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Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Mokoroa Falls & Goldies Bush

After a hard day's work studying Thermo-Fluids, Gene Beveridge, Tom Reynolds and I decided to take on some fluids of our own: the Mokoroa stream bash.

Tom approaches Mokoroa Falls
Nestled in the outskirts of Muriwai, the Mokoroa - Goldies Bush route is a solid circuit for an afternoon's bash in the bush.
The descent from Constable Road to the stream has been upgraded so it is no longer as gnarly as it once was, and is now a sedate gravel bash unfortunately. Confusingly, to head up the Mokoroa stream from the junction, you turn right. The track loops underneath the bridge heading along the Goldie Bush Walkway.

Now the fun begins.

Gene and Tom were both repping the Inov-8 X-talon 212, a sensible choice as the track was greasy from the rain. Meanwhile I was left slipping through their hoofprints in my sleek pair of New Balance Minimus. I really like the Minimus trails, and even in the slippery conditions they forced me to keep my balance by other means; increasing my cadence and using the trail to my advantage. Basically grabbing onto trees and plants to avoid shooting off on a tangent into the stream!

 Along the upstream journey there were about ten crossings of the Mokoroa, some at rocky sections like the one above. The rock was covered in a devious layer of stream-grime. The crossings were OK today but after heavier rain they can quickly become raging torrents and can make the route pretty treacherous. I reminisced about travelling up this stream in the summer of 2010 during a midnight rogaine event; navigating was definitely easier in the day time!

Start and finish at Constable Rd (far left)

Left: Mokoroa Falls from the viewing platform.   Right: Tom charges down the muddy Goldie Bush track

The Goldies Bush Walkway was a mud-fest, luckily it was a downhill so we let gravity take care of business down to the bridge. All that was left to finish is the uphill grind to the car, a humbling experience, I let the stairs finish me off, and felt smashed at the top. A very decent track, and a quality low-key adventure. I especially loved the Mokoroa stream route - high adrenaline stuff when done at race pace, and a lot of tricky terrain to negotiate. Get out there and give it a go! This run would be paradise on a hot summer's day.

The entire run took us about 70 minutes. The upcoming Speight's West Coaster adventure run takes in this section as part of the Marathon event, starting at Bethells Beach on 26th November. Including the Te Henga trail and a lap of Lake Wainamu, this race is a real challenge - good luck to the brave!

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