Length: from 1.0 up to 3.0 days
Distance: 20.4 km (11.0 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 650m to 1543m. Gain: 1565m. Loss: 1612m . Gradient: 9 deg (Moderate-hard)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) - Prolonged rivers (4/5) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)

A varied overnighter performing an almost-loop in the western Ruahines. Or extendable to two nights by staying at Rangi hut on the Friday night (the track in is a good torchlight possibility).

This walk takes you onto the tussock tops of the western Ruahines for views as far as Ruapehu, Taranaki and the South Island. You cross the barren tops and drop into the head of the Oroua where the remote but warm and welcoming Traingle Hut awaits on the bank of the Oroua River.

A descent of the Oroua follows, a journey from minor stream to major river. The adventurous can follow thew riverbed all the way to Iron Gates Gorge and exit by the stoat trappers track on the upstream side of Umutoi Creek. Alternatively you can use the sidle-track options described here and limit your wet feet to 1.5km plus a river crossing at Iron Gates Hut.

Two further huts lie down the Oroua. The first is Iron Gates, about 3 DOC hours from Triangle, which is a basic 6-bunker, popular on weekends. Alice Nash Memorial Heritage Lodge lies 4 DOC hours beyond - just 45 minutes from the destination roadend, so is of less use for an overnight stay. This is a very popular with families, louts, and hunters. Alternatively good campspots exist upstream of the river crossing at Iron Gates, and on flats below Alice Nash.

As trip starts and ends at different roadends, two vehicles are required.


NZTM2000: 1856293, 5579785 (alt: 816m)

Carpark and longdrop at the top end of Renfrew Road - on the park boundary. Access to Rangiwahia Hut, Triangle Hut and the Whanahuia Range.

Created by: Madpom on 2015-03-06. Experienced: 2013-11-01

Distance: 3.0 km (1.5 DOC hours) - Benched track - Easy terrain
Altitude: 815m to 1315m. Gain: 561m. Loss: 69m . Gradient: 12 deg (Gentle)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

A newly recut, benched track leads from the Rangiwahia Carpark at the end of Renfrew Road to Rangiwahia Hut. Cross the style at the carpark, and take the left hand track signposted Rangiwahia Hut. This track sidles the face, climbing gently through first beech and later low podocarp bush. The track climbs in a gentle zigzag to pass over a large slip, before descending in similar manor to cross Chamberlain Creek on a high, arched bridge. From here the gradient steepens, but the track is still good and suitable for all abilities and ages. The track continues to sidle, climbing the face into scrub, later letherleaf, and finally tussock tops. A small stream is crossed 200m before the hut, and is a good source of nice drinking water (water at the hut is from roof tanks and can get smokey after heavy use in winter).

Emerging onto the broad tussock tops, the track forks with a right turn climbing to the Mangahuia rops and the track straight-on leading 100m to the hut - just on the far side of the ridge, looking out towards Mts Ruapehu and Ngarahoe. A short track leads from the hut to pt1327 where a bench provides a lookout over the Manawatu to the coast and, on a good day, as far as Mt Taranaki.

Created by: Madpom on 2015-03-06. Experienced: 2013-11-01

NZTM2000: 1858074, 5580014 (alt: 1307m)

A palatial (large) hut / lodge situated on the tussock Ruahine tops. Rangi has amazing views - the large deck facing north-west towards Mts Ruapehu and Ngarahoe. On a good day there are views west as far as Taranaki and south to the South Island from the viewpoint / bench just west of the hut.

The hut sleeps 15 - six in each bunk room and three more in the large kitchen. A woodburner and firewood are provided (hence the 'serviced' category). The woodshed is situated 100+ meters away up the track to the east, possibly to discourage excessive consumption. Gas cookers are no longer provided.

With easy access from Renfrew Rd this is a great 'first tramp' for many people / families, and is also popular with hunters, trampers etc aiming to get onto the tops after work on a Friday ready for an early weekend start.

Serviced Hut

Created by: Madpom on 2014-07-17. Experienced: 2013-11-01
Last updated by: Madpom at 2015-03-06 20:46:36. Experienced: 2013-11-01

Distance: 3.2 km (1.5 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1307m to 1543m. Gain: 263m. Loss: 27m . Gradient: 5 deg (Gentle)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From the track junction above the hut, a well-worn tramping track heads east towards the Mnagahuia Range, passing the hut's distant woodshed on the way. The track climbs very gently, gaining 280m in 3km.

Created by: Madpom on 2015-03-06. Experienced: 2013-11-01

Distance: 1.0 km (0.5 DOC hours) - Marked route - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1466m to 1543m. Gain: 46m. Loss: 77m . Gradient: 7 deg (Gentle)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From the signposted track junction 400m north of Mangahuia highpoint, a poled route runs north-east towards Triangle Hut. The track drops gently to a broad saddle, before starting to climb towards the next highpoint. About 200m from the saddle the marked route to triangle swings abruptly west off the range and starts to sidle the face towards the spur which drops to Traingle Hut.

Created by: Madpom on 2015-03-06. Experienced: 2013-11-01

Distance: 2.3 km (1.3 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 879m to 1512m. Gain: 0m. Loss: 633m . Gradient: 16 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) - Occasional rivers (3/5) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

After sidling south-west of pt 1635 the poled route reaches the spur which drops to Traingle Hut, and follows it down. The tussock becomes tall, and the route is uncut and sparsely marked. The first 400m can be slow going. On reaching the scrubline, a marked, cut track resumes and drops steeply through scrub then bush to reach the Oroua Rive at the forks directly opposite Triangle Hut. The river is normally crossed direct to the hut (ankle to knee deep), and can also generally be crossed after normal rainfall by crossing two smaller forks upstream of the hut. Extreme rain, however, can make this crossing impassable.

