Length: from 3.0 up to 4.0 days
Distance: 53.7 km (23.0 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Moderate-hard terrain
Altitude: 729m to 1726m. Gain: 6335m. Loss: 4934m . Gradient: 12 deg (Moderate-hard)
Skills: Occasional scrambles (3/7) - Prolonged rivers (4/6)

A trip taking in lots of Kaimanawa tops, culminating on top of Makorako, the high peak of the Kaimanawas. Mostly off-track and within the private block of land that runs up the middle of the park - you have to get the permission of the leaseholder (Helisika) to tramp in the block.



From Kiko Rd to Ngapuketurua track junction via Ngapuketurua Track
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Distance: 9.6 km (3.0 DOC hours) - Benched track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 729m to 1444m. Gain: 1428m. Loss: 722m . Gradient: 13 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7)
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

Straightforward, well-marked and maintained track up to the shoulder of Ngapuketurua. Worth taking the opportunity to fill up on water where the track bends around a small stream, about 3 kms in from the roadend. There's an obvious campsite at the spot where you climb down a steep bank to get to the stream. An old DOC junction sign indicates the end of the marked track - note that you need permission from the leaseholder to go past the bushline.

Last updated by: Bretts at 2021-01-31 19:52:54. Experienced: 2021-01-25

From Ngapuketurua track junction to Mangamaire R headwaters via Rangitikei R headwater
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Distance: 8.0 km (4.0 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Moderate-hard terrain
Altitude: 1188m to 1495m. Gain: 709m. Loss: 895m . Gradient: 12 deg (Moderate-hard)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7)
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

From the DOC sign at the end of the Ngapuketurua Track, follow the main ridge past Ngapuketurua's main peak then from the middle peak on the ridge, drop onto the broad spur heading south-east to the shallow saddle that marks the head of the Rangitikei River. Once across the marshy ground on the saddle, head into the beech forest - mostly open but with sections of tighter-packed pole beech - that covers pt 1257 then curl around the head of the Kakapo Stream to gain open ground as the ridge climbs up again. Terrain on the ridge is mostly easy, although herbfield and low scrub vegetation can make the footing a bit treacherous. The saddle between pts 1429 and 1345 gives fairly quick access to running water and enough flat terrain to pitch a fly.

Last updated by: Bretts at 2021-01-31 20:19:24. Experienced: 2021-01-25

Distance: 16.2 km (8.0 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Moderate-hard terrain
Altitude: 981m to 1726m. Gain: 1572m. Loss: 1817m . Gradient: 12 deg (Moderate-hard)
Skills: Occasional scrambles (3/7) - Prolonged rivers (4/6)
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

From the Mangamaire Valley, regain the tops to the west and continue south. The ground cover is herbfield and some low scrub, giving way to bare tops as you move south. After pt 1575, when you swing west towards Te Wetenga and Makorako, cairns start to appear. Makorako is a 40-60 minute return side trip from pt 1699 - in snow-free conditions. From pt 1699, it's a steepish drop down the spur to the north-west; the ground trail is fairly obvious and the cairns continue. A couple of little gendarmes need to be climbed or turned on the ridge to the east of pt 1466. Straightforward going along the ridge once you turn north towards Te More, but no more cairns. Around the low point on the ridge before Te More, heavy scrub and low beech have been able to grow right over the ridge, which makes getting through to Te More (and on to the spurs dropping west into the Rangitikei) a challenge. i chose to drop into the trib to the west, which was very hard going for the first couple of hundred vertical metres. Might be better to take a spur further south? Or persist with the scrub on the ridge to get to the spurs north-west of Te More? Once in the Rangitikei, easy (in summer flows) river bash northwards.

Created by: Bretts on 2021-01-29. Experienced: 2021-01-26

Distance: 10.3 km (5.0 DOC hours) - Unmaintained track - Moderate-hard terrain
Altitude: 1022m to 1508m. Gain: 1198m. Loss: 778m . Gradient: 11 deg (Moderate-hard)
Skills: Occasional scrambles (3/7) - Streams (2/6)
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

From the Rangitikei, follow the trib a couple of hundred metres up to where the Ignimbrite Saddle fork splits off the slightly bigger fork draining north-east from Junction Top. Climb the spur from the junction towards the north - it's not far to the bushline. I followed the spur further up than necessary and ended up having to drop back onto Ignimbrite Saddle, so better to sidle towards the saddle once you hit the bushline. From Ignimbrite Saddle, you're back on the old track from Waipakihi Hut to Cascade Hut via Junction Top and Ngapuketurua - but it's completely unmaintained now. The section immediately east of Ignimbrite Saddle is the hardest to follow, with almost no markers remaining and an almost-unpickable ground trail. Thereafter, until the bushline, it's pretty easy to follow the mixture of ground trail, old permolats, marker posts and old chainsawn windfall. Cairns then mark the way up onto Ngapuketurua and over to the DOC sign at the start of the Ngapuketurua Track.

Last updated by: Bretts at 2021-01-31 20:29:45. Experienced: 2021-01-27

From Kiko Rd to Ngapuketurua track junction via Ngapuketurua Track
View
Distance: 9.6 km (3.0 DOC hours) - Benched track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 729m to 1444m. Gain: 1428m. Loss: 722m . Gradient: 13 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7)
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

Straightforward, well-marked and maintained track up to the shoulder of Ngapuketurua. Worth taking the opportunity to fill up on water where the track bends around a small stream, about 3 kms in from the roadend. There's an obvious campsite at the spot where you climb down a steep bank to get to the stream. An old DOC junction sign indicates the end of the marked track - note that you need permission from the leaseholder to go past the bushline.

Last updated by: Bretts at 2021-01-31 19:52:54. Experienced: 2021-01-25


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