17 September 2006
The Anderson Track
The Anderson Track runs from the Auckland City Walk to the Scenic Drive.
It is the first turnoff on the left from the Auckland City Walk, about twenty minutes in, beginning at the eastern end. Approximately 1 km from the start of the track, the West Tunnel Mouth Track branches off to the right, the route we took, while the Anderson Track proper heads on towards Scenic Drive, dividing again shortly before the end.
Our fork onto the West Tunnel Mouth track occurs at just before the 1 km mark on the profile.
It is a longish and sometimes unrelenting climb on a track which is generally good if at times demanding. On the day we walked this one we turned off down the West Tunnel Mouth Track, so this account is incomplete so far.
We admit with embarrassment that on this particular day we were intending to climb the Cascade and Fenceline Tracks to the Waitakere Dam. I had it in my head that the Fenceline Track turned off from the Auckland City Walk, without confirming exactly where it turned off. We took the first turnoff, which was the Anderson track. I presume there must have been a signpost, but I didn't sight it.
We turned left past a notice warning us to stay away from the valley immediately below the Waitakere Dam as the cliffs there are extremely unstable. The first part was somewhat gloomy and draped in dead fern leaves and bare supplejack,with quite a dense and tall canopy. At 8.30 am there wasn't a lot of light penetrating to the forest floor.
Soon enough it thinned out
and became somewhat scrubby.
and then we were back again with some bigger trees. I particularly like the rich and dense green of the young rimu beside the path. (Though my favourite rimu grove is still the one on my version of the Woodhill Short Loop Track)
Alice does not like rimu, period. The dead leaves stick to her like burrs, irritate the hell out of her, and are a major project to remove.
The bark patterns on the tree trunks are intricate and beautiful, but even here some people cannot help themselves.
I'm not sure what prompted Miranda to look up at this point but here's a wonderful angle on a kauri.
The track is becoming a little more demanding. Exposed tree roots can turn an ankle in a flash if you're not careful
We cross a tributary of the Anderson Stream, Kelly's Stream if I have read the topo correctly. The stepping stones are stable enough but nevertheless I do appreciate my hiking poles in these situations.
We send Alice ahead to check it out.
Soon, the serious business begins. We have been walking just on the hour at this point, and the next kilometre will take another hour.
Some of the wayside ferns are exquisite and what's more, we still have energy to appreciate them.
at least for the moment....
In six months I'll be looking at this photo and laughing, I promise myself later.
Some thoughtful person has placed a couple of bench seats part way up here. Thank you.
Just about every one of these steps has it's own small tree growing in it. You can easily imagine how fast these tracks would revert to bush if they were left to it.
Here's a kowhai seedling and a five finger. Off to the side about here is a large kowhai in full bloom but we both manage to fluff the camera settings. Another year.
Even when it's not steps the track still requires care.
What I miss in my camera is the amount of yellow that Miranda's camera seems to provide as desired. There's a brightness and clarity I almost envy, but I remind myself that the mp3 player in the van was my Father's Day present for this year.
Off we go again, up more steps. I am quite glad not to be coming down these, however as that could be even harder
The track gets rougher still, with a pronounced ditch down the middle.
Most of these photos are to disguise the fact that I need to stop to catch my breath. The track levels out again into lighter scrubbier trees.
Suddenly there are hundreds of rickers racing each other towards the light.
Not far ahead, the track forks, and we take the right turn onto the West Tunnel Mouth Track. We started at 8 am and it's now just short of 10.
To be continued