Tramping Track – Pipeline Track is a wide track that branches off Pipeline Road to the junction of Slip Track (2 minutes). The track then narrows and continues over undulating ground, crossing a wooden bridge above the Nihotupu Stream just before reaching Nihotupu Dam Road, .9km (Source).
Pipeline Track (from the Slip Track junction) is a part of the Hillary Trail – which is the reason I traversed it the first time (now, on occasion I will tack it on as a dog leg when I run the “Pipeline Loop” to increase the distance).
From the Pipeline Road the track is a wide and somewhat rocky pathway but the surface narrows and changes to clay as you pass the Slip Track Junction.
Apart from the bridge crossing outlined above in the description there is another water crossing a short distance from the Slip Track Junction.
There is no bridge on this section but a set of stairs leads down to the water, which is relatively shallow so you could wade across, however if you want to keep your feet dry you can rock hop using the large boulders
Once you’re across the water the track ascends via two sets of stairs and then undulates (quite steeply in sections) towards the wooden bridge crossing the stream.
I will say that this track isn’t easiest to traverse – it’s extremely root strewn and when it’s wet underfoot it’s quickly becomes a slippery quagmire, but on a fine day it’s quite simply stunning and the track is narrow enough that you’re shaded from the blistering sun overhead.
The track opens up into a clearing not long after crossing the bridge and ends at the Nihotupu Dam Road which runs both left and right (you turn right onto Nihotupu Dam road to continue along the Hillary Trail).
The other stuff;
Best parking location – 300 Scenic Drive, 6km from Titirangi (The Arataki Visitor Centre)
Directions – The quickest way to reach the Pipeline Track is to head up the hill past the Arataki Visitor Centre to then descend Slip Track.
Toilet Facilities? – Yes but only if you have parked at the visitor centre. There are toilets located inside the visitor centre and another toilet block is located next to the education centre.
Kid Friendly? – I’m going to say no only because it’s quite a trek to get too (and a steep one at that).
Till next time