Shout out to the Mauger Family for taking me on this epic tramp.
Imagine you’re back in time before the time of British settlers. You’re an indigenous person maneuvering past trees, foliage and marsh; following the stream in hopes it will lead you to your next adventure. You traverse the dangerous foothills and fallen logs, jump down mighty waterfalls and swing off of enormous ancient trees. As you venture deeper into the woods you notice mighty towers of stone flank you, fallen trees and logs laid across your path as if to mock your ability to pass.
You, of course, have come this far; you press on. The number and size of fallen trees seem to grow the higher and deeper you go. The stone walls seem to laugh at your futility as the sun beats down on your shoulders. You feel heavy but hopeful. You reach the top. As you look across you see a clearing… not of land but of water. Great meters of open water barred by stone ledges that you must climb. It seems endless…
Yea, the hike was just like that. Badass right? This tramp literally had every obstacle that nature could have thrown at us. Marsh, rivers, rocks, trees, climbing, enormous pools of water. It was insanity but oh so cool and all jam packed into one entire day of excitement.
Anna’s going to kill me for sharing this but as always here is a map of where we went:
Piha is the region with the best hikes and tramps. It is also most likely the most scenic place in Auckland. In the summer time this place is packed with Aucklanders and tourists. But not everyone knows about Pararaha Valley. Lucky for us.
The hike was different than what I was expecting. Instead of hiking up a mountain or across land we started by descending into the marsh… but not before I captured the views
The signage was a bit confusing but we found our way to a little hut (it wasnt a hut) where we were meant to wait for Anna’s dad – he was our guide but he had to wait for another member. Needless to say no one knew where they were going. The views were stunning though.
When Anna’s dad showed up that’s when the fun really began. First thing he did was take us into the stream. We had to jump to either carefully jump across slippery rocks or just walk through the stream like a boss. I chose to be a boss.
The beginning wasn’t too bad I just thought we were going to jump a couple of rocks maybe climb a few stone walls and swim across a pool of water. It was like that except so much more fun.
When we went it was quite cloudy and a little cold which made it quite difficult to swim through the great pools of water. But I can only imagine how glorious the pools of water would have been if it was really sunny. Here are some pictures of Anna and the gang sliding down the rock water slide.
Unfortunately, I cant find the pic of me sliding down but if there was a picture you would have seen me slide a little to the left of where everyone else landed at the bottom and into a hole. It was like a child slipping through the middle of a toilet seat.
Heres a video of gav “almost” falling into that same hole. Quality is a bit crappy. Apologies.
In addition to water slides the tramp also provided us cliff diving which all but Anna, her dad and his friend were too afraid to do. Heres the video (again very short and low quality – sorry)
As we progressed further through the pools of water we came across the abyss. A huge pool of water that you actually had to swim across and then trying to pull yourself out on the other side leveraging off a slippery rock ledge. Heres a picture of the gang waving by the smaller friendlier pool and a picture of us swimming across the abyss.
Pretty epic eh? There was a larger waterfall that came afterwards that I couldn’t get a picture of but was pretty tall. There was also a ledge and a piece of climbing rope left on that tree that reached out across the other larger pool of water. It could have been 20m high. Clearly some maniacs used this to swing themselves into the pool of water. I didnt chance it. Cause I’m a chicken shit.
Heres a picture of us coming through the canyon and the fallen logs that had got stuck after the valley was drained.
Something out of a novel. Huckleberry Fin got nothing on this.
Well there you have it folks. Pararaha Valley was probably the most action packed hike I’ve had in a while. The most epic part was when Anna’s dad had to rock climb over the largest pool of water then up a water fall. We found an easier way up on a narrow ridge above and watched as he got stuck. He had no footing to progress further and he positioned himself too far from the lower one to go back. Luckily he found a small rock on the side which he leveraged to rock himself back on the right path. It was pretty lucky. Shame I didnt get a picture of it. I also couldn’t capture when he dived INTO a waterfall. That man is a legend. Anna, if you’re reading this; when I grow up I want to be …your dad? Yeah, as I typed that it seemed wrong but I also laughed so I’m not editing that out. #writersbenefit
We spent nearly 8 hours in the valley. None of us were prepared to stay that long. I only brought a couple of cookies and there were some bananas that other people brought but needless to say we were all starving. I hit McDs shortly after. What did I order? Fillet O Fish and a 1/2 pounder of some fancy burger. Oh, and COMBO. #obesity
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Have you been anywhere cool? Seen a place that “had it all”? Interested to hear your thoughts. Comments below. I swear ill be nice.