(draft) Trip: Default
Distance: 54.5 km (29.8 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Moderate-hard terrain
Altitude: 255m to 1318m. Gain: 3472m. Loss: 3209m . Gradient: 7 deg (Steep)
Skills: - Prolonged rivers (4/6)


NZTM2000: 1978155, 5738290 (alt: 366m)

A small parking area below the road marks the start of the Koranga and Tawa Hut tracks. This is just where the Moanui road starts to climb from the river towards Koranga Station.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-08-17

From Moanui roadend to Tawa / Koranga track jn via Koranga sidle tk
View
Distance: 1.3 km (0.3 DOC hours) - Benched track - Easy terrain
Altitude: 355m to 394m. Gain: 56m. Loss: 34m . Gradient: 4 deg (Flat)
Skills:
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From the gate at the roadend, the track starts on the riverbank through farmland - cow-pugged muddy flats for 500m to the bushedge. Here, a track starts just upriver of the sidecreek, climbs to cross the sidecreek 10m above the valley floor, and enters the bush beyond. This is a good platformed sidle track and great going, 600m beyond, a signpost marks the turnoff to Tawa Hut - a track dropping left to the river and a bridge.

Last updated by: Madpom at 2014-08-17 02:23:50

Distance: 5.4 km (2.0 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 359m to 698m. Gain: 456m. Loss: 390m . Gradient: 9 deg (Moderate)
Skills: - Streams (2/6)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

Turning off the Koranga track at the signpost, the track drops to forested river flats where a swingbridge takes you over the Koranga River. On the far side in rough pasture, a vague track sidles the opposite face climbing slightly to the next side stream. The track then disappears completely and you are left to find your own way up the cruelly steep sidecreek through rough grasslands. After about 200 vertical meters the gradient lessens and you pick up a farm track at a gate. Following the track upwards for a further 100 vertical meters, you swing an arc taking you eventually south across the head of the valley parallel to the bushedge, until a DOC triangle on the bushedge marks the start of the Tawa Hut track.

Beyond the bushedge, thing get much better. A benched pack track cuts down the valleyside through tall bush to a shoulder, then drops to the valley floor. The valleyfloor has been devastated by floods in the past, and the track is erased in many places - but still well marked. The ground is gravel and river stone left by the water, but tall trees still stand unaffected.

The valley narrows and the track returns to the northern valleyside where the benched track is cut into the steep face. The river drops away leaving us high on the face. We descend slowly towards the valley floor through majestic rimu and totora, twisted with rata vines. Opposite the confluence, a signpost marks the turnoff to to Kahunui Hut.

Last updated by: Madpom at 2014-08-29 02:52:05

From Tawa / Kahunui Trk jn to Tawa Hut via Tawa Tk
View
Distance: 1.4 km (0.5 DOC hours) - Benched track - Easy terrain
Altitude: 363m to 445m. Gain: 24m. Loss: 106m . Gradient: 5 deg (Flat)
Skills:
GPX info source: Drawn on map

Below the track junction, the track continues t siudle the valleyside until it broadens at the confluence with the Makakoere. Here it drops to flats on the valleyfloor - a signpost marking the turnoff to Makakoere Stream and hut.

Tawa Hut sits 500m beyond on gently sloping grassy flats.

Last updated by: Madpom at 2014-08-17 22:29:32

NZTM2000: 1972106, 5737443

Standard Hut

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

From Tawa Hut to Makakoere Hut via Makakoere Stream
View
Distance: 5.6 km (3.5 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 363m to 499m. Gain: 192m. Loss: 57m . Gradient: 3 deg (Flat)
Skills: - Occasional rivers (3/6)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

The sidle track heads 500m upriver from Tawa Hut before swinging east up the Kakahui (heading for Moanui roadend). At the bend / forks, a DOC sign should mark a rough track which drops back to the river allowing us to continue up the Makakoere – but this sign was missing on one of my visits, so be vigilant.

