at this point, I walk up the river 100 Mt to were I could rock hop cross, yes bit of a townie.
From there you follow the river for 5 minutes then start a gentle climb up another old tramway, when you reach a rocky cutting about 20 minutes, you turn right and start climbing. The first 10 minutes is the hardest, keep an eye out for old kauri stumps when you walk across the saddle. It should take you 45 minutes to reach the saddle
From the saddle to Waitawheta hut is easy. The descent down to the first creek is a little on the steep side.
From here it will take you 20 minutes to walk out onto the Waitawheta river and to the new hut which is just another 5 minutes away.
You can spend a good hour just walking around looking at the old relics and taking photos. But sort out your bed space before you go for a walk.
The day I walked out I meet nine people walking in, when i arrived at Waitawheta hut I met twelve people walking out, and this was a week day.
Point 4: The Swing bridge
just minutes from Waitawheta hut you will see another very old Kauri stump on your right. you will cross over the river on the second bridge for the day before arriving at the old Waitawheta Hut site and the last toilet stop on this track. this should take you about 30 minutes. At the end of the clearing is a river crossing were I just got across with out getting my boots wet, this is good, dry feet at 0700 H in the morning, I like this walk. But 20 minutes on at the second crossing my luck changed for the day, wet feet.
1 Hour 20 minutes from Waitawheta hut was the biggest swing bridge, not the longest I have seen in the North Island, this one was built to last a 100 years. I was talking to a farmer at the carpark and he was saying it took the boys six months to build the three swing bridges he said all the building materials were flowing in by the biggest chopper he has ever seen.