Old Reservoir Road off SH2 about 1.5 km east of Paeroa is a short road, partly tarsealed, and partly a narrow gravel road. At the north-eastern end of the formed road an old ‘paper road’ continues on from a locked gate and past the old water reservoir dam. The road has once been drivable as far as the dam, but from there it continues on as an unmarked tramping track. The track does not entirely follow the paper road, which apparently continues all the way to Waitekauri Road, and there are no indications that it has ever been formed as a road.
This walk only covers about 2.5 km of the track, starting at the current formed end of Old Reservoir Road, past the old reservoir dam and a small lake to an old tin shed or hut before returning. Being unmarked the track was difficult to find in places, although there were signs that it is still being used as a tramping track. From the dam the track rises quite steeply with an initial elevation about 40 metres above sea level and with the highest points about 315 metres a.s.l.
There are several tracks leading to the summit of Mt Karangahake, a prominent peak visible from SH2 between Paeroa and Waihi. The post Mt Karangahake summit describes the most often used tracks, the Mountain Track and the unmarked and unnamed direct track which branches off the Mountain Track.
This walk was done on the County Rd track, part of which is also known as the Number 7 Level Track, with the Mountain Link Track joining County Rd to the Mountain Track and the summit. This route is somewhat longer than the other two tracks, but most of County Rd has an easy gradient and is a good, well-formed track. The Mountain Link Track is narrower and steeper, but not very long. The return from the summit was via the unmarked direct track and the Mountain Track.
The Dickey Flat campsite, administered by DoC, is located on the banks of the Waitawheta River in the Karangahake Gorge and the Kaimai Mamaku Forest Park. Located at the end of Dickey Flat Rd, off Kennedy Rd and Waitawheta Rd, it is a popular campsite in the summer, with swimming holes and trout fishing spots easily accessible.
Two walking tracks, which can be walked as a loop walk, connect Dickey Flat and Karangahake. The south-western track passes through regenerating native bush, with the north-eastern track following the Waitawheta River and the historic Waitawheta pipeline. The total loop has a length of just over 10km. It can be walked in either clockwise or anti-clockwise direction, and starting at either Dickey Flat campsite, or by SH2 at Karangahake.
There are several walking and mountain biking tracks in the Karangahake Gorge between Waihi and Paeroa. The Karangahake Gorge Historic Walkway mostly follows the route of the old railway running through the gorge. The railway was closed and the rails removed in the 1970s, but some of the rail bridges still exist, and the rail line between Waikino and Waihi has been reopened for passengers on the Goldfields Railway.
The walkway/cycleway is now open from Waihi to Karangahake Hall as the western end of the gorge. Parking is available by the Karangahake Reserve, accessible directly from SH2, and further west by the Western Portal Bridge, which crosses SH2. The lower level of the bridge is a one-lane road bridge.
Mt Karangahake towers above the western end of Karangahake Gorge, between Waihi and Paeroa. It is clearly visible from SH2, the main road through the gorge. The most prominent peak has a trig station on top, with an official elevation of 544m above sea level. The highest point is a few metres higher, but not easily accessible. However, a nearby peak with a communication mast on top is accessible, and is slightly higher than the trig station.
There are 3 tracks leading to the summit, all of which are accessible from the main carpark on SH2, or from the nearby carpark on County Rd, or from Crown Hill Rd where there is a small parking area near a locked gate. There are toilet facilities both at the main carpark, and by the County Rd carpark. County Rd is accessible from SH2 across a one-lane, two-level bridge, originally used for both rail and road, with the railway above the roadway.