Upriver from Tawa, the deep pools, easy gravel and refreshing shaded valley are no more. Instead, the river becomes a small stream in an often-broad, rocky riverbed. Going is not actually hard – except in the sense of sharp hard rocks on soft paws and feet – but in many ways it is more reminiscent of the Raukumaras further north than the Waioeka / Ureweras. Fern forest remains on a few flat sections, occasional markers hinting that there was once a sidle track – but for the most part walking is on the rocky bed. 500m before the hut there’s a section of ‘rapids’ where the stream tumbles over boulders, which although not the size of a house, would make a cozy hut. Needless to say, the tramper must scramble over the same.

Shortly after, intermittent markers on the eastern bank climb though fern forest and cross a side creek to emerge on a terrace at the hut. This route is not obvious and is easy to miss. A more obvious track to the hut climbs from the broad river flats 50m upstream from the hut, doubling back and climbing the eastern face to a terrace where the hut sits hidden. The hut is not visible from the valley floor, and it is important to be vigilant for one of these two tracks to it – many parties report spending nights camped upriver having missed it, only to spot the track on their way back down river. The track is sometimes marked, and sometimes not – there seems to be an issue with the marker being repeatedly removed.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-08-23

NZTM2000: 1970674, 5732571 (alt: 498m)

Makakoere Hut is another standard 6-bunk forestry hut – this time with an open fire rather than woodburner. It is, again, popular with possumers and hunters and like many huts in the area get rough treatment at times. There is tank water at the hut – which is good, as it’s a long walk to the river.

Standard Hut

Last updated by: Madpom at 2014-08-23 05:12:32

From Makakoere Hut to Te Rangaakapua Track (east end) via Makakoera Stream
View
Distance: 4.4 km (3.5 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 497m to 665m. Gain: 210m. Loss: 45m . Gradient: 3 deg (Gentle)
Skills: - Occasional rivers (3/6)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

Above Makakoere Hut the valley again opens to broad flats – grass and moss becoming established and making great walking. Sadly this only lasts a kilometer or so, after which normal service resumes: rough river rocks and travel in the riverbed to the major forks. Taking the eastern fork (the Makokoere) the stream narrows further, dense vegetation crowding us into the riverbed. Gradient increases and the rocks become larger, and we spend most of the time scrambling over rocks or hopping over the now-narrow flow. Passing the 2nd (after the forks) major sidecreek on the west, keep a lookout for a large DOC triangle 80m further upriver, which marks the start of the track to Rangaakapua Hut.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-08-23

From Te Rangaakapua Track (east end) to Te Rangaakapua Hut via Te Rangaakapua Trk
View
Distance: 3.1 km (2.5 DOC hours) - Unmaintained track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 661m to 1318m. Gain: 725m. Loss: 88m . Gradient: 16 deg (Steep)
Skills:
GPX info source: Drawn on map

Now for the hard bit – it’s only 3km to the hut, but a steep 700m climb, most of it in the first kilometer. The track starts vague, but good markers start to appear 50m above the river. What is consistent, however, is the gradient – it’s a steep, overgrown scramble some 300m to the first knob - unrelenting. Shortly before this outlying knob, the track cuts right off the spur and angles across the south face to hit the saddle beyond. A welcome, flat respite, but don’t get used to it, as another 300m near-vertical slog follows to the ridgeline. If, like me, you’ve come 25km from Nikau Flats today, you may be forgiven for feeling a tad tired.

Finally the track emerges onto an old slip, and the summit is in sight. Trees become dwarved, and daylight starts to penetrate. Cresting the ridge, we descend 60 hard-earned-meters to a boggy basin beyond, climb again (“only 2 more”) descend, and finally make one more 160m ascent to reach the 1310m summit. From here it’s a relatively easy kilometer of meandering along the top to emerge from stunted beach into leatherwood and find the very welcome sight of Rangaakapua Hut.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-08-23

NZTM2000: 1966570, 5727978 (alt: 1298m)

Rangakaapua sits on the boundary of mossy cloud- (‘goblin’) forest and leatherleaf scrub. A great 3-bunk hut, with 3 more spare mattresses to go on the floor. There’s a woodburner in it’s own alcove with amply drying space above, and an impressive library. Insulated and warm once the fire’s going, despite it’s altitude.

