Length: from 2.0 up to 3.0 days
Distance: 33.7 km (16.9 DOC hours) - Marked route - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 142m to 1518m. Gain: 1766m. Loss: 3360m . Gradient: 9 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)

This is the route Josh and Ben took on their accidental Southern Crossing.


Distance: 5.6 km (3.0 DOC hours) - Benched track - Easy terrain
Altitude: 142m to 857m. Gain: 175m. Loss: 889m . Gradient: 11 deg (Moderate)
Skills:
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

This is the northern end of the popular Southern Crossing route to Kaitoke.

Crossing the swingbridge at Otaki Forks, the track starts out broad and gravelled. A short climb leads to retired pastures on terraces above Otaki Forks - a flat and pleasant grassland. On reaching the base of the hill 1km beyond, a track forks left to Waitewaewae and the Otaki RIver, The Field track starts to zigzag up the face, heading generally south. The track remains graveled and broad (it is maintained by dingo / ATV which gives you a clue of the quality) and climbs steadily but not steeply. Vegetation is regenerating bush as far as about the 500m contour, where mature, uncleared bush begins. This is approximately the half-way point.

Once in the mature bush, the graveled track ceases and a standard tramping track begins. That said, it is very well used, and kept in good condition - stone & gravel underfoot with some muddy sections. After a short meander along a flattish spur, the climbs start again - rising another 300m in 2km, in a series of moderately steep climbs to reach Tirotiro knob.

From Tirotiro it is another 1 km on meandering up and down to the saddle where Field Hut can be found.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-07-27
Last updated by: Ellya at 2018-04-16 22:10:20. Experienced: 2018-03-01

Distance: 1.6 km (0.8 DOC hours) - Benched track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 856m to 1046m. Gain: 43m. Loss: 233m . Gradient: 10 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

From Field Hut, the track to Penn Creek continues up the ridge for another couple of kilometers to the junction on Table Top. Leaving Field Hut, the track climbs steeply in a series of zigzags through the last of the bush, to reach the bushedge 80m above, From here the gradient becomes pleasant and the track climbs gently through low scrub. Reaching the base of Table Top a second climb begins, sidling up and south of the peak to reach the flat, open tussock tops beyond. Once on the summit, views back over the entire Kapiti Coast are the reward, along with clear views of the main range all the way from Mangahuka to Alpha.

The track continues along the flat Table Top. The ground is marshy, but the track is boardwalked or graveled and good going. The Penn Creek turnoff is at the far end of the flats, at the top of the first, small rise, and is marked by a signpost.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-07-27
Last updated by: Ellya at 2018-04-16 22:09:21. Experienced: 2018-03-01

Distance: 2.5 km (1.5 DOC hours) - Benched track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1046m to 1402m. Gain: 441m. Loss: 85m . Gradient: 12 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

From the Penn Creek Hut turnoff, the southern crossing track climbs gently to the base of Dennan, and then starts to sidle the northern face, climbing more steeply to regain the ridgeline. The track is benched and very well-worn and easy to follow. A further ridgeline section follows, and a final climb onto the flat tops of Bridge Peak. A signpost just after the escarpment marks the turnoff east to Mangahuka, with the main Kime Hut track continuing south. This section is exposed to weather and frequently in cloud, but is poled.

Created by: Madpom on 2015-07-13. Experienced: 2015-01-03
Last updated by: Ellya at 2018-04-16 22:08:53. Experienced: 2018-03-01

Distance: 0.7 km (0.3 DOC hours) - Benched track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1395m to 1418m. Gain: 23m. Loss: 15m . Gradient: 3 deg (Gentle)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From the signposted junction on bridge peak, a well-worn trench of a track continues south over Hut Mound and drops to Kime Hut in the basin beyond

Created by: Madpom on 2015-07-13. Experienced: 2015-01-03
Last updated by: Madpom at 2015-07-13 19:32:56. Experienced: 2015-01-03

Distance: 1.6 km (1.0 DOC hours) - Marked route - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1355m to 1514m. Gain: 259m. Loss: 158m . Gradient: 15 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

From Kime Hut, the poled route circles round the head of the basin and climbs the ridge to Field Peak. As short descent follows to a saddle, then a steady climb up Mt Hector on gravel and tussock. This section of track is less obvious on the ground than most of the southern crossing, and care should be taken with your route finding in poor visibility.

Created by: Madpom on 2015-07-13. Experienced: 2012-11-01
Last updated by: Ellya at 2018-04-16 22:07:49. Experienced: 2017-06-01

Distance: 3.2 km (2.0 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1317m to 1518m. Gain: 159m. Loss: 318m . Gradient: 9 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map
From Mt Hector to Aston

This route is part of the popular southern crossing, and is well used. Giving wonderful views over Wellington and down to the South Island, it is an exposed, alpine track on rock and tussock, well above the bushline.

