There are two entrances to Anderson Track from Scenic Drive; either opposite the top of Peripatus Track or down the old driveway 300m to the north. Both lead to a clearing (site of the former homestead) where the track descends into bush and follows a steep ridge down to Waitakere Stream. From there the track is fairly level and continues to Auckland City Walk near large kauri. 2.3k 45 mins (Source)
The very first time I ventured down Anderson Track I had the kids in tow. We entered from the Auckland City Walk end and we made it about 30 metres (50 max) before Miss 8 decided that this track was far too icky and that we MUST turn around and go and find a cleaner one .. (In her defense she’s gotten much better with mud now that she’s spent more time in the forest).
To be fair, I had pretty much the same thoughts the first few times I ventured down Anderson’s – the Auckland City Walk end of the trail is dark, wet and muddy (throughout the entire year from what I can gather) and once you get past the majority of the mud you then have to contend with the tree roots all the way through to the stream. The only positive I can come up with is that it’s flat.
Getting in and out of the stream is a bit of an obstacle course (I clamber down/up using both hands and feet) but the stream itself is much narrower and shallow than the one on the Whatitiri Track even after heavy rain.
The trail then heads up the (steep) hill to Scenic Drive with the aid of a LOT of stairs – it’s weird how many flights of stairs you will find in the middle of nowhere … (big thanks to those people who build these – it can’t be a small feat!)
After what seems like 13,478 stairs (some of which are narrow and all of which pool with water if it’s been raining) the trail is a mixture of mud, tree roots and one tricky section of sheer rock. The trail eventually flattens out not long before you reach the West Tunnel Mouth Trk (which although short is very gnarly – but more about that another day). Anderson “proper” continues straight ahead and it’s a mixture of mud (lots), boardwalks and (once again) stairs. There also another water crossing, but this one has large flat rocks that you can walk across without getting wet.
The track divides shortly before the end. Veering right brings you out opposite the Peripatus Track this section of track is shorter but infinitely more muddy and it’s steep near the end. If you head left at the junction, you’ll reach the Anderson Track car park. In my opinion this branch is far more picturesque than the one that leads to Peripatus.
All in all, Anderson Track offers a little bit of everything and I’ve become quite partial to it – it always makes me feel pretty hardcore when I venture along it and as such it’s definitely near the very top of my top 10 list, that is, if I had one – perhaps I’ll draft one up.
Till next time