Basic Hut/bivvy

Last updated by: Madpom at 2014-08-23 05:11:59

Distance: 3.4 km (2.0 DOC hours) - Unmaintained track - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 722m to 1298m. Gain: 27m. Loss: 583m . Gradient: 10 deg (Moderate)
Skills:
GPX info source: Drawn on map

South-west of Te Rangaakapua, the track starts through leatherleaf and intermittent clearings. Badly marked, and slow going casting around to relocate it after each clear section. The views, however, are impressive: range after range fading into the distance, the sheer face of the scared Maungapohatu to the south. Dropping west the track enters the bush, and immediately becomes overgrown – more slow going. Marking is generally ok, but there are a few crucial sections where it vanishes completely and good map and compass work is required to locate the correct ridge to follow. It seems to take an age to reach the track junction, but when we do it is marked by an obvious. Marked by an aged red signpost, dating from before the days of DOC, the writing pretty much obliterated by time and graffiti, but it’s presence at least marking the spot.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-08-23

Distance: 0.9 km (0.3 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 577m to 742m. Gain: 0m. Loss: 165m . Gradient: 11 deg (Moderate)
Skills:
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From the track junction, drop SSW off the ridge for a kilometer or so. You soon reach a small stream,cross it, and emerges onto a grassy paddock at Mangatoatoa Hut. The track is getting overgrown, but still well marked.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-08-23

NZTM2000: 1963306, 5727382 (alt: 572m)

Mangatoatoa is a recently refurbished 8-bunker, in a nice sunny spot. It gets a bit of use by hunters, but is not a busy hut, and is well cared for by Urewera standards. You might even find some firewood in the woodstore!

Standard Hut

Last updated by: Madpom at 2014-08-23 05:20:08

Distance: 0.9 km (0.3 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 577m to 742m. Gain: 0m. Loss: 165m . Gradient: 11 deg (Moderate)
Skills:
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From the track junction, drop SSW off the ridge for a kilometer or so. You soon reach a small stream,cross it, and emerges onto a grassy paddock at Mangatoatoa Hut. The track is getting overgrown, but still well marked.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-08-23

NZTM2000: 1960815, 5734187 (alt: 331m)

In contrast to Te Panaa, Te Pua Hut is well looked after and has a friendly, homely feel. I guess the fact that you have to walk there rather than ride makes the difference.

Tidy and full of character, Te Pua features 2 armchairs, a pot belly stove, 6 bunks and no graffiti.A good collection of odds and ends, old and new, grace the shelves. It's over a month since the last visitors - but with 31 parties in the previous year gets moderate use. 31 plus the illiterates, of course.

Standard Hut

Last updated by: Madpom at 2014-09-01 02:08:35

Distance: 2.6 km (1.5 DOC hours) - Unmaintained track - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 402m to 814m. Gain: 412m. Loss: 392m . Gradient: 19 deg (Moderate)
Skills: - Occasional rivers (3/6)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

The marked track crosses the Tauranga River above the hut. Crossing was knee-to-thigh deep and easy when I crossed on a drizzly day after low-moderate rain. It could flood and block, but in normal conditions should be ok.

The track to the Tawawharara Stream is marked, but not well cut (2013). Windfall and general undergrowth meant that I lost the track a couple of times, the last just before the ridgeline. Some navigation skills needed to follow the route - it was probably the hardest to find of those I walked on this trip. Navigation, windfall and undergrowth aside, the climb is easy on a low, steady gradient.

