Georgia, Pat, and I packed up our mountain bikes and drove to Upper Takaka, stopping on the way for a sensible number of baked goods. I came away with the bare minimum of three pies, for example. We parked at the beginning of the Kill Devil track and got our bikes set up. I had a small front roll that I was keen to try out and Pat had the other larger one that I’d bought. Aside from these we all had back packs of varying weights. I had tried to reduce the number of electronic devices and therefore only had a few cameras with me.
The climb felt hard. My legs didn’t feel particularly springy. We rode along the tops. It was a cloudy day with patches of sun. There were big views along the top and down to the river. The descent was ridable in many places but there were plenty of logs and things across the track to get you off your bike. We arrived at the Waingaro Forks hut before 6pm. The swing bridge before the hut was quite exciting. The path leading to the bridge was rocky and wet and narrow. It wouldn’t have been too hard to slide off and into the canyon below the bridge. This would definitely have been bad. Baaaaad. There was proper white water in the narrow canyon and lots of nasty rocks and ways to injure yourself.
The hut is a small four bunk arrangement. The fire place is huge but not particularly optimal for bringing heat into the room. The hut is old though and has been restored reasonably recently. It was nice enough and with the fire it was comfortable. I made us a curry for dinner and then it wasn’t too long before bed.
We headed off in the morning and soon got warm on the climb. The sun came out and it was pleasantly warm. My legs came to life a bit and I enjoyed zooming along the single track. We took a detour to Riordans Hut for lunch. It was nice and sunny we made a cup of tea and enjoyed the warmth. Then it was back onto our bikes and along the nice flowing single track. Finally our descent of many switchbacks arrived and we were then back at the car.
A very nice weekend out.
1) We drove to the start of the Kill Devil Track and packed for an overnight mountain biking trip.
2) The track climbed to begin with until around about here where it flattened off again.
3) We descended down towards the Waingaro Hut.
4) The track splits at one point and it’s possible to take a short side trip to Tin Hut.
5) The track was ridable in many parts but less so in others.
1) The river flowed into a deep canyon near the hut and there was a little swing bridge that crossed it.
2) The Waingaro Forks hut is an old shack that is still quite nice to stay in.
3) There’s a fire although it’s not the best for heating.
4) Looking down at the Waingaro Forks Hut from above (MTB Kill Devil Track Aug 2020)
5) Looking down to the river we crossed to get to the hut.
1) Pushing back up the hill.
2) Pat riding.
3) Taking a break and looking at the view.
Above: The ride in to Waingaro Forks hut.