The Cascade Loop
4.5 – 5.0 km depending on which end of Auckland City Walk you start/end at.
Falls Road car park, Auckland City Walk, Fence Line Track, Cascade Track, Upper Kauri Track, Auckland City Walk, Falls Road car park.
The map above shows the route starting and finishing at the lower car park end of the Auckland City Walk, it can however be completed by starting and finishing at the top car park (5.3km) or you could enter from one end of Auckland City Walk and finish at the other (4.1km), the world (or at least Cascade Kauri) is your oyster.
Regardless of where you start it’s easier to complete the loop by ascending the Fence Line Track and descending back to the start/finish point via Upper Kauri Track. This is due to the sheer number of stairs on Fence Line Track and the one sharp steep section on the Cascade Track which is much easier to descend, although in winter the surface will be extremely slick!
Auckland City Walk – Non technical in nature. The lower section slightly undulates. The top section has much bigger elevation differences. All of the boardwalks and bridges get slippery when wet. Tends to be busy, especially on the weekend.
Fence Line Track – Starts out narrow, muddy and root strewn then ascends a big arse hill via about 10 million stairs.
Cascade Track – Signs posted at either end of the trail state “for experienced trampers only” but apart from the fact sections are not particularly well signposted (especially where the tree has fallen right across the trail) it’s nothing that someone with an average fitness level can’t handle. I’d even be quite confident taking my kids along this track, although they may need a hand to get into and out of the stream as the banks are quite tall. And of course since we are in the Cascade Kauri Regional Park there are also about 5 million stairs on the Upper Kauri end of this track.
Upper Kauri Track – Non technical – beautiful downhill run all the way to it’s end at Auckland City Walk. Oh and of course there are even a few sets of stairs. #sigh
Although this is quite a short loop the technical nature of the Cascade Track tends to slow your overall pace. I run the Pipeline Loop which is a couple of kilometers longer than this one in about the same time.
The “other” stuff;
Location – End of Falls Road, Waitakere.
Parking – Yes
Toilet Facilities – Yes near the lower car park at Falls Road.
Kid Friendly – This one is probably best for the over 5’s.
Till next time