On Saturday we are returning to Anawhata on the west coast (north of Piha) to walk Lower Anawhata Stream, walk the rocky coast between Anawhata and Fishermans Rock aiming to explore Keyhole Rock at low tide, visit Whites Beach, and hike some coastal tracks in the area. Highlights include stream and rocky coast adventure, isolated wild west coast black sand beaches, and great coastal views from high points. This will be followed by optional overnight camping at Craw Campground, and there may also be some day hiking nearby on Sunday (to be decided).
Duration: about 7 hours for whole hike, including stops.
Difficulty: 4 on our 1-5 scale for day hikes. The stream walk includes a number of stream crossings with some wading in knee deep water, and tricky rock to get past or wade in waist deep water near beach. The coastal rocks are rough and uneven, requiring use of hands in many places. Not especially challenging at low tide (except for some optional sections) but agility and a good sense of balance is required. Some coastal tracks are quite steep and will test fitness.
- 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 will drive to Rose Track carpark on Anawhata Road (at top of Rose Track driveway and White Track, about 1km before end of road).
- See Google map directions with following markers:
-- A: Victoria Park New World
-- B: Craw Campground (on left)
-- C: Kuataika Track carpark
-- D: Rose Track carpark (main meeting place for hike)
-- E: End of Anawhata Road carpark (if arriving late)
- Carpooling will be arranged for everyone meeting at New World when we get there (transport permitting).
- If you need a ride from New World, there's no need to arrange this in advance - just let us know.
- If you want a ride or can offer rides from another location you can mention this in conversation below, then contact each other to arrange.
- Best if most people meet at New World first. Option to drive straight to Anawhata is only intended if New World is significantly out of your way (eg, if driving from west or north via Upper harbour).
- Each carpool passenger is expected to give $10 to driver.
- 09:00 - Good time to arrive at New World, meet & greet
- 09:15 - Latest time to arrive at New World, arrange carpooling
- 09:20 - Leave New World
- 10:05 - Arrive at Rose Track carpark if driving straight there
- 10:20 - All at Rose Track carpark, introductions
- 10:30 - Start hike
- 11:30 - Aprox start Stream walk
- 13:45 - Arrive at Anawhata Beach if doing coast hike only
- 14:00 - Approx end of stream walk, arrive Anawhata Beach
- 14:30 - Approx start coast hike
- 15:00 - Low tide at Keyhole Rock
- 17:30 - Approx finish hike, return home or go to campground
- 19:00 - Approx return to city if not camping
- Online NZ Topo map of Anawhata area
- Google map directions (can zoom in for closer satellite view)
- Initially we walk about 800m on gravel road, gradually uphill (10 minutes).
- Kuataika Track initially goes across a farm paddock then down a wide moderately steep track through forest to stream (about 45 minutes).
- Anawhata Stream walk is mainly on unmarked tracks beside the stream that are rough and overgrown in places, with a number of stream crossings and some wading in knee deep water in sections where the track isn't well defined. Forest gives way to long grass, and just before it reaches sandy beach there is a tricky rock to get around (about 2 hours walk + ½ hour lunch stop on way).
- Anawhata Beach is sandy with interesting island-like Parera Point to explore or can have extra food stop on beach.
- Coast between Anawhata Beach and Fishermans Rock is mainly rocky, rough, and uneven, requiring use of hands in many places. There is sand between these coastal Rocks and Keyhole Rock that may be exposed at low tide.
- There is a rough track going up to the top of Fishermans Rock (optional) that is steep and exposed in places and has great views.
- The rocky coast on west side of Fishermans Rock (optional) has a number of deep chasms that are narrow enough to step over until reach a chasm that is too wide and risky to consider crossing (optional).
- The rocky coast on east side of Fishermans Rock and southward to Whites Beach is presently unknown. We can explore and see how far we can safely go.