Created by: Madpom on 2015-03-06. Experienced: 2013-11-01

NZTM2000: 1862915, 5578325 (alt: 871m)

A renovated 6-bunk forestry hut. Door in the front wall, looking out over the forks of the upper Oroua. Wood burner, and water from the creek. A beautiful spot with an isolated feel.

Standard Hut

Created by: Madpom on 2014-07-17. Experienced: 2013-11-01
Last updated by: Madpom at 2015-03-06 20:36:35. Experienced: 2013-11-01

Distance: 2.1 km (1.5 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 811m to 1016m. Gain: 215m. Loss: 70m . Gradient: 8 deg (Moderate)
Skills: - Prolonged rivers (4/5)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From Traingle Hut a riverbed route leads downstream towards Iron Gate Hut. Drop to the riverbed at the hut, and follow it through the first narrow gorge - the worst of this section. From here the river widens to broad gravel flats, though more gorged sections exist further down. This section requires many river crossings and in-river travel and pools are often thigh to waist deep in normal flows. This section becomes impassable after heavy rain.

After 1.5km, the river makes a sharp left turn, and a DOC signpost and triangles are present on the northern bank marking the start of the up and over track. It is sometimes possible to continue downriver from here, but it is deep, steep going, especially below the major confluence. The up-and-over track is the recommended route.

Heading up the northern bank at the signpost, the track starts with a brief scramble up an old slip, but soon becomes well marked and cut as it zigzags its way to the ridgeline just above pt1037. On cresting the ridge, the track turns downhill and follows it down. It is also possible to follow the ridge up from this point on an roughly marked 'up-and-out' route to Mangahuia Summit.

Created by: Madpom on 2015-03-07. Experienced: 2013-06-01

Distance: 1.3 km (1.0 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 713m to 1020m. Gain: 32m. Loss: 335m . Gradient: 16 deg (Moderate-hard)
Skills: - Prolonged rivers (4/5)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From the summit of the up-and-over track, the marked, cut track swings briefly down the main spur before dropping the western face to pick up a side-spur below. The descent is steep, but well marked and cut - crossing the next sidestream west, and following it to the main river. After cutting 100m further downriver on the northern bank, the track ends above a rapid. The main Oroua River must be crossed here above the rapids - if you can't cross above the rapid then you won't be able to cross it further downstream and your only option is to head back up and out via Mangahuia or wait out lower flows (good campspots are available).

This crossing is normally thigh to waist deep just above the rapids, though sometimes swimming the pool 50m further upstream (at the lower end of bluffs on the southern bank) is safer.

Once across, head down the southern bank for 100m. The normal route crosses half of the flow again to a long thin island, which is followed downriver before recrossing to the southern bank. After a section of windfall, good bush opens up on the southern bank with unmarked tracks heading downriver. A large triangle on the river bank marks the start of the track to Iron Gates Hut, 20m beyond.

Created by: Madpom on 2015-03-07. Experienced: 2013-06-01
Last updated by: Madpom at 2015-03-07 20:13:31. Experienced: 2013-06-01

NZTM2000: 1861254, 5575875

Standard Hut

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

Distance: 5.5 km (3.0 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 650m to 744m. Gain: 322m. Loss: 336m . Gradient: 7 deg (Moderate)
Skills: - Streams (2/5)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

A marked, cut sidle track runs between Iron Gates Hut and Alice Nash Memorial Hut. The track crosses two side creeks, climbing back to terraces 100m above the river after each one. The Alice-Nash end is benched for about 1km, but the remainder is a typical tramping sidle track, with many ups and downs. Both sidestreams are little more than boot deep in normal flows, and it would take very heavy rain to make them impassible.

Created by: Madpom on 2015-03-07. Experienced: 2013-06-01

NZTM2000: 1857795, 5572918 (alt: 682m)

A spacious 8-bunk hut under an hour from the roadend, so very busy with young families, 'youth', hunters, etc. A separate private section is locked and used by NZDA.

The hut has a woodburner and tank water, and looks out across the Oroua Valley from high on the southern valleyside.

Standard Hut

Created by: Madpom on 2014-07-17. Experienced: 2013-06-01
Last updated by: Madpom at 2015-03-07 23:24:34. Experienced: 2013-06-01

Distance: 1.8 km (0.8 DOC hours) - Road - Easy terrain
Altitude: 661m to 761m. Gain: 126m. Loss: 65m . Gradient: 6 deg (Gentle)
Skills:
GPX info source: Drawn on map

An old (closed to vehicles) 4WD track runs from Alice Nash Memorial Heritage Lodge to the Table Flats roadend, dropping to Umutoi Creek, which it crosses on a high-arched footbridge. There is a 100m climb on each side of the creek, but the gradient is gentle on the roadbed and this is a trip for all abilities.

Created by: Madpom on 2015-03-07. Experienced: 2013-06-01
Last updated by: Madpom at 2015-03-07 23:24:59. Experienced: 2013-06-01

NZTM2000: 1856856, 5572187 (alt: 758m)

Head north from Apiti and turn right along Table Flat