(draft) Trip: Otaki-Levin
Distance: 50.4 km (30.0 DOC hours) - Marked route - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 100m to 1448m. Gain: 3737m. Loss: 5012m . Gradient: 10 deg (Moderate-hard)
Skills: Occasional scrambles (3/7) - Streams (2/6) Winter - Iceaxe/crampons (4/7)


From Waitewaewae Hut to Waitewaewae - Otaki Forks Junction via *OLD* Waitewaewae Track
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Distance: 10.3 km (5.0 DOC hours) - Unmaintained track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 100m to 530m. Gain: 1034m. Loss: 1192m . Gradient: 13 deg (Moderate)
Skills: - Streams (2/6)
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

A sidle out of Waitewaewae (YTYY) using the OLD track. The slip section of this track will probably change fairly frequently, so tips offered below may become outdated - please update if you find a different/better solution!

From the YTYY hut, head south along the track, crossing a few side creeks until reaching Arapito Creek (approx 30 min). There is a sign here indicating direct river route to hut in low flows. From here the track sidles up and down the valley until a section at the head of the creek. Crossing and travelling slightly upstream, and recrossing (plenty of triangles to follow), you reach the junction of the new & old tracks. The new track climbs up for a hundred or so metres, while the old track heads down Saddle Creek.

The old track still has plenty of markers to follow, interspersed with sections of flagging tape. The track is not maintained, so will gradually become more difficult. After an initial drop, a slip coming in on the true left is best negotiated by staying on the left. From here the track works its way down the creek on both sides with frequent crossings. Very rarely do you move far from the creek bed. Further downstream the track exits on the true left and climbs slightly before sidling along the 340m contour. Some windfall is present, but all negotiable. Going is relatively straight forward once the old boiler is reached until the big slip (which is the reason the track has been rerouted).

We climbed up the side of the slip to the head, through a mix of tangled vegetation (supple jack) and along the very edge of the slip face. Going was ok-ish. There are some cut vines which will show you're on the right track. Curving around at the top of the slip the vegetation is slightly more open. You have two options here - wade through the thick plants below the fallen rimu, but there is a sharp drop down a steep section of bank requiring down climbing. There were some roots to hold onto, but these may not withstand a lot of traffic. Your other alternative would be to try and cross the top edge of the slip. We down climbed the bank, then walked the ledge back towards the open area on the edge of the slip, head straight down through the pungas and a hundred or so metres down you will intersect with the track. Turn left and keep following south. Easy walk out from here!

Created by: Ellya on 2018-04-15. Experienced: 2018-03-03

NZTM2000: 1794459, 5477450

Standard Hut

Last updated by: Madpom at 2014-07-17 20:31:07

From Junction Knob to Waitewaewae Hut via Shoulder Knob
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Distance: 5.4 km (3.0 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 298m to 1359m. Gain: 157m. Loss: 1216m . Gradient: 15 deg (Moderate-hard)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

From Junction Knob, the poled route drops gently west to Shoulder Knob - soon getting out of the exposed weather. After a brief climb over the knob, the track swings WSW and starts to drop steeply. Entering the bush a cut, marked track begins. Though the descent is steep, the track is very good and - for a 1000m descent - this is good going.

You reach the Otaki River valley at the swingbridge, which you cross. Travel a further 300m sidle south down the track to the expansive Waitewaewae Hut.

Last updated by: Ellya at 2018-04-15 23:31:46. Experienced: 2018-03-03

NZTM2000: 1798486, 5477779 (alt: 1359m)

Rounded summit south of Mt Crawford. Junction of the Waiteaewae track with the Main Range.

Created by: Madpom on 2015-06-27. Experienced: 2015-03-24

From Nichols Hut to Junction Knob via Tararua Main Range track
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Distance: 3.4 km (2.5 DOC hours) - Marked route - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1155m to 1448m. Gain: 346m. Loss: 142m . Gradient: 8 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Occasional scrambles (3/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From the junction above Nichols Hut, the poled route continues west, climbing and falling through scrub, rock and tussock over pt 1276, pt1240 and pt1345, where it swings gently to the south, still climbing to Mt Crawford (1452m). This entire section is very exposed to the weather and can be a very unpleasent place to be. Strong winds can make this section impassable.

1km south of Crawford is Junction Knob (1375m), where a signpost indicates the descent to Waitewaewae Hut.

