Friday, April 16, 2010

Hunua Ranges Regional Park

Hunua Ranges Regional Park is probably best described with the above photo of Hunua Fall within the Hunua Ranges. It is still a very popular picnic spot for Aucklanders to park their vehicle and enjoy a short walk toward the waterfall. In order to explore the entire Hunua Ranges, visitor requires good physical fitness and enjoys Auckland's largest forested landscape that is made up of more than 14000 hectares of forestry.

Maori used the hills and forests of the Hunua Ranges primarily as a source of food and timber, and as a refuge rather than for permanent residence.

The contempory name for the Hunua Ranges comes from the NW foothills near Ardmore Filter Station known as Te Hunua (hunua means 'high lying sterile lands'). The traditional name for the ranges is Te Ngaherehere o Kohukohunui (The Expansive Forests of Kohukohunui) after the highest peak, Kohukohunui. Rugged terrain, poor soils and difficult access meant this land was the last in the Auckland region to be settled by Europeans.

From around 1870 parts of the forest were cleared for farming and for timber, but farming was always a marginal activity here. However, the Hunua Falls have been a popular attraction for Aucklanders since Victorian times, when they were known as the "Wairoa Falls" and visitors travelled by steamer to Clevedon and took day trips to the falls. Two manganese mines have operated in the Hunua Ranges. During World War II, ore from a mine in the Moumoukai Valley was transported from the hilltop via a flying fox to a railway on the valley floor. But water was to be the main resource taken from the Hunua Ranges.

The four water supply dams there include the Mangatangi Reservoir, which is New Zealand's largest water supply dam and second largest earth dam. The extensive 169-hectare lake holds 37 million cubic metres of water and has an average daily yield of 101,100 cubic metres.

The Auckland City Council had begun purchasing land in the Hunua Ranges for water supply purposes in the 1940s, acquiring almost all of the ranges by 1960. In 1965 the agency that was to become the ARC took over metropolitan water supply and management of the water catchment areas. The land was transferred to the restructured and renamed Auckland Regional Council for park purposes in 1992. About a third of the land is planted pine trees. A commercial forestry company leases this area from the ARC and access is restricted for safety reasons.

In order to understand the sign above, you will require to understand the architecture of an earth dam and their ecological design. But overall, I just like the way the sign is presented to me which led my imagination runs wild. "PLEASE KEEP OFF my DAMn FACE".

Of course, I am also sharing some geo-tagged Cosseys Dam photos of the Cosseys Reservoir that is part of the Hunua Regional Park. You will find them in Google Earth too. This is meant to assist you in verifying your location. If you are an inexperience tracker, remember to get a trusthworthy GPS before you wander off into the 14000 hectares of wilderness.

The shed at Cosseys Dam

Entrance gate to Cosseys Dam

Yes, I have a map above displaying the three reservoirs namely Cosseys, Wairoa and Mangatawhiri as part of the initiative by Big Footprints. Due to the girth of Hunua Ranges, these reservoirs are the prominent landmarks of the Hunua Ranges Regional Park and there is more than one entrance into the wilderness. Feel free to zoom in further on the map to find out more.

Auckland Regional Council. (n.d.). Hunua Ranges. Retrieved on April 16, 2010 from

You might also want:

| More

Related posts by categories:

Bought to you by PhotoTale
Related Posts with Thumbnails


Post a Comment