Silica Rapids Walking Track is a 2 hours walk and begins 250 metres above Whakapapa Visitor Centre, Tongiriro National Park . Have done this walk a few times now with family, as it only takes a couple of hours its great if you dont have alot of time. I have yet to do this walk in the winter when theres snow around, it would be very beautiful Im sure.
Emerging from the bush, the track climbs to a swampy area of Wire Rush, Tangle fern and
red tussock and Seepage ponds beside the boardwalk . The boardwalk makes walking over swampy ground more comfortable and reduces the impact of foot traffic on delicate vegetation. On clear days this is a great place to enjoy mountain views.
The walk is well marked and gravelled ,not muddy after heavy rain. The track goes through dense forest passing by the golden rapids. The colour of the water and of the river bed come from the minerals and chemicals of the Volcanic rock. Before reaching the silica rapids, you pass by a nice water fall (2 km from start) and across alpine tussock and shrublands. After 45 min walk, you arrive at the rapids where you can take a break for taking pictures,resting and eating. From that point, you have two choices: doing the loop (signpost indicating Bruce Rd) or heading back by the same track.