After briefly swinging north along the ridgeline, the track drops steeply onto an open, defined spur. Steep, but good and obvious going all the way down to the river - a good change from the undergrowth to the west. The vegetation has changed completely, gravel underfoot rather than the mud further west. Low, dry, brittle scrub.

The track emerges at the river a few meters downriver from the confluence.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-08-31

Distance: 1.1 km (0.5 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Moderate-hard terrain
Altitude: 417m to 444m. Gain: 38m. Loss: 16m . Gradient: 3 deg (Gentle)
Skills: - Prolonged rivers (4/6)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

The Tawawharara valley is steep-sided, the riverbed rock. Upriver form the Hareirei confluence, a couple of log-jams blocked the flow - the tallest 3m high, and passed only by some rock-climbing. Conditions will clearly change frequently.

The stream is small, and no trouble in normal flows - but when the stream is up there would be no way down the valley.

The Manairoa confluence is the next upriver.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-08-31

Distance: 5.5 km (5.0 DOC hours) - Unmaintained track - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 439m to 973m. Gain: 562m. Loss: 517m . Gradient: 11 deg (Moderate)
Skills: - Occasional rivers (3/6)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

The creekbed looks passable, but an old sidle track bypasses the first 500m of the Maniaroa above the confluence. A piece of marker tape on the south side of the Tawawharara Stream just above the confluence marks the start of an old track across flat terraces between the two creeks. A signpost in the middle of the bush and an old tent camp are passed, before descending to the Maniaroa 500m above the forks.

The remaining 800m to the next main forks are spent in the riverbed - the creek in small and there is good rock on both banks. The main flow swings south, and a small creek enters from the east - the forks marking the start of the track into the Tataweka. 20m upriver, a signpost points up the ridge: Tataweka 4hrs, Tawa 5hrs, Moanui Roadend 8hrs. Given that it's 8km from Tataweka to Tawa, the accuracy of the sign is immediately in doubt.

The climb to pt985 is good - windfall, but good clean solid dirt underfoot, not the slippery mud and tangled undergrowth of further west. Surprisingly soon a triangle points right off the spur, and a benched track sidles right (east) across the face to the saddle

Where the good going ends. The track follows the clear ridgeline for a few hundred meters then inexplicably drops west to sidle the steep, overgrown face. The face is cut by several dark, tight gullies, and intersected by several spurs A good cover of fern obscures continuous windfall on the ground, and hides dropoffs where the once benched track has fallen away. It's not fun - give me a pack of triangles and I'd remark the track up and over the summit in the good bush.

Eventually, the track decides to descend somewhere east of pt985: zigzagging down in such tight zags that it crosses the same windfallen tree 5 times. Under all the rubbish it's still a benched track - cut on a gradient for horses. Once. Finally the tramping track gives up on the benched track and, encountering a steep descending spur, follows it to the creekbed at the forks. A great improvement.

From the forks due east of pt985 the route follows the river downstream. The valley floor is true Waioeka: broad expanses of loose rounded river rocks the sze of apples, stretching the width of the flats. A small stream wandering down them, undercutting each bank in turn to ensure the maximum of required crossings. The creek is low when I visit - knee deep at most, but it;s slow going on ever shifting rocks.

Two more creeks enter from the south, and we remain in the riverbed (maps showing a sidle track are lying). Shortly after (20m-ish) the second creek a worn but unmarked track climbs south into the scrub. Following it some 40 vertical meters we emerge onto a grassy platform overlooking the forks. Tataweka Hut sits at its rear.

Last updated by: Madpom at 2014-09-04 02:19:25

NZTM2000: 1968161, 5734953 (alt: 479m)

Tataweka Hut is a standard-looking 6-bunk NZFS hut, though with corrugated walls, suggesting it is an early or non-standard build. Inside, 2 of the usual 6 bunks are missing, leaving a large space on one wall, and instead the remaining 2 sets of bunks are stacked 3 high. As with most Waioeka Huts, there are frequently possumers in residence, and from hut book comments, many seem to regard the hut as theirs. Unfortunate - coming from a possumer myself - and reflecting badly on us all.

