(draft) Trip: default
Distance: 55.6 km (19.8 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 9m to 1065m. Gain: 3014m. Loss: 2034m . Gradient: 5 deg (Moderate-hard)
Skills: - Occasional rivers (3/6)


Distance: 8.9 km (2.0 DOC hours) - Surfaced walkway - Easy terrain
Altitude: 9m to 39m. Gain: 34m. Loss: 4m . Gradient: 0 deg (Flat)
Skills:
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From SH1 the Rakahuru Trail runs along the stopbank on the southern bank of the Ashley River to Rangiora. The track crosses private land but is open for walkers and MTB. The track touches Tulls Road, providing an alternative access point. 1.5km west of Tulls Road, a signpost sends you north off the stopbank, along a brief abutment and down onto river flats. A mountianbike track weaves through willows, later through young pines and broom – ending at a mowed grassy picnic area beside the railbridge. Upriver of the railbridge a walking track has been created on the river flats running through native plantings to the Ashley Road Bridge on Cones Road.

Created by: Madpom on 2017-04-05. Experienced: 2017-02-26

Distance: 8.5 km (2.8 DOC hours) - Road - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 50m to 90m. Gain: 41m. Loss: 1m . Gradient: 0 deg (Flat)
Skills: - Occasional rivers (3/6)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

Above the Makerikeri the 4WD tracks up the Ashley drop off the banks onto the riverbed, become faint & dispersed. Follow tracks upriver, sticking to the bed and avoiding cutting out on side-tracks which exit to farmland. Gravel is soft and so slow going. River levels were below my boot laces when I visited in February, and crossing channels was easy - but it should be possible to stick to the north bank if necessary when the river is up.

The Okuku is the 1st major confluence from the north and is obvious, with 4WD tracks leading up it.

Created by: Madpom on 2017-04-12. Experienced: 2017-02-26

Distance: 5.5 km (2.0 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 218m to 411m. Gain: 341m. Loss: 197m . Gradient: 6 deg (Moderate)
Skills: - Occasional rivers (3/6)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From the signpost at the roadend a broad track crosses the river (knee deep, normal flows) and heads up flats on the southern bank. The track eventually narrows to a good tramping track, initially low on the valleyside, but above Whare Creek, climbing 150m over a spur and then sidling. The tramping track intersects an old 4WD track at a signposted junction just above Pinchgut Hut. The hut is on flats beside the river just below.

Last updated by: Madpom at 2017-04-12 01:18:26. Experienced: 2017-02-26

Distance: 5.5 km (2.0 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 218m to 411m. Gain: 341m. Loss: 197m . Gradient: 6 deg (Moderate)
Skills: - Occasional rivers (3/6)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From the signpost at the roadend a broad track crosses the river (knee deep, normal flows) and heads up flats on the southern bank. The track eventually narrows to a good tramping track, initially low on the valleyside, but above Whare Creek, climbing 150m over a spur and then sidling. The tramping track intersects an old 4WD track at a signposted junction just above Pinchgut Hut. The hut is on flats beside the river just below.

Last updated by: Madpom at 2017-04-12 01:18:26. Experienced: 2017-02-26

Distance: 5.5 km (2.0 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 218m to 411m. Gain: 341m. Loss: 197m . Gradient: 6 deg (Moderate)
Skills: - Occasional rivers (3/6)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From the signpost at the roadend a broad track crosses the river (knee deep, normal flows) and heads up flats on the southern bank. The track eventually narrows to a good tramping track, initially low on the valleyside, but above Whare Creek, climbing 150m over a spur and then sidling. The tramping track intersects an old 4WD track at a signposted junction just above Pinchgut Hut. The hut is on flats beside the river just below.

Last updated by: Madpom at 2017-04-12 01:18:26. Experienced: 2017-02-26

From Pinchgut Hut to Bob's Camp Bivvy via Cattle Peak Route
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Distance: 4.9 km (2.0 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 362m to 1065m. Gain: 746m. Loss: 171m . Gradient: 11 deg (Moderate)
Skills: - Streams (2/6)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

A good cut / marked track runs up the ridge between Pinchgut Hut and Bob's Camp Bivvy. Cross the creek at the hut (small, jumpable in most conditions) and head up the face beyond up the signposted track. The track climbs steeply to the ridgeline, then sidles the north face, ending at the bushedge. A poled route climbs from there back to the grassy ridgeline, which it follows west. The ridgeline is a mixture of beech forest and clearings, with the forested sections tracked and the clearings poled.

After crossing the highpoint, the track drops to a clear saddle and swings south. Climbing south from the saddle it reaches the bushedge again - where a signpost marks the turnoff to Bob;s Camp Biv. The biv is 500m away down the sidetrack on a saddle in beech forest,

Created by: Madpom on 2017-04-12. Experienced: 2017-02-27

From pt1046 to Trig A9UM via Missing Link Track
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Distance: 3.7 km (2.0 DOC hours) - Marked route - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 416m to 1042m. Gain: 725m. Loss: 474m . Gradient: 19 deg (Moderate-hard)
Skills: - Occasional rivers (3/6)
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

A good cut track runs most of the way between the Pinchgut Track and Bob's Camp Track, with just the northern end uncut/unmarked.

