When you ask any Franklin local where they recommend going for a hike, chances are the Hunua Ranges will come up! I had the chance to head out there for a morning, and it was a great day out. We checked out the Massey Loop Track & Cossey Gorge this time, and plan to visit some of the other trails another day. This track is dog friendly on-lead, which was exciting as there are so few longer bush walks available to dog walkers in NZ.
We went in the Falls Rd entrance. The car park here is large with plenty of space for the many tourists who visit this area, and there are toilets and maps available.
The first thing we saw as we walked over the bridge to the start of the track was the gorgeous Hunua Falls! I’ve seen plenty of photos of this popular waterfall, and it was neat to finally get there in person.
At the end of the bridge you head left, then once you are through the boot scrub area (to help prevent the spread of the Kauri Dieback which is affecting many Kauri forests in NZ – more info on that here) I recommend heading right – this takes you up the Massey Track. Going this way will mean that you go through the creek towards the end of your walk, as opposed to at the beginning and potentially having wet shoes for the rest of your walk!
The trail is generally pretty good, with firm gravel footing. It is steep in parts and there are a fair few stairs, but nothing that most people with a reasonable level of fitness couldn’t handle. After climbing for a while, you will be rewarded with some great views over the forest, reservoir and nearby farmland.
We had a quick stop at the lookout, where there is some bench seating available while you take in the beautiful view. I chose to take Brooke and Spring for this outing, both are younger, fit dogs & they had a great time. This is not a track suitable for very young or very old/unfit dogs, and some smaller dogs may find some of the stairs challenging.
Next we headed down to the Cossey Reservoir, enjoying the view across the water. There is also a picnic table here under shelter, and there are toilets nearby as well as another map.
A lot of the Cossey Track was closed due to a slip, so we took the road to link on to the remaining track. There were no vehicles using this road at all while we were on it, so that wasn’t an issue. After a couple of kilometres this linked back on to the track and the bush adventure continued!
One of the most memorable parts of the hike was the creek crossing, which was refreshing after a good hike! The dogs really enjoyed a quick swim and drink. You will need to be a bit careful crossing this creek as the rocks can be quite slippery.
From the creek, it’s just a short walk to get back to the falls and entrance. The end of an awesome walk, and we had some tired dogs heading home! I was really proud of my foster pup Spring. She has been on lots of adventures since being in care, and is turning into a great little adventure dog! Someone will be very lucky to have her. Here are a few shots my friends took during our adventure.
Approx 3 hours (including breaks during our walk & visiting the waterfall)
On Lead Only
Car Parking – Heaps, proper tar-seal car park with marked lines.
Toilets – Yes, at the car park and also near the reservoir.
Other – May be busy during weekends or peak holidays. There have been 1080 drops here, most recently (to my knowledge) was in August 2015, but you still need to be aware of and watch out for any poison baits or dead animals in the area. Also be aware of Kauri Dieback and ensure that your shoes are cleaned at the provided boot scrub areas.