EASY (E) 4-5 hours tramping – suitable for beginners
MEDIUM (M) 5-7 hours tramping – suitable for those with some experience
HARD (H) 8 hours + tramping – more experience and a high level of fitness and confidence, including coping with adverse conditions is necessary.
8 May Upper Matakuhia Hut (E) – Sth Whirinaki
Tramp into the basic 8 bunk hut (maintained by a group of hunters from Tokoroa) through beech forest. Set in the corner of the Whirinaki Forest Park, we access the track from the Napier-Taupo Road, just north of the Waipunga Falls. Come and enjoy the forest, bird life and hut in a grassy setting.
21-22 May: Back Ridge Hut or Studholme Saddle (M) – Kaweka Range
Travel to Makahu Saddle on Saturday morning to climb up to Kaweka J. From there one party will go down to Studholme Hut for the night then, on Sunday, come out to Makahu Saddle via Mackintosh and Matauira Ridge tracks. The second party will descend from the J to Back Ridge Hut for the night. On Sunday they will return to the tops via the alternative track which hit the main range north of the Makahu Spur track. One may wish to continue to North Kaweka before returning to descend Makahu Spur.
Queen’s Birthday 4 – 6 June: Nth Tararua Range (E/M)
From Eketahuna, drive along Putara Road to car park. Walk into Herepai and Roaring Stag Huts or an easier option wander the flats around the private hut that is only an hour’s walk from the road end.
19 June: Kaweka Flats & Iron Whare (E) – Kaweka Range
Located in the eastern Kaweka Forest Park, Kaweka Flats Bivouac is situated 1-2 hours from the Makahu Saddle carpark. The track sidles north through surprisingly lush forest, a mixture of broadleaf shrubs and beech trees, and crosses several small creeks before a stiff, short climb onto Kaweka Flats. Located here is the 2 person Kaweka Flats Bivouac where sheep were once corralled. Iron Whare is a another hours walk to the NE.
24-26 June: Whirinaki (M)
Fri: Drive along SH 38 to end of Okahu Road. Walk into Te Wairoa Hut via Whangatawhia Hut. Afternoon, wander towards Mangakahika hut and return.
Sat: Follow the walking/cycle track to Moerangi hut for the night.
Sun: Walk out to the River road carpark.
This area has blue duck(whio) and would have a medium trip rating, not arduous. It would be great if there are two drivers available and a group+ driver would start off at each end.
3 July: Manawatu Gorge (E)
An easy walk through native bush, enjoy scenic views and experience native wildlife. The track climbs steadily before levelling out for a spell high above the gorge. Five viewpoints along the way give spectacular views of the river, road, railway, reserve and turbines at nearby windfarms. After climbing up from the Woodville end, the Upper Gorge Bridge track gives an alternative route back down
16-17 July: Remutaka Incline/Kiriwhakapapa (M) – Wairarapa
Sat:The Remutaka Rail Trail is an easy 17 km hike along a feat of railway engineering which should take 4 – 5 hours to walk. From the Upper Hutt side the track starts at 260 m and climbs gently to its high point, Summit Station at 348m. Shortly after the high point there is a 580 m long tunnel and then a steeper descent, taking in 2 more shorter tunnels, to Cross Creek at 100 m ASL . We will stay the night in cabins or maybe Holdsworth Lodge.
Sun: The access to Blue Range Hut begins from Kiriwhakapapa road, off State Highway 2 between Masterton and Mount Bruce. There is a camping area with a shelter.The track to the hut passes through a lovely redwood grove, before climbing past large rimus, passing through red beech- kamahi forest to the 4 bunk hut nestled on the end of the ridge with BBQ table affording good views across the valley. (4-5hr return)
30-31 July: Robsons Lodge area (E/M) – Kaweka Range
Robsons Lodge is situated at Kuripapango beside the Ngaruroro River and is a good place to practise our tramping skills as well as have a good social time
14 Aug: Middle Stream or Armstrong Saddle (M) – Ruahine Range
Two options to suit the varying weather conditions of August. Both leave from the North Block Road end in the Eastern Ruahine Range.
Cross the Armstrong Saddle from Sunrise Hut and enjoy views to the east and west. Snow could be on the ground. Perhaps tramp on to Top Maropea Hut.
Walking to Middle Stream takes us across regenerating retired farmland. A faster party might make it to Smith Stream Hut
27-28 Aug: Waipakihi Hut (M-H) – Kaimanawa Range
Turn off onto Kaimanawa Road from the Desert Road and drive to start of the track. Climb initially through bush before coming out onto the Umukarikari Range with views of Lake Taupo, Kaimanawa Range and the distant Kaweka Range.Descend to Waipakahi Hut ( 5-7 hrs, 12 bunks). Return same route on Sunday. This could be a snow trip so necessary to be well kitted. Glenda will organise day trip options (E/M) if required.
Organisers: Simon Whittam 027 5954 567 & John Montgomerie 877 7358 Glenda Hooper Ph: 877 4183
11 Sep: Stanfield Hut (E) – Ruahine Range
Stanfield Hut is situated low in the Ruahine Ranges behind Dannevirke and is an easy day walk of about 5 – 6 hours return. The hut, built in 1965 by the NZFS, is named after George Stanfield, a local bushman and farmer. In December last year it was renovated by Backcountry Trust volunteers. From the road end we will cross the Tamaki River West Branch, go up and along the Holmes Ridge and then descend to cross the stream again. From there it is about 700 metres to Stanfield Hut, following the stream but some may first cross over to view a lovely patch of rimu forest on the right bank before heading upstream to the hut.