There is tank water and a fire.

Standard Hut

Last updated by: Madpom at 2014-09-01 02:47:22

From Tataweka Hut to Kahunui / Makakoere Forks via Tataweka Stream
View
Distance: 4.4 km (2.0 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 351m to 490m. Gain: 19m. Loss: 142m . Gradient: 2 deg (Flat)
Skills: - Occasional rivers (3/6)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

Downriver from Tataweka it is a long but unexciting stumble on loose rounded river rocks to the confluence. No obstacles other than loose rock underfoot and frequent river crossings. Most were knee deep or lower in low conditions when I visited.

The track to Tawa starts 50m or so downriver from the confluence and is marked with triangles.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-09-01

From Koranga Forks Hut to Kahunui / Makakoere Forks via Kahunui Strean
View
Distance: 7.9 km (3.5 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 255m to 351m. Gain: 217m. Loss: 121m . Gradient: 2 deg (Flat)
Skills: - Prolonged rivers (4/6)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From Koranga Forks to Tawa Hut is similar to the Waioeka downriver, but longer. It is 9km up the riverbed to the Kahanui / Makakoere forks where the track starts. More broad gravel riverbed, more clear, deep pools, and plenty more river crossings Again, all are knee to thigh deep in normal flows. It is a beautiful section of river and one of the most enjoyable riverbed routes I've met.

Finally, at the bend 50m down from the Kahanui / Tataweka forks a DOC triangle on the eastern bank marks the start of the track to Tawa Hut, or you can continue upriver to Kahanui Hut.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-08-17

NZTM2000: 1974484, 5741425 (alt: 255m)

Koranga Forks is another popular 6-bunker. Again, it gets a low of use by fishermen as it is easily accessible down the Koranga River from Moanui Road on a good sidle track. Trampers are also common at weekends, walking the Tawa-Koranga Forks loop.

Standard Hut

Last updated by: Madpom at 2014-08-17 01:56:22

From Koranga Forks Hut to Tawa / Koranga track jn via Koranga sidle track
View
Distance: 5.5 km (2.0 DOC hours) - Benched track - Easy terrain
Altitude: 255m to 417m. Gain: 478m. Loss: 354m . Gradient: 9 deg (Moderate)
Skills:
GPX info source: Drawn on map

Heading upriver from Koranga Forks hut, the track crosses the river on a moss-clad swingbridge, before sidling the northern valleyside. The track is well maintained and benched into the hillside. It climbs and falls slightly for a couple of km, before climbing 100m for no apparent reason and emerging onto farmland.

The track is sparsely poled beyond across the grassy faces, dropping quickly back to the river and following it for 1km to the next band of bush. Once here the marked, benchged track resumes sidling above the river for another kilometer and a half to the signposted junction with the Tawa Hut track.

Last updated by: Madpom at 2014-08-22 20:47:49

From Moanui roadend to Tawa / Koranga track jn via Koranga sidle tk
View
Distance: 1.3 km (0.3 DOC hours) - Benched track - Easy terrain
Altitude: 355m to 394m. Gain: 56m. Loss: 34m . Gradient: 4 deg (Flat)
Skills:
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From the gate at the roadend, the track starts on the riverbank through farmland - cow-pugged muddy flats for 500m to the bushedge. Here, a track starts just upriver of the sidecreek, climbs to cross the sidecreek 10m above the valley floor, and enters the bush beyond. This is a good platformed sidle track and great going, 600m beyond, a signpost marks the turnoff to Tawa Hut - a track dropping left to the river and a bridge.

Last updated by: Madpom at 2014-08-17 02:23:50

NZTM2000: 1978155, 5738290 (alt: 366m)

A small parking area below the road marks the start of the Koranga and Tawa Hut tracks. This is just where the Moanui road starts to climb from the river towards Koranga Station.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-08-17


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