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Northern Waitakere Hike + Mid Anawhata Stream Walk/Swim

On Sunday we are going to Long Road in northern Waitakere Ranges for a hike to Anawhata Stream and back including some walking and swimming in the stream. The hike to the stream is via Long Road and Sisam tracks, and we will probably return a different way via Simla Track (to be decided). The stream walk includes some sections that require swimming in deep water. Highlights include Smyth Stream waterfall, stream swimming adventure, and native forest.

Duration: 5½-6½ hours, including stops (depending on return route).
Difficulty: 4½ on our 1-5 scale for day hikes. Stream walk includes deep rock pools (over head high) that can't be avoided so some swimming is required (although return stream section can be optional). In addition to swimming, there some deep wading sections and typical stream walking on uneven sometimes slippery rocks, but no extra technical challenges (some rapids but no significant waterfalls to negotiate). At end of Sisam Track there is a short off-track section down to Smyth Stream. The hike is mainly on tramping tracks that are often muddy but will probably be dry and relatively easy to walk on Sunday. Sisam Track goes steeply down to the stream, descending 200m, and there is steep climb up Simla Track with elevation gain of 200m that will test fitness. Climb up Long Road Track to Smyth Corner is more gradual but may test fitness too.

Weather Update (Sat 10am): Metservice forecast for Sunday: "Fine, odd shower possible. Southwester. (sun+cloud symbol)".

Important Notes:
(1) This hike, including the stream section with swimming is significantly more difficult and challenging than average, and is mainly suitable for experienced hikers who are comfortable walking and swimming in streams and hiking up and down hills at a faster than moderate pace.
(2) As the stream section is a return walk, this can be optional for people who don't mind waiting for group to return. However, the swimming section will take about an hour return and the whole stream walk may take 2 hours return. Planning will be based around those who are doing the whole stream walk.

Meeting Places:
- Victoria park New World is our initial meeting place for carpooling. (If you haven't met us there before you can read more details here.)
- Then we'll drive to carpark at end of Long Road (off Bethells Road).
- See Google Map directions with following markers:
-- A: Victoria Park New World
-- B: Long Road carpark

Carpooling:
- Carpooling will be arranged on the day for everyone meeting at New World (transport permitting; you can read more details here).
- If you need a ride from New World, no need to arrange this in advance - just let us know when you RSVP.
- If you want a ride or can offer a ride from another location, you can mention this in the conversation below, then contact each other to arrange.
- Best if most people meet at New World first. Option to drive straight to Long Road is only intended if New World is significantly out of your (eg, if driving from west or north via Upper Harbour).
- Each carpool passenger from New World is expected to give $10 to driver.

Time Guideline:
- 09:15 - Good time to arrive at New World, meet & greet
- 09:30 - Latest time to arrive at New World, arrange carpooling
- 09:35 - Leave New World
- 10:00 - Arrive at Long Road carpark if driving straight there
- 10:15 - All at Long Road carpark, introductions
- 10:30 - Start hike
- 17:00 - Approx end hike
- 18:00 - Approx return to Auckland

Map:
- Online NZ Topo map of hike area

Hike Description:
- Start from Long Road carpark.
- Walk southward up Long Road Track to Smyth Corner, continuing past Whatiriri Track on left, Lower Kauri Track on left, and Wainamu Bush Track on right.
- Turn right at Smyth Corner triangle then right again onto Smyth Ridge Track.
- Turn left down Sisam Track and descend steeply.
- At Simla Track junction, go off-track short distance down to Smyth Stream at base waterfall.
- Walk down Smyth Stream which turns right into Anawhata Stream.
- Continue down Anawhata Stream until reach Trinity Stream waterfall on right at end of swimming section (swimming begins about 10 minutes after Chateaux Mosquito Track crossing).
- Walk back same way back up stream to end of Sisam Track.
- Go down Simla Track short distance to Smyth Stream crossing then steeply uphill.
- Turn left on Ridge Road Track to Simla corner.
- At Simla corner there are several return options. Quickest option is return same way via Long Road Track, or can loop back via: Upper Kauri, Lower Kauri, and Long Road; Upper Kauri, Auckland City Walk, and Whatitiri; or Fenceline, Auckland City Walk, and Whatitiri (to be decided.)

Stream Walk:
- We will return walk the section of Smyth and Anawhata Stream between Smyth Stream waterfall and Trinity Stream waterfall, mainly walking in and on the rocks of the stream.
- This section is about 1km long (2km return).
- The second half of this section is narrow with very steep sides and at least 6 deep rock pools that can't easily be avoided so wading and some swimming is required.
- At least 3 of the rock pools are likely to be over head high in places but they aren't very long so only need to swim about 10 metres at a time.
- Due to lack of recent rain, stream flow is likely to be low (smaller side streams may be dry) depth of rock pools is likely to remain the same.
- As this is a return walk/swim, it is possible to drop gear at start of swimming and pick up again on way back.
- Any gear carried on the stream walk will need to be carefully waterproofed, especially on the swimming section, especially electronic devices. Sealable glad bags can be bought at supermarket for small items. Larger dry bags can be bought at adventure stores. Multiple plastic bags without holes can also be effective.

