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Wentworth Falls or Karangahake Gorge for walking + Katikati?

England
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Wentworth Falls or Karangahake Gorge for walking + Katikati?

We are driving from Hahei to Tauranga after spending 3 nights in Coromandel/Hahei and want to do some walking on the way. Choices seem to be Wentworth Falls, or the detour to Karangahake Gorge - comments please.

Katikati and its murals sound interesting - are they?

The Minden Lookout also seems worth a short detour - is it?

Auckland Central...
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1. Re: Wentworth Falls or Karangahake Gorge for walking + Katikati?

I have not been to Went worth Falls but can certainly vouch for Karangahake Gorge or "K" Gorge is it is often referred.

It is a former gold mining area and one of the walks takes you past some of the old sites which are described on plaques etc. The Ohinemuri River runs through the Gorge and a tributary - the Waitawheta flows in at the bottom of the gorge just opposite the car park area - there is a lovely walk up the Waitawheta.

For refreshment there is a very unspoilt pub in the Gorge and at the bottom there is a nice cafe - the Talisman.

New Zealand
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2. Re: Wentworth Falls or Karangahake Gorge for walking + Katikati?

As luck would have it I just walked for the very first time to Wentworth Falls last weekend! And I'm always pushing Karangahake Gorge so from expert personal opinion....... :)

They are two totally different excursions. The falls are a there and back walk, the gorge a circuit. The falls would be take about 1.5hr return, the gorge circuit about 2hrs(there is a longer walk that can take 3-4hrs right through the gorge and another tramp up and over the ridge) . It's a flat steady walk all the way to the falls along aside a small river then a gut busting climb to the top and a viewing platform. The falls are two tier, narrow and while lovely a bit hard to view with so much native bush in and around. There is a steep goat track to the bottom of the falls from the viewing platform where there is a great swimming hole. At this time of the year it's a very popular walk, there's a DOC camping ground at the start of the walk, there were lots of walkers and children swimming at the falls. Take insect repellent, the sandflies are voracious, not so much on the walk but at the car park and picnic area at the end of the road.

The gorge has a much more diverse landscape, the track is flat and runs along side a large fast flowing river full of huge boulders, you pass through a km long old rail tunnel. Take a torch, you can do it without as there are small faint bulbs along the way but it helps to see the floor, there are also glow worms inside right towards the centre. Make sure you turn off the torch and don't make too much noise and you'll see their lights along the top edge where it curves onto the ceiling. There's toilets, picnic area and a cafe halfway through the gorge(although you are best to start the walk at the northern end where you cross over the top of the road on a bridge and straight into the tunnel(there's a carpark here to).

There's also a lovely winery and restaurant tucked up a side road. Highly recommend it-

http://www.ohinemuri.co.nz/location.html

If you decide on Wentworth Falls take the back road(Golden Valley Road) to visit Waihi Beach, then Athenree and Bowentown on the way to Tauranga. It's a lovely country road away from the "masses" and the beaches are fantastic! If you do the gorge you'll have to drive into Waihi(it's not much of a detour to the gorge either)- without getting into it you can take the Old Tauranga Road from in the middle of the gorge and cut behind Waihi.

http://maps.google.co.nz/maps?sourceid=navclient&rlz=1T4ADBR_enNZ273NZ278&q=golden+valley+waihi&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=Golden+Valley,+Waikato&gl=nz&ei=qrtQS_OUG46A7QOBuryjCg&sa=X&oi=geocode_result&ct=title&resnum=1&ved=0CAgQ8gEwAA

ETA- there are falss in the gorge too, the Owharoa Falls.They are nice and wide but not as high as Wentworth. They're not on the circuit walk but further down towards Waihi, you can drive to view them(they are just at the start of the Old road that I mention above)

Edited: 2:09 pm, January 15, 2010
New Zealand
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3. Re: Wentworth Falls or Karangahake Gorge for walking + Katikati?

I forgot The Miden :)

Yes it's well worth the short detour if it's a brilliant clear day, you can see for miles up and down the coast, also how the huge inner harbour is shaped and all the off shore islands.

4. Re: Wentworth Falls or Karangahake Gorge for walking + Katikati?

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