Created by: Madpom on 2015-06-27. Experienced: 2015-03-23

NZTM2000: 1800399, 5479592

Standard Hut

Last updated by: Madpom at 2014-07-17 20:31:07

From Dracophyllum Hut to Nichols Hut via Tararua Main Range track
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Distance: 5.1 km (4.0 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 951m to 1225m. Gain: 462m. Loss: 409m . Gradient: 10 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

Leaving Dracophylum Hut, nothing much changes - the well-cut track continues to climb and fall through mossy cloud-forest and occasional scrubby peaks: pt 1033, Puketoi (1152m), Kelleher (1182m), pt1055, and pt1031 - before commencing the long and steep climb to Nichols, where the track swings sharply west. In bad weather (I had mist and horizontal rain) it is very hard to pick up the point where the track turns: a well-trodden track (presumably made by lost trampers) continues south along the ridge which then drops sharply towards the Waiohine. Nothing obvious marks the turning point - so look out for a worn track branching due west.

About 500m after turn at Nichols Peak, a signpost indicates Nichols Hut below on the left (south) side of the ridge.

Created by: Madpom on 2015-06-27. Experienced: 2015-03-24

NZTM2000: 1801660, 5484067

Basic Hut/bivvy

Last updated by: Madpom at 2014-07-17 20:31:07

From Pukematawai to Dracophyllum Hut via Tararua Main Range track
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Distance: 4.6 km (3.5 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1010m to 1400m. Gain: 177m. Loss: 480m . Gradient: 8 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

South from Pukematawai we pick up marked tracks again. On Pukematawai a DOC signpost indicates the track NW to Te Matawai Hut, and south to Dracophyllum Hut. Continuing south on the main ridge, the cut track drops and swings west scrub-line. Slight climbs are required for pt1217, pt1180 and pt1158, but the general pattern is descent until the bushline is reached. Once in the bush, however, the main ridge resumes its sawtooth norm, and climbs and falls sharply over pt 1070, pt1090 before reaching the damp Dracophyllum Hut at Dracophyllum Knob (1117m).

Created by: Madpom on 2015-06-27. Experienced: 2015-03-24

From Pukematawai to Dracophyllum Hut via Tararua Main Range track
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Distance: 4.6 km (3.5 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1010m to 1400m. Gain: 177m. Loss: 480m . Gradient: 8 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

South from Pukematawai we pick up marked tracks again. On Pukematawai a DOC signpost indicates the track NW to Te Matawai Hut, and south to Dracophyllum Hut. Continuing south on the main ridge, the cut track drops and swings west scrub-line. Slight climbs are required for pt1217, pt1180 and pt1158, but the general pattern is descent until the bushline is reached. Once in the bush, however, the main ridge resumes its sawtooth norm, and climbs and falls sharply over pt 1070, pt1090 before reaching the damp Dracophyllum Hut at Dracophyllum Knob (1117m).

Created by: Madpom on 2015-06-27. Experienced: 2015-03-24

NZTM2000: 1804718, 5486666 (alt: 1400m)

Highpoint and signposted track junction

Last updated by: Madpom at 2015-06-21 23:27:49. Experienced: 2015-03-23

Distance: 2.2 km (1.5 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 937m to 1414m. Gain: 0m. Loss: 477m . Gradient: 13 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Iceaxe/crampons (4/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

A well travelled, poled track drops WNW from the signposted track junction west of Pukematawai summit. Dropping continuously and eroded/scoured out in places this is an obvious track on a stoney bed. You soon enter scrub, but the track is wide and well cut. After a couple of kilometers, still in the scub-band, a signposted track junction is reached. This is the turnoff to Mangahao Hut.

Created by: Madpom on 2015-06-21. Experienced: 2013-12-21

NZTM2000: 1803026, 5487855 (alt: 931m)

Signposted track junction

Last updated by: Madpom at 2015-06-21 23:27:40. Experienced: 2013-12-21

NZTM2000: 1802538, 5487610

Standard Hut

Last updated by: Madpom at 2015-06-22 00:01:40

From Te Matawai Hut to Yeates/Dora track Jn via Dora Track
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Distance: 1.1 km (0.5 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 760m to 888m. Gain: 41m. Loss: 129m . Gradient: 9 deg (Gentle)
Skills:
GPX info source: Drawn on map

East of Te Matawai Hut the track is well marked and cut through mature beech forest. Dropping on a narrowing ridge the track reaches a saddle after about 1km. A brief climb follows to pt180, where a signpost marks the turnoff to Sth Ohau Hut via Yeates Track.

