Tag Archives: Waitawheta Tramway

Waitawheta Tramway Track – Franklin Rd to Waitawheta Hut

The Waitawheta Tramway Track follows a tramline used in the early 20th century to extract wood from the Waitawheta Valley, first for gold mining operations, and then Kauri logs and timber. The tramway runs for almost 10 km from Franklin Rd (off Waitawheta Rd) to a sawmill site and the Waitawheta Hut. There are 8 crossings of the Waitawheta River, with all except one of them now spanned by bridges. There is a detour track available which bypasses the unbridged crossing.

The tramway has a gentle slope, rising from about 160 m above sea level at Franklin Rd, to about 380 m at the Waitawheta Hut. Most of the track is easy to walk, with only a few short washed out sections. Several remains from the tramway and milling can be seen along the way.

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Dean, Mangakino Pack, Daly’s Clearing and Waitawheta Tramway Tracks

A loop walk in the Kaimai Forest Park, starting and ending on Franklin Rd near Karangahake, uses the Dean Track, part of the Mangakino Pack Track, Daly’s Clearing Track, and part of the Waitawheta Tramway Track. At the Franklin Rd end the walk passes through privately-owned farmland. There is a small parking area on Franklin Rd, but no toilet or other facilities.

The walk consists mainly of tracks with an easy contour, although there is an elevation difference of about 240m between the lowest and highest points. More information about the loop walk can be found on the DoC web site, although the information there does not quite agree with the GPS data. The GPS shows a total distance of about 9.2 km, instead of 7.5km.

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