The 3.4-kilometre Cutty Grass Track is the latest to re-open in Auckland Council’s Waitākere Ranges, following upgrading as part of the kauri dieback track upgrade programme.
Waitākere Ranges Councillor Linda Cooper says that community feedback played a role in this track re-opening.
"Through our public consultation process, the Anawhata community asked for a longer walk in their area to be included in the Waitākere Ranges track re-opening plan. I am pleased that we have been able to see this across the line.”
Councillor Cooper highlights that the upgrade may also provide locals with a fantastic opportunity to hear the hauntingly beautiful call of the kokako.
“The track goes into the heart of the Waitākere Ranges where there are some beautiful old trees. This area is part of the home of the kokako thanks to the work of Ark in the Park volunteers, local mana whenua Te Kawerau ā Maki and Auckland Council rangers.”
The Cutty Grass track is an existing service road for lines that provide power to Piha. Ongoing access for vehicles has meant the track is wider than normal.
The upgrade has involved shaping the previous track surface and laying metal down to reduce the impact on the environment.
Cutty Grass track starts at Scenic Drive and drops down to Anawhata Road, connecting with the McElwain Lookout Track.
The lookout provides beautiful views over Piha and north toward Muriwai and the Kaipara, making a rewarding end to the walk.
Scott de Silva, Manager Auckland Council Regional Parks says it is exciting to see the upgraded and re-opened track network growing.
“Having more opportunities for people to get out and enjoy our amazing ngahere (forest) is fantastic. People can enjoy these tracks and the connection to nature that they provide, while knowing that our kauri are being protected. It’s a win for nature and a win for those who enjoy get out into our ngahere.”
In addition to the reopened Cutty Grass Track, an extension of the Spragg Bush track is also now open.
This links Spragg Bush to Scenic Drive at the northern end to provide better access to the track for residents.
The work was done by Auckland Council park rangers after feedback highlighted this as a need.
Two bridges on the track required modification to meet standards and this resulted in a small delay.