So we're well into our New Year's resolutions for 2021. With a good group of keen newbies and clubbies, Big Yellow arrives in Piha to maximise the few tracks that are currently open in the Waitakere Ranges despite the possibility of showers.
Groups split, our group makes a beeline to enjoy the tranquillity of the 80 metre Kitekite Falls whilst it's still early and most importantly quiet before the herds of people arrive. Scrubbed and dipped as we enter the track, a quick stop and team photo op inside a massive old Kauri stump inside the entry.
Cruising along the track, immersing in the serenity with water trickling gently down the stream beside and substantial rainforest canopy above. Bliss! Working our way up the valley, the first lookout to the falls with recent rainfall, it's looking good! Standing by the waterfall pool, the 6 tiered fall as impressive as always. Just as well we don't have to pay commission for all the photos and selfies! Haha!
Keen for some hill work, we set off up the track steps lined with groves of Kauri to the top of the waterfall. Most our group hadn't been up before, so were quite excited when we reached the top and the infinity pool! If you go to the side of the first pool, there is actually another pool on a lower tier that a few people were already enjoying. Our young teen tramper decided that the top infinity pool needed to be swim tested. Talk about a big beaming smile! Think the pool passed! Crazy number of photos and noting that there had obviously been a log dam them in the past. The mostly rotted wooden beams and cuts in the rock eluding to the history. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitekite_Fallsandhttp://www.piha.co.nz/kitekite-falls/
Returning down on the other side of the stream, true right of the stream this time, just as enjoyable.
Reaching Piha Beach we nestle ourselves in a clear viewpoint spot on top of the dunes for lunch. Always a room with a view for feasting time.
Making the most of the low tide, we stride along gunmetal sands below the Tasman Lookout Track lookout and between Taitomo Island, with incredible conglomerate rock geology https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geology_of_the_Auckland_Regionand the Blue Pools. The tide was coming in, so not ideal to climb up Taitomo Island to view the waves crashing and rising around the island base so we strode up the valley to the The Blowhole. What a great move that was! Tide out enough to walk along the damp sand to explore the large Blowhole cave. When the tide is in, the water rushes through and right through plumming through the Blowhole! Quite spectacular.
What an amazing day so far! Not over yet, the council has finally made the southern end of the track, a proper cliff top track with a few steps up to the lookout. More photos, even on the overcast day it was, the vista across to Lion Rock and Piha Beach are awesome in a misty way. On our way back to the bus a quick stop for ice-creams, ice-blocks and coffees. Epic day! Epic group! Another adventure clocked up, so many more to complete & more mileage knocked off! Cheers Imogen