I remember my first visit to the Waitaks, the boys called it the adventure run, now part of the well-known Wild Turkey running race. An hour or so up the Paraha gorge, big pools, rock scrambles, beautiful native bush. I have returned there many times often introducing new people to the area. I have also explored several of the other valleys, with others and alone. Crazy waterfalls and gorges, sometimes open, sometimes choked with boulders. You can run hard for a day in these places and see no one, while just over the hill lies New Zealands big, beautiful city.
The park has been amazingly well preserved. From Muriwai and its Gannets in the North to the rugged windswept landscapes of Huia in the south. Its a great example of an area with a very strong environmentally conscious community, perhaps if anything too close minded to change. The work Rudman mentions to remove predators from a part of the park is a more recent development I look forward to benefitting from in the future. Small government only changes things when they need changing, why is National contemplating fiddling with this success story?