Anderson Loop (7.2km) – Cascade Kauri Regional Park
Auckland City Walk, Anderson Track, West Tunnel Mouth Track, Waitakere Tramline Walk, Waitakere Dam Walk, Fence Line Track, Auckland City Walk.
Start at the top entrance of the Auckland City Walk. This entrance is located on the far side of the clearing directly in front of the small car parking bay you’ll pass when you head towards the main car park at the end of Falls Road.
Head through the shoe cleaning station towards the large Kauri tree directly in front of you and veer left to stay on the trail. The first section undulates gently to reach a large board walked section (complete with picnic table).
From here the Auckland City Walk descends all the way down to a long bridge. Once over the bridge, continue along the Auckland City Walk and head past the Anderson Track (the one with the log across the entrance) and just up ahead you’ll see the Fence Line Track which is your turning point. You can’t miss it, there is a large map at the entrance opposite a random bench seat.
Fence Line is usually boggy underfoot regardless of the season, but you’ll miss the bog as soon as you hit the stairs. 😉 Continue on the Fence Line track passing the Cascade Track on your way to its end point at a clearing near the Waitakere Dam.
At this point, there are two ways to reach the far side of the dam, you can follow the path (to the left) and go straight across the top of the dam, or there is an unmarked dirt trail (very narrow and overgrown) that leads you down to the bottom of the dam.
From the bottom of the dam, you can cross a small wooden bridge and head back up to the top via a set of concrete stairs on the other side. If needed there are toilet facilities on this side of the dam, you’ll pass them (on your left) as you head a short distance up the driveway to reach the Waitakere Tramline Walk.
After descending yet another set of stairs you’ll reach the disused tram line. Once on the tram line it’s a completely flat journey (under a water chute and through a zombie tunnel) all the way until you reach the end “of the line” at West Tunnel Mouth Track.
West Tunnel Mouth Track is short but gnarly and from experience it’s far easier to traverse from this end (being that it’s an ascent over slippery boulders that cling to the side of a hill). West Tunnel ends at a clearing with Anderson Track heading in both directions.
Veer left onto Andersons. The top section heads through a regenerating Kauri forest and is one of my all-time favorite places to run. I always feel incredibly lucky to be able to be here. The lower section of Anderson (after the water crossing) it’s extremely root strewn and tends to be incredibly muddy but it’s not long till you are back at the well-groomed Auckland City Walk.
Turn left and follow the Auckland City Walk to its end at the suspension bridge (being sure to stop at the shoe cleaning station before crossing).
The “other” stuff;
Location – End of Falls Road, Waitakere.
Parking – Yes
Toilet Facilities – Yes near the lower car park at Falls Road and the Waitakere Dam.
Kid Friendly – This one is probably best for the over 5’s.
Till next time