Bring:
- lunch and drink
- clothing suitable for summer
- footwear suitable for tramping tracks and stream walking
- sun protection
- emergency rain protection
- towel
- swimwear or clothing suitable for stream swimning
- dry bags, sealable plastic bags, and/or other waterproof containers for gear you don't want to get wet.
- first-aid items
- cash ($10 if carpool passenger)

Notes:
(1) We have previously done the stream walk and Simla Track on 18 March 2012. Chateaux Mosquito & RGB tracks are currently closed so this time we will start from Long Road, hike Simla Track in opposite direction, and it will be the first time we hike Sisam Track.
(2) 9:30am is the latest time to arrive at New World, and 10:15am is the latest time to arrive at Long Road if driving straight there. We aim to leave New World and start hike exactly on time, and are unlikely to wait for late people. Arriving early is good :-)
(3) It is safer and generally more fun to hike together as a group. We aim to do this with stops at junctions for group to regather, but there's no guarantee this will happen so prepare for this hike as best you can (study maps, etc) in case you become separated.
(4) As this is a longer hike than average, we'll walk at a pace that is a bit faster than moderate (between moderate and fast), with stops at places of interest along the way, and at least one lunch stop.

RSVP:
- If you are interested to attend it will help if you: read all the details in this description carefully; RSVP online soon (even if uncertain about attending); and change your RSVP later if you decide not to attend or anything you specified is no longer accurate.
- There are several RSVP questions about certainty of attending, meeting places, transport, and options. Answering these will help with planning, thanks :-)

Are you interested to attend?

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  • Ross

    Thanks Stephen, once again a real adventure, the best type of hike! If life's a box of chocolates then Stephen always puts the best flavours in the mix including a great bunch of people :-)

    1 · March 3, 2013

  • Ross

    Wow!

    March 3, 2013

  • Willem

    Great event and well organised. It was what I hoped for though some steep parts certainly challenged my fitness levels. (More work to do).

    March 3, 2013

  • kate h.

    This sounds great, but I have to work. Have fun.

    March 2, 2013

  • Kensy

    Id like to try this. I'm not just confident about deep water swim. But I want to try:)

    March 1, 2013

    • Stephen

      Hi Kensy, I have added a Stream Walk section with more details about the swimming. Several rock pools will be over head high in places but they aren't very long so only need to swim a short distance (no longer than 20m) at a time. I wouldn't recommend swim section to anyone who is not confident swimming in deep water, but can wait for group to return if decide not to walk/swim the whole way.

      March 2, 2013

    • Kensy

      THanks guys. Unfortunately I'm needed for work. Will keep updated on the 17th if antthing comes. I'll surely join. Take care everyone

      March 2, 2013

  • brody

    I can't make this one so I'll pre-register my interest in future stream-bash or offtrack adventures instead... more like this please!

    March 2, 2013

  • Willem

    Looking forward to the first hike with the group.

    March 2, 2013

  • Navjeet Singh B.

    Hi Stephen !
    Since it requires swimming and walking, it's going to be a great day !
    But if we are going to swim through deep water, how are we going to take care of the stuff we bring with us ?
    We all would be carrying a bag or such I guess.

    March 1, 2013

    • Stephen

      Hi Navjeet, as stream section with swimming is a return walk, it is possible to leave gear somewhere near start and pick up again on way back. If carry any gear, then care will be needed to waterproof anything you don't want to get wet. Waterproof dry bags for gear inside daypacks can be bought from adventure stores. I also use sealable plastic glad bags to give extra protection for electronic devices (eg, camera, mobile phone).

      March 2, 2013

  • Navjeet Singh B.

    Any particular equipment we need to have with us ?

    March 1, 2013

    • Stephen

      Hi Navjeet, check out the Bring section :-)

      March 2, 2013

  • Stephen

    I have just added a section about the stream walk to the description above with more details about the rock pools, swimming, and waterproofing gear.

    March 2, 2013

  • Rich

    I would like to join the group.

    March 2, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Anyone going from Titirangi side that wants to carpool?

    March 2, 2013

  • Matthew

    Looks great and very sorry I can't make it. Hope we do this again soon so I can join. Hopefully will see you next week.

    March 1, 2013

  • Mark P

    In Welly town this weekend. dam. Looks like a goodie!

    March 1, 2013

  • Keiko G.

    I love to come and join in this hike, but it is on Sunday. The day I have an engagement that I can't break...:-( Have a great time and jumping into the stream!!

    February 28, 2013

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