- From Fishermans Rock there is a rough track going up the point which forks left to go further up unmarked University Track to Anawhata Road or right up Fishermans Track which goes around the point and down to north side of Whites Beach.
- Whites Beach is sandy with a cave on north side rocks that can be entered at low tide.
- On south side of Whites Beach, an unmarked track goes up the rock face (with steel cable for safety) then through forest to Te Waha Point with great views.
- Laird Thomson Track goes up steps then along some private driveways to Rose Track junction, then up long steep driveway back to carpark Anawhata Road.
- The whole coast walk is expected to take around 3 hours.
- The exact hike route is not decided yet and may be partially decided on the day, but may be as follows ...
- Starting from car park at top of Rose Track driveway, walk back up Anawhata Road about 800m.
- Kuataika Track starts on left, initially across farm paddock then down wide forest track.
- Cross Anawhata Stream at bottom then turn on left track beside stream.
- Continue downstream on track beside stream with numerous crossings until it comes out onto Anawhata Beach.
- Can explore beach if arrive there early enough.
- From Anawhata Beach, we'll walk southward on coastal rocks to Fishermans Rock, and see if we can reach Keyhole Rock on the way.
- There is optional climb up to the top of Fishermans Rock with great views and optional explore of rocky coast around this (as far as we can safely go in each direction; a deep wide chasm at southwest corner doesn't allow us to go all the way around).
- Then explore rocky coast from Fishermans Rock southward to Whites Beach as far as we can safely go. If can't go all the way then we'll go up track from Fishermans Rock Point then fork right at junction onto unmarked Fishermans Track leading around and down to Whites Beach.
- Walk to south end of beach then up track with steel cable.
- At track junction up top turn right to Te Waha Point, return to junction, then continue straight on Laird Thompson Track.
- At Rose Track junction (track goes left down to Whites Beach), continue straight-right up driveway back up to carpark on Anawhata Road.
- Craw Campground is on Anawhata Road near Kuataika Track.
- Basic facilities include long drop toilet and shelter with tank water they recommend to boil or treat before drinking.
- Cost is $6/person.
- Max 40 people. Can check availability here.
- Need to book in advance. Can phone[masked] to book and pay by credit card or visit Auckland Council offices or Arataki Visitor Centre to pay by other methods.
Additional Hiking Options for Campers:
- On Saturday evening, we can go for short walk near campground to watch sunset.
- On Sunday morning, we can consider some short hike options on our way back from campground, including some tracks off Anawhata Road we have never hiked before (to be decided on the day).
- lunch and drink
- clothing suitable for early autumn
- footwear suitable for stream walking, rough coastal rocks, and tramping tracks
- sun and rain protection
- towel and swimwear
- gloves (optional to protect hands from rough rocks)
- first-aid items
- cash ($10 if carpool passenger)
(1) We recently did a variation of this hike on 8 December 2013. This time we'll walk in the opposite direction, include Whites Beach, and see if we can reach Keyhole Rock. We also did a similar variation of this hike in same direction on 14 March 2010, and Anawhata to Whites Beach on 1 May 2011. This is the first time we aim to explore Keyhole Rock and the rocky coast beyond Fishermans Rock.
(2) We are meeting a little earlier than usual. 9:15am is the latest time to arrive at New World, and 10:20am is latest time to arrive at Rose Track carpark if driving straight there. We are unlikely to wait for late people. Arriving early is good :-)
(3) If don't want to attend the whole day hike, can leave after stream walk, or arrive later at Anawhata Beach by 2pm for rocky coast walk.
(4) We'll walk at a moderate pace that is comfortable for most people in the group, with stops at places of interest along the way, including two or more food stops.
(5) Low tide is at 3:06pm. We'll aim to be near Keyhole Rock around this time for best chance to reach this.
- If you are interested to attend it will help if you: read the above details carefully; RSVP online soon; 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, camping, and hike options. Answering these will help with planning, thanks :-)
Are you interested to attend?