Kitekite Falls, Piha, Auckland
THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO:
Location: Kitekite Falls, Piha, Auckland
Parking: Yes, there is plenty of parking
Toilets: Yes, at the car park
FfShoes: Hiking boots or sneakers. Some parts of the track are quite rough, so I was glad I had my boots on!
Date Walked: 28 January 2017
Weather Conditions: Sunny, hot, dry
Distance: Roughly 4 km, however because we didn’t stay to the track, I cannot be sure.
Time Required: 1 hour return to falls, more time required if you wish to go to the top.
Final Rating: ★★★★★
Getting to the falls is relatively easy. Because Kitekite Falls comes up on google maps / Tom Tom, you can just punch it in and press Go. Head towards Piha and instead of turning left to the beach, bear right. At the end of the road is the Kitekite Falls car park.
IN MY BACKPACK
1.5 L water bottle, snacks and my camera. My sister had some hand sanitiser which came in handy after using the toilets. She also had some facial wipes, which came in handy when we got back to the car to cool down!
The walk begins at the car park, where there are some toilets, and a few lovely picnic tables. Because we had just climbed Lion Rock, we decided to stop here and have our lunch. This was lovely, there is a lack of rubbish bins (at least that we could see) so this is something to keep in mind.
At the beginning of the walk, there is a large piece of Kauri and some information about the Piha Sawmill.
Continuing through the peaceful bush, you will soon come to a boot cleaning station, you will need to clean your shoes at to help prevent Kauri disease. The majority of the walk is shaded from the overhead trees, so even on a hot day like I had today, it was nice and cool.
The beginning of the walk is all flat, before arriving at the below junction. We chose to go right. We were unsure of which way to go, but later learnt that either way is fine. Going right was all up hill on a path, and soon we would know that if we had gone straight it was still up hill only via stairs. So you can choose depending on your preference.
Following the hill, you come to a series of wooden bridges, and a few clearings with lovely Kauri tables and chairs. Shortly after you can start to hear the lovely sound that a water fall is close by.
After this point, you begin to make your way down a wooden staircase to the base of the falls. These stairs are quite steep so be careful! At the bottom, there was a small muddy patch, and then some rocks shaped into a stair well to get to the edge of the water. The day we went, was a long weekend Saturday so understandably it was busy. People were swimming in the water, which after the walk did look inviting!
So, unlike the normal people, who would have made it to the falls, popped in for a dip and then headed back… We decided to go to the top of the falls, but oh no, not via the lovely paved track, we thought it would be a good idea to clamber up the side of the hill!!
Now, I would have more pictures, but I was literally on my hands and knees for at least 15 minutes, holding on to the side of the mountain for dear life! It may sound dramatic, but honestly this was a lot of fun!! Whats a hike, without climbing up a hill on your hands and knees??
Eventually, we made it to the top, which normal people can access via the well-kept path.
This was probably my favorite part of the walk, standing up the top of the waterfall looking out over the ranges. It really was beautiful. Lots of people where in one of the pools a next stage down taking a dip.
Once we had looked around and taken all of the photos we were after, we headed back down the track. This was my lest favorite part of this walk, as there were lots of exposed tree roots coming through the track which made getting a footing difficult. I had to spend most of my time looking at the ground to ensure I wouldn’t trip.
After the tree root tracks, you come to a small junction. This gives you an option to go back to the bottom of the falls, or back to the car park. We chose to head back to the car park, and as I mentioned earlier, it was all downhill via steps from here.
As you come back to the same junction from the start of the walk, we decided to take a slightly different way back to the car by crossing over the bridge on the right. (On your left on the way to the falls) This was a nice alternative, as we found we were not walking into as much on coming traffic. Along the bridge there was an information board which gave you a bit of history behind the forest and the falls. We headed back through the shaded track towards the car park.
Past the last picnic spot, is another bridge which brings you back out to the car park. There are a lot of other walks along this track which would be worth checking out.
Overall, I would recommend this track. It is hard in some places (depending on the track you choose) but well worth the walk. I would love to go back during a not as busy period, and spend a bit more time at the base of the water fall.