Where to start? Well me and my mate Cam had planned a hike from the Karangahake gorge end of the Kaimai's to the Country road "track" and then onto Mangakino Stream track to the Mangakino Shelter.
we were well equipped with spare food and a PLB. We headed off at 9:15am on Saturday 8th November. What we weren't aware of was the condition of the "country" road track.
There were numerous points of this track that a chainsaw was needed to remove heavy foliage and more than 20 fallen trees. There was even several parts where due to the lack of track maintenance the track just simply disappears on you.
I haven't been able to find any printed map that highlights the difficulty of this track, especially in the condition it is in, even the descriptions on the DOC website just simply say it is a tramping track. What a load of palaver!
When we finally got to the marker at the junction of Mangakino Track and the "country" road track, someone had removed the "o" and the "ry" to eloquently describe how they felt about the track. I and my mate thoroughly agree and we are ashamed that a track that can be accessed so easily by tourists is in such a pathetic state of repair. It is no wonder so many tourists get lost on our "tracks"
By the time we had reached the next junction of the stream crossing to Mangakino and Dickey Flats it was 3pm and 14 kms. Needless to say we diverted our path to Dickey Flat campground for the night. Thoroughly exhausted by all the scrambling and climbing and fighting our way through overgrown tracks. It was just as well we had enough fitness and experience to see us through.
What DOC should do is hurry their plans to change the condition of the tracks in the Kaimai Ranges so people can enjoy them along with NZ's other great national parks!
Both me and my mate Cam, we wont be going anywhere near the Kaimai's until such time the track upgrades have been done.
Nice one DOC!