The Upper Nihotupu Dam is one of five dams that supply the city of Auckland with fresh drinking water, the catchment is high up in the Waitakere Ranges and this dam is part of two located on the Nihotupu Stream, the second is the Lower Nihotupu Dam located further down stream.The Upper Nihotupu Dam walking track starts along the Piha Road not far from the Arataki Visitor Centre in west Auckland, this walk is popular during the summer and is ideal for all the family.
Around a ten minute easy walk through native bush and on a well graded track you arrive at the Nihotupu Dam service road this is a graded road on a slight incline so the walk is relatively easy for most of the way to the dam.There are two beautiful water falls to explore along the walk the first is a cascade fall around four metres high around twenty minutes from the start and right on the side of the road, the second is past the bridge and at the bottom of a small hill this cascade water fall is around six metres high.
The second water fall marks the start of the reservoir and the service road follows the reservoir for around another thirty minutes until you arrive at the dam face, here you can walk out over the dam to the other side, and from the centre of the dam you get a great view up the lake and a fantastic view of the valley and native bush over the top of the dam.
Around five minutes walk along and down the service road takes you through to the end of the road, there is a fantastic picnic area here with great valley views and the remains of the service tramway, you can follow the tramway for around ten minutes and you will arrive at the base of the dam the return walk back to Piha road is around one and a half hours.
Upper Nihotupu Dam