Photos: Mark Coote
The Catchment View Track is a scenic, moderate walk, requiring some uphill strolling. It travels up the prominent ridge to the right of the Hub at Whareroa Farm. This track gives glorious views back over the sea and hills. It’s topped off with a picnic table at the ridge’s high point to have a sit-down and enjoy some lunch.
You can walk up the ridge track, then along Campbell’s Mill Road at the top, and return down the Link Track. From the bottom, a nice way to walk back to the car park is via the Forest Walk. This is especially beautiful in early winter when the kohekohe is flowering.
Who it suits
Overall, reasonable fitness is required – it’s a fairly steep ridge to climb up to Campbell’s Mill Road – though you can stop as often as you like. A couple of seats are conveniently provided for a nice sit-down. The track isn’t suited to people using pushchairs or wheelchairs, nor for young children: it’s quite a climb. However, it is relatively easy and suitable for older children and for keen younger ones who are used to walking.
Dramatic views of the whole Whareroa catchment, from the edge of the Akatarawa Forest above to the Tasman Sea below. Watch the surf from afar and see Kāpiti Island in a different light. You can catch glimpses of Paekākāriki Village from the Link Track ‘5 Ways’ picnic area.
The Hub is a good spot for a rest at either end of your walk. Check out the stunning restored historic caravan – a perfect place for a hot cuppa (BYO thermos). Take a short bush walk through the Forest Track at the end; in May-June, keep an eye out for the white flowering kohekohe doing their thing.
How long it takes
The full loop takes 2-3 hours – this takes in an amble down Campbell’s Mill Road and circling back down the Link Track and/or downhill ridge. Allow plenty of time to enjoy the views, and let the heart rate settle to normal after huffing up the hill!
When you arrive at Whareroa go past the toilets and follow the track over the stream. The Catchment View Track is signposted about 200 metres down the farm track. At the beginning there are some old workings where the US Marines had a water storage facility. The track is mainly grassy so the uphill can be slippery when wet.
If you have a bike, getting to Whareroa Farm is a great little ride from Paekākāriki Village. Just head out from the end of Tilley Road and take Te Ara o Whareroa, turning right up the hill to follow the Yankee Trail via the wetland.
By car, drive to the car park area at Whareroa Farm, turning off State Highway One at Mackay’s Crossing. Sadly, it’s not yet possible to take public transport to Whareroa Farm (unless you jump in a taxi) – the train doesn’t stop until Paraparaumu.
Link with other trails
If you have more time and energy, turn right at the top of the Catchment View ridge track, and head up Campbell’s Mill Road. This four-wheel drive road takes you up an easy-grade rise to the Akatarawa Forest. There’s a great map showcasing the walking and biking tracks through the forest beyond, including Mount Wainui, Orange Hut and the renowned Karapoti Classic Mountain Bike route.
Read Goose summer, Whareroa Farm by Michael Keith