The section of Waitakere Range forest known as Cascade Kauri is probably the most
accessible patch of quality native forest in around Auckland. It is a great spot for a gentle stroll for all the family.
Oddly, the bush
is flanked by a golf course, but once you’re a few steps along the Auckland City Walk (1.5km loop; 1hr)
the mown fairways seem a million miles away. Birdsong cloaks the damp forest,
particularly the croaks, gurgles and trills of the tui, often seen chasing each other through the mid-storey or perched
to show off its white throat tuft. If you know what you’re listening for you might also identify the reintroduced North Island robin, a whitehead or the kokako (with its distinctive blue wattle.
The birdlife is given a helping hand as Cascade Kauri forms part of Ark in the Park, a management partnership run by the nationwide
Forest & Bird Protection Society and Auckland Council. What is achieved elsewhere by eradicating pests from islands or from within special perimeter fences is here done with an intense pest trapping programme. The success is for everyone to see (or at least hear).
If you’re up for a little adventure on the Auckland City Walk, follow signs for the waterfall. You’ll have to do a little scrambling to catch a glimpse of the falls, and even more if you want to try for a chilly dip.