Crazy Stream Walk v2.0

Trip Start Oct 06, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Sunday, April 14, 2013

The follow up to the Pararaha Stream walk we did out in Piha (well, Karekare really) at the start of summer. This one was billed as even more x-tream (!!) and needing a wetsuit to get through it without suffering from hypothermia. So wetsuits in hand, we marched down the first 30 mins of the "top-secret" track. Little bit too much uphill for the weight of the suits but what else can you expect when you're going to be climbing *down* a stream...

Anyway, if you've ever tried to put on a swimming wetsuit, you'll know how much of a battle it is, and how ridiculous you look doing it... cue much wobbling on one leg, and falling over. The family sat peacefully eating their picnic lunch at the top of this stream must have wondered what on earth this group of weirdos was doing. Ah well. Their loss!

The stream started as it meant to go on. None of this tip-toeing about, we were pretty much straight up to our waists. Brrrrrhhhhhhh, it was a little bit chilly, so the wetsuits was definitely a good idea despite the half-hour struggle to get them on (okay, so maybe I exaggerate just a teensy bit... it was really closer to 20 mins). 

Tom, our intrepid Belgian guide, had done this walk 5+ times before and he said he'd never seen the water level this low. Probably because we haven't had any rain this summer. So anyway, there were some places where he expected there to be jumps into pools below... but there was no water, just the river bed, aka a pile of stones. Well, that created some interesting jumps! Luckily there was actually some water in the stream further down. So we got to do heaps of awesome jumps into some rock pools... see videos attached :)

The stream ran through a valley in the heart of the Waitakere Ranges - it was deserted, completely rugged and so beautiful. I thought the scenery was even better than the Pararaha Stream... maybe because it was even further into the middle of nowhere!

Towards the end of the walk there was a biiiiiiiig as jump into a large pool below. Slight problem though, the water was pretty low and there were a few rocks protuding out of the pool... that you couldn't exactly see from the top! Oh, and the only other route down was some precarious balancing act, starting with squeezing through a small hole, and ending with shuffling down a slippery pole onto the rocks below. No thanks! So we eyed up the jump for what seemed like forever... trying to decide where the best place was to jump, and plucking up the courage to go for it! Tom went in first, so we could see where the safe places to jump were, and then proceeded to video us. I decided to jump right on top of him... that would definitely be safe, right? Well, at least for me! Have a look at the video to see how it went. Awesome jump... !

Another beautiful spot in the Waitakes, so hard to believe it's less than an hour away from Auckland...

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