Wandering in the Hunua Ranges, Auckland


I had one wish for my birthday – to do a bush walk. Is that weird?

I don’t think so. I love getting out into the bush and experiencing nature, especially in New Zealand. There’s something so calming about being in the New Zealand bush – hearing the native birds and not being afraid of icky spiders and bears and other things that can potentially kill you. (Did we ever tell you that New Zealand is awesome?!)

This is perhaps one of the creepiest things you'll encounter in the NZ bush - a cicada exoskeleton!

This is perhaps one of the creepiest things you’ll encounter in the NZ bush – a cicada exoskeleton!

We were in Auckland on my birthday, and so we decided to go to the Hunua Ranges as we had never visited this particular area together before – I know, crazy right?! Especially seeing as the Hunuas are only about an hour from central Auckland. Shocker.

Anyway, I’d found a nice three hour loop track that started at the Hunua Falls carpark, climbed up the Massey Track to Cossey Dam, and then back down the Cossey Gorge Track to the carpark (see the map below).

Is that a bush monster?!

Is that a bush monster?!

It was a warm, humid day so the climb for the first hour or so was a bit of a struggle at times – it wasn’t that steep but it was so damn hot! And we (I) aren’t all that fit either. Ugh. But being in that lovely bush made up for it!

Being silly in the kauri grove

Being silly in the kauri grove

We finally reached the top and took a small side loop to a kauri grove, where we saw some impressive forest giants. A little further along we were met with the lovely view across the ranges and over the Cossey Dam – one of Auckland’s freshwater drinking reservoirs.

Cossey Dam, Hunua Ranges

Cossey Dam, Hunua Ranges

The second half of the walk was much easier – it was pretty much all downhill! We descended to the dam, and then headed down Cossey Creek and back to the carpark. There was even a stream crossing – but the water level was so low that we rock-hopped across and didn’t have to get our feet wet!

hunua-4

Pretty easy stream crossing!

Pretty stream

Pretty stream

Finally, at the end of the walk, we took the short loop from the carpark to see the Hunua Falls. These falls were pretty impressive (although nothing like those we saw recently in Oregon!).

Shaun admiring the Hunua Falls

Shaun admiring the Hunua Falls

Love these picture frames Auckland Council puts up at sights like these!

Love these picture frames Auckland Council puts up at sights like these!

Hot and sweaty, we hopped in our car and headed back to the city. What a great birthday treat! Here’s hoping we get out to the bush again soon.

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8 comments

  1. Ha, you know for the longest time I thought the Hunuas were out in the Waitaks!

    Then we never got out there because we live out west and never go into Manukau. But we went to Hunua last month, saw the falls, hiked one of the tracks and went home satisfied. Definitely not our local and don’t think we’ll be returning frequently, but maybe once in awhile.

    • Petra
      Author

      Haha that’s so funny! It’s lovely, isn’t it? At least it’s not going anywhere so it doesn’t matter if you don’t visit often!

    • Petra
      Author

      It’s awesome isn’t it! They’re all over the place at scenic spots around Auckland’s reserves. New Zealand’s bush is so beautiful – there’s nothing quite like it elsewhere 🙂

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