From Hector, the marked route drops steeply south to the undulating ridgeline that forms the Dress Circle. Once on the narrow ridgeline, a good track heads SSW over several knobs - the Beehives (1485m), Atkinson (1472m), Aston (1376m). A signpost on the broad tops of Aston marks the junction with tracks west to Elder/Renata and SSE to Alpha/Kaitoke.

Created by: Madpom on 2015-07-14. Experienced: 2012-11-01

Distance: 1.9 km (1.0 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1241m to 1360m. Gain: 88m. Loss: 119m . Gradient: 6 deg (Gentle)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map
From Aston to Alpha

From the signposted track junction on Aston, the well worn, poled track continues south over broad tussock ridges to Alpha highpoint.

Created by: Madpom on 2015-07-15. Experienced: 2012-11-01
Last updated by: Madpom at 2015-07-15 15:45:55. Experienced: 2012-11-01

Distance: 1.2 km (0.5 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1117m to 1309m. Gain: 0m. Loss: 192m . Gradient: 9 deg (Gentle)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map
From Alpha to Alpha Hut

From Alpha summit the track swings west and soon drops into the bush. Alpha Hut lies 100m beyond the bushedge.

Created by: Madpom on 2015-07-15. Experienced: 2012-11-01
Last updated by: Madpom at 2015-07-15 15:45:39. Experienced: 2012-11-01

Distance: 2.0 km (1.0 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1000m to 1181m. Gain: 193m. Loss: 227m . Gradient: 12 deg (Moderate)
Skills:
GPX info source: Drawn on map

Between Alpha Hut and Omega Highpoint, the Southern Crossing track drops two the two low saddles of Hells Gate, climbing in between to pt1187. Sections of the track are steep, and there's an element of despair for some at throwing away all that altitude for nothing, but that aside it's a well cut, well marked, well travelled track.

A signposted junction just before Omega marks the turnoff left (NE) to Cone Hut via Bull Moumd

Created by: Madpom on 2015-07-15. Experienced: 2014-02-01

Distance: 2.5 km (1.0 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 907m to 1110m. Gain: 99m. Loss: 227m . Gradient: 8 deg (Gentle)
Skills:
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From the Bull Mound turnoff the track swings south down the broad-topped Marchant Ridge Initially through a mix of stunted bush and low subalpine scrub there are views of the main range and valleys. Soon however the ridge drops into beech forest and there follows a long walk in the bush. The ridge undulates over several low mounds but this section of track is good with no major climbs.

On pt953 the turnoff down Block XVI track is marked by a signpost (Note - 2015: DOC talk of closing the Block XVI track)

Created by: Madpom on 2015-07-15. Experienced: 2014-02-01

Distance: 6.4 km (3.0 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 659m to 1029m. Gain: 212m. Loss: 480m . Gradient: 6 deg (Gentle)
Skills:
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From the Block XVI turnoff, Marchant Ridge narrows and the track is forced to climb and fall more with the ridgeline. Tree roots become more prolific underfoot, and the ground between them pools and becomes muddy. It's not a bad track, but it does do go a bit!

Finally, crossing the highpoint at Marchant, you are rewarded with a burnt-section of tops which feature views down the Hutt Valley. Soon after the track drops off the eastern face and sidles down to broad low tabletops below - all in regenerating scrub following logging. Once out of the mature bush the ground turns to slippery clay.

A signposted track junction follows a slight rise, and the remains of an old fireplace - all that's left of Dobson Hut. A track cuss east here, dropping to Smith Stream Shelter and the Tauherenikau.

Created by: Madpom on 2015-07-15. Experienced: 2012-11-01

Distance: 3.4 km (1.5 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 403m to 659m. Gain: 52m. Loss: 305m . Gradient: 6 deg (Gentle)
Skills:
GPX info source: Drawn on map

An old bulldozed track runs SSW down Dobson Ridge from the former hut site through regenerating scrub and gorse. The ground is clay and it becomes a skating session after rain.

After 3km the tramping track cuts off the old roadbed and drops the face to intersect the Puffer Saddle track at a marked junction.

Created by: Madpom on 2015-07-15. Experienced: 2012-11-01

Distance: 1.1 km (0.3 DOC hours) - Benched track - Easy terrain
Altitude: 313m to 423m. Gain: 22m. Loss: 112m . Gradient: 7 deg (Gentle)
Skills:
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From track junction, a broad, well used, benched track sidles and descends wast to the Kaitoke roadend.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-08-16

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