Walking Track – From Mountain Road, Sharp Bush Track is a level gravel track leading to a kauri grove (5 minutes). The track then descends steeply down one side of the ridge and fords Stoney Creek to meet Opanuku Road, 1.2km. (Source).
Remember the other day when I
ran waded along Clark Bush Track and I was all confused about how this could have even remotely seen as a family friendly walk – but then I realised that I had mistaken it for another track in the network?
Yeah, well this is the so called family friendly walk and quite frankly – I couldn’t see it.
For one thing the trail doesn’t even comply with the ARC’s walking track definition;
Walking tracks will have easy to moderate grades with mostly compacted and drained surfaces and be well sign-posted with directional signs at track entrances and junctions.
And as far as kids go, the only family friendly thing about it would be that it’s short. Now in saying that, both of my kids (7 & 9) would manage although they would probably be on all fours in sections BUT my Mother wouldn’t and it’s definately not somewhere you’d want to take your under 5’s (unless you stay on the top section, or just want to play in the stream at the bottom end of the trail).
ARC lists the trail as 1.2km in length however my Garmin measured 820 m from where I parked the car on Opunaku Road to where the trail ends on Mountain Road although the listed time of 20 minutes to walk it, does seem about right. I personally think it’s too short to run on it’s own so you’d either have to head up Mountain Road and add on one of the Fairy Falls trails or you could do hill repeats on it (but it’s quite technical underfoot, so you’d need to keep your wits about you).
From Opanuku Road, you’ll have to cross a wide stream, clamber up a bank to reach an open clearing then you’ll head up the hill, and up the hill, and then scramble up yet more hill. 😉
Without a doubt the Kauri Trees are AMAZING also I was amazed to see fish living in what looked like a big puddle about half way along (where the boardwalk has been placed).
It’s a hill .. 😉
The other stuff;
Location – 60 Opanuku Road or 87 Mountain Road.
Parking – Tiny (and I mean tiny) area opposite the track entrance on Opanuku Road or a much larger area on the Mountain Road end (immediately after Walker Road turn off).
Toilets – No
Kid Friendly – According to the ARC, yes …
Till next time