Turn off the Bob's Camp Track at the southern edge of the clearing south of pt1046 (visible 20m west of the track through trees). Follow the bushedge SW and then south - use a bearing of 190 degrees if you have a compass. The clearing ends - continue south (190 degrees) on a vague spur through beech forest to a second, scrubbier clearing. Follow the now-obvious spur south through this clearing to the southern bushedge, where marker tape marks the start of the track.

A well marked, rough track drops steeply SSW into the Garry in beech forest with loose rock-scree underfoot, swinging WSW to the forks with the creek draining pt1046. The only viable camping spots are 30m above the creek on the north side - a small terrace - the creek bed is steep-sided and narrow.

At the Garry, head 50m or so upriver and find marker tape on the southern bank. A steep but obvious track climbs WSW, swinging south to trig A9UM. The track is very steep and loose gravel at first, becoming merely steep later - and is marked with a mixture of old permolat and new marker tape.

Created by: Madpom on 2017-04-12. Experienced: 2017-02-27

From Trig A9UM to pt846 via Blowhard Track
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Distance: 2.0 km (0.5 DOC hours) - Benched track - Easy terrain
Altitude: 758m to 847m. Gain: 123m. Loss: 77m . Gradient: 6 deg (Gentle)
Skills:
GPX info source: Drawn on map

The Blowhard Track is a broad, well maintained easy-moderate mountainbike track and makes for fast, easy walking.

From the unmarked junction at Trig A9UM, the track runs west through beech forest and later clearings with patchy kanuka, climbing gently. A signpost marks the junction with the Bypass Track dropping south,

Created by: Madpom on 2017-04-12. Experienced: 2017-02-27

From pt846 to Mt Richardson track junction via Blowhard Track
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Distance: 2.6 km (1.0 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 832m to 1009m. Gain: 202m. Loss: 25m . Gradient: 5 deg (Moderate)
Skills:
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From the junction with the Bypass Track, the Blowhard Track runs west along the ridgeline in beech forest and open clearings - giving views of the Canterbury Plains to the south. . Broad and well cut it is gentle for the 1st 1.5km, before it starts to climb. Two moderately steep climbs of 100m each follow. 500m short of the Mt Richardson summit the rough MTB track meets an obvious old 4WD track. A signpost 'Mt Richardson marks the junction.

Created by: Madpom on 2017-04-12. Experienced: 2017-02-27

Distance: 3.9 km (2.0 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 404m to 1014m. Gain: 64m. Loss: 674m . Gradient: 11 deg (Moderate)
Skills:
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

A legal road drops north from Mt Richardson, descending through private land to the Lees. Unfortunately the legal roadline and formed track on the ground do not match exactly (they differ by 20m or so in places), so you will need permission from the farmer (Lees Valley Station) if you want to follow the formed track. DOC Rangiora have the contact details (email).

From the 'Mt Richardson' signpost 500m ENE of the summit along the Blowhard Track, follow the obvious old 4WD track NW down into a saddle. A small stream here is one of only two reliable water sources on the tops here, but locals advise treating the water if you use it.

The track runs north through kanuka scrub and enters a large clearing after 600m or so. Follow the southern bushedge west onto the ridge, where good flat shaded campspots exists around the bushedge. The bushedge is the boundary of public and private land, A rough ground trail crosses the clearing heading north towards pt1018. One on the flat summit north of the saddle, keep close to the bushedge and look out for the old 4WD track dropping NW into the bush.

The 4WD track zigzags down through beech to emerge onto a narrow spur with rough paddocks on the northern face. Follow the spur NW on the track. After about 500 the track drops south off the spur, and cuts back into a scrubby, gorsey gully - this turn is easy to miss. The track zigzags down into the gully and then follows it down through grassy paddocks to the fenceline alongside Dorman Stream.

Follow the fenceline beside Dorman Stream all the way to the Ashley. A farm track runs along the northern side of the fence - though the legal roadline is generally on the south side which is thick scrub. Ignore the point where the farm track swings north towards De Bourbles station, and instead continue in the direction you've been taking, passing through a gate and dropping to the Ashley riverbed.

Created by: Madpom on 2017-04-12. Experienced: 2017-02-27

Distance: 4.5 km (1.5 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 404m to 443m. Gain: 56m. Loss: 17m . Gradient: 1 deg (Flat)
Skills: - Occasional rivers (3/6)
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

The Ashley riverbed is broad and flat, with crown land including large expanses of both banks. Travel up the riverbed and banks to the road bridge is easy on stable river rocks and grassy banks. Crossings were ankle deep when I visited, but it should be possible to remain on the south-eastern bank if necessary.

Note that the track crossing to De Bourbles (Wharfedale Road) is private.

Created by: Madpom on 2017-04-12. Experienced: 2017-02-28


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