Taken from the Bream Bay News – get the news online as well as in your letterbox
A new track which has been named the Tanekaha Forest Track has been built to provide public access to the Brynderwyn ridge. A group of volunteers describing themselves as “a bunch of old broken down track builders”, gained funding from the New Zealand Walking Access Commission and the agreement of private land owners Marunui Conservation Trust and dairy farmer Mark Gash, to form the track which was formally on Labour Weekend.
King Road is off Cove Rd. on the right hand side coming from Langs Beach and just passed the Mangawhai Heads turnoff. The track is accessed from 3 km up King Road via a legal unformed public road on the right just beyond the second bridge. A parking area has been constructed 100 metres up this access and no vehicles are permitted past this point. The track, marked by blue and silver markers, follows the road to a stile, which leads onto Marunui land and a swing bridge funded by the Walking Access Commission.
From the bridge the track crosses a second stream by stepping stones and briefly proceeds upstream before climbing towards the ridge and into Department of Conservation reserve. Steeper sections have been stepped and slopes benched but once on the ridge the grade lessens with just a few steeper climbs.
There are further plans to extend the track so it becomes a longer loop walk. He has been told by pig hunters that there are two waterfalls in the forest and he had been attempting to locate these so detours can be built to view them. The Brynderwyn forest comprises 15 square kilometers of native forest, shrublands, streams and wetlands.
Members of the newly formed The Friends of the Brynderwyns Society were at the track opening ceremony handing out leaflets and inviting new membership. The society has plans to reintroduce Northland brown kiwi to the forest. Contacts are: Martina Tschirky 09 431 5161, Catherine Hawley 09 376 4069 and Denis Kerins 09 376 4551.
The track passes through regenerating forest dominated by tanekaha at lower elevations and large very old kanuka higher up. There are scattered rimu, totara, and puriri, as well as nikau palms, lancewood and a variety of shrub hardwoods, along with lots of seedlings and saplings along the route. Glimpses of Mangawhai Harbour and the surrounding area occur along the track but the real views are from the top when the track reaches the trig. Depending on walking pace it takes from one to one and a half hours to reach the top.
The track was blessed by Ben de Thierry of Te Uri o Hau who said he was happy to give his support as it was te huanui ki te ora (a pathway to health.) It was opened by acting Conservator for Northland Alistair Drake, who commended the Mangawhai trust for building the track.