Last updated by: Madpom at 2015-06-21 23:27:33. Experienced: 2012-12-21

NZTM2000: 1801742, 5488352 (alt: 795m)

Signposted track junction on pt810

Last updated by: Madpom at 2015-06-22 00:01:45. Experienced: 2013-01-22

From Yeates/Dora track Jn to Richards Knob via Dora Track
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Distance: 1.8 km (1.0 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 672m to 976m. Gain: 304m. Loss: 123m . Gradient: 14 deg (Moderate)
Skills:
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From pt810, the track drops sharply west to a low bush-clad saddle. The next 1.5km are spent climbing over a series of small knobs towards Richards Knob on an undulating ridgeline. You finally break out of good bush into scrub 200 meters before reaching the summit. A signpost marks the track junction on the highpoint.

Created by: Madpom on 2015-06-21. Experienced: 2012-12-22

Distance: 1.7 km (1.0 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy terrain
Altitude: 885m to 1077m. Gain: 131m. Loss: 237m . Gradient: 13 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

Two saddles separate Richards Knob from Waiopehu. A well cut track through the leatherleaf descends 100m to the first before climbing to the memorial at Twin Peak. A second, longer descent follows, before another climb to Richards. The whole route is cut - a canyon through the leatherleaf.

A signpost at Richards marks tracks to Poads Road and Te Matawai Hut.

Created by: Madpom on 2015-06-22. Experienced: 2005-07-01

NZTM2000: 1798941, 5488551 (alt: 1084m)

Rounded leatherleaf summit at northern end of Oriwa Range.

Last updated by: Madpom at 2015-06-22 00:01:45. Experienced: 2005-07-01

From Bush Corner to Waiopehu Hut via Waiopehu Track
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Distance: 1.5 km (0.8 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 740m to 962m. Gain: 243m. Loss: 35m . Gradient: 10 deg (Gentle)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From Bush Corner, the well maintained, cut, marked track continues SSE, dropping to a saddle before climbing gently to pt790. A clearing on the summit is the old heli-pad, and the former site of Waiopehu Hut is just beyond on the eastern face, marked by a faded sign.

The tramping track continues SSE for another 600m through bush before it finally breaks out into low scrub for the final 300m to the hut. The views of both the main range to the south-east and over the coast beyond Levin are spectacular.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-10-02

From Waiopehu / Six Disk junction to Bush Corner via Waiopehu Track
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Distance: 4.3 km (2.0 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 480m to 743m. Gain: 294m. Loss: 31m . Gradient: 4 deg (Gentle)
Skills:
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From the 6 Disk Track junction, the Waiphepu Track continues south along the ridge. The track is well marked, well cut and well traveled, though it can get quite muddy in places after rain. There is nothing much of note on the next 4km of track, other than that it climbs gently over a series of low knobs with some small saddle in between, and can seem to go on forever.

Bush Corner is reached after 4.3km, and is the start of a route west into the Upper Makaretu. The highpoint is not obvious - one of many. A tree with a large but faded orange blaze and a piece of marker tape marks the start of the route down into the Makaretu.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-10-02

Distance: 2.1 km (1.0 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 137m to 480m. Gain: 343m. Loss: 0m . Gradient: 9 deg (Moderate)
Skills:
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From the signposted junction, the Waiopehu Track climbs briefly and steadily , gaining 100m onto the spur to the south. The track is well marked, well cut and well used.

One on the spur, it meanders south slowly gaining altitude, before making a second, steady 200m climb to pt515 and the signposted 6 Disk Track junction. This is the steepest, longest climb on the walk, but is still easy for a fit walker.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-10-02

Distance: 1.1 km (0.5 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy terrain
Altitude: 128m to 148m. Gain: 28m. Loss: 22m . Gradient: 3 deg (Flat)
Skills:
GPX info source: Drawn on map

A signpost at the Poads Road roadend marks the start of the track into the Ohau / Waiopehu Hut. The track is poled, and crosses farm paddocks on terraces above the Ohau River. Permission is not required, but dogs on a lead, bolts out of rifles, and all the usual rules for private land. It is an easy 1km walk to the bushedge. The Waiopehu Track junction is 100m beyond and marked by a signpost.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-10-02

Distance: 1.0 km (0.3 DOC hours) - Road - Easy terrain
Altitude: 100m to 139m. Gain: 0m. Loss: 39m . Gradient: 2 deg (Flat)
Skills:
GPX info source: Drawn on map

An easy 1km walk down the gravel Poads Road takes you from the Poads Road roadend to the Pipe Bridge roadend and the junction of Poads Road and Gladstone Road.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-10-02


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