Leaving Mangatawiri campsite on bikes the was a llooooooong climb alongside the dam. Next a bit of Navigation practice to find the road that would take us to the East. There are many logging roads that are not marked on the map but we choose a road & plunge down an overgrown 4WD track towards the stream.
After a while there are trees down across the track so we push & carry our bikes over may fallen logs to the other side – except there is no track on the other side. Some more exploring, head scratching & map checking before a compass check shows we are heading south & need to be going north! So we backtrack to the main road & soon find the right track which even has a road sign! More downs and ups on the bikes eventually get us to the start of the tramping track 2hrs after starting so we snack and switch to running shoes.
A very steep descent into a stream is followed by a near-vertical ascent to the ridge that continue to rise all the way to the highest point in the Auckland Region – Kohukohunui 688m. The top has fantastic views to Rangitoto and Auckland to the North and Corromandel to the East, time for another break & some photos 4hrs from the start. After that it’s all downhill (except for the bits that go up!) An hours blast running back down to the bikes followed by another hours blast on the bikes. Alan was blasting a bit too strong on one of the gravelly corners. A dive over the handlebars luckily only resulted in a grazed elbow and bruised hip. Unfortunately Jason was in front so did not catch the moment on his Go-Pro.