"Tramping galore" Waitakere Ranges Things to Do Tip by 4streegrrl

Waitakere Ranges Things to Do: 8 reviews and 16 photos

  Kitekite Falls
by 4streegrrl
  • Kitekite Falls - Waitakere Ranges
      Kitekite Falls
    by 4streegrrl
  • 1000 year old Kauri on the Nature Trail - Waitakere Ranges
      1000 year old Kauri on the Nature Trail
    by 4streegrrl
  • Rainforest nurse log on Kitekite Falls trail - Waitakere Ranges
      Rainforest nurse log on Kitekite Falls trail
    by 4streegrrl

With over 250 kilometers of trails to explore, ranging from easy walks to backpacking in the backcountry, the Waitakere Ranges are a prime place for hiking adventures. One beautiful, not-too-difficult hike is to Kitekite (or Ketekete) Falls. Several walks begin at the same trailhead, but the one to Kitekite Falls has the best outcome. Through native forest, along a burbling stream, listening and/or viewing the native birds, it is a pleasant, peaceful walk and a good way to stretch the legs and clear the cobwebs out of your head.

Kitekite Falls is an interesting site in that at the top of the falls, you can see notches in the rocks where the old Glen Esk Dam was located. The dam was a Kauri dam, a common type that was used during the west coast's logging boom. Dams were built on streams to build up a reservoir that would provide the force to drive cut logs down stream once the dam was released. At Kitekite Falls, the first attempt to drive logs down the falls resulted in their destruction on the rocks below. That method of driving logs from the top of the falls was abandoned and from then on, the dam was only used to flush the logs waiting in the stream below down to the mill.

A nice little interpetive walk begins near the Arataki Visitor Center just outside of Titirangi. The nature trail is 1.6km long and takes about 1 hour to walk, if you're slow and reading the names of all the plants and trees on the helpful signs. The track features both regenerating and mature forest, including large kauri trees and viewpoints. And if you're a forestry or plant nerd, ask the park ranger at the Centre for an illustrated guide to the common trees and plants you can see in the Waitakere Ranges.

Address: All about the Waitakere Ranges
Directions: A trail map at the Glen Esk carpark provides general information on the directions to Kitekite Falls. The Nature Trail begins on the other side of the road from the Arataki Visitor Centre. Visit the Centre near Titirangi for more information.

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  • Updated Apr 4, 2011
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