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Three Tracks in the Waitakere Ranges Have Finally Reopened After a Multi-Million Dollar Upgrade

The tracks were closed in an effort to combat the devastating spread of kauri dieback, but are finally now back open for business.
By Sarah Templeton
April 22, 2022
By Sarah Templeton
April 22, 2022

The last few years have seen many tracks in Auckland's beloved Waitākere Ranges a no-go zone for enthusiastic walkers. In 2018, following a rāhui (or ban) being placed by iwi over parts of the Ranges, Auckland Council made the decision to close a large number of tracks in an effort to combat the spread of devastating kauri dieback.

Last February, sections of the Te Ar Tūhura / Hillary Trail, the Ōmanawanui Track along with Puriri Ridge Track, were reopened.

Now, just in time for the long weekend, three more of the trail's tracks are back open for business. The Auckland Council announced this week that the Gibbons, Muir and Pararaha Valley tracks are all now re-open, after a $2.3 million upgrade and extensive consultation with local iwi Te Kawerau a Maki. You can now enjoy the stunning views over the Tasman Sea and the scenic conservation reserve — while getting a sweat on, of course.

Even if you're not usually a big fan of walks, these newly revamped trails will be worth a trip west. Te Kawerau a Maki played a large role in the tracks' design and development, while historical sites along the way (like the famous log chutes) have all been protected by the council's heritage team.

Department of Conservation.

A whole lot of mahi has gone into creating these new tests for the lungs and legs. According to a release from Auckland Council, the Muir Track was basically completed last year before a large slip from the August storm washed a portion of it to the bottom of the valley floor. Ten more tonnes of gravel had to be brought in, a whole new set of stairs built — and many more weeks of work in the remote area. But after those setbacks, the track is finally open, providing epic views of Whātipu Scientific Reserve and surrounding coast and wetlands.

While this new development now means sections two to five of the Te ara Tūhura / Hillary Trail are currently operational, the entire trail is expected to be finished around May next year, including linking up Anawhata to the Te Henga walkway.

And if all this has whet your whistle for some further autumn adventuring, you can check out some more walkways in and around Auckland to conquer here.

The Gibbons, Muir and Pararaha Valley tracks, all part of the Te ara Tūhura / Hillary Trail in the Waitākere Ranges, are now reopen after being closed to protect the spread of kauri dieback in 2018. Find more information on the Auckland Council website

Published on April 22, 2022 by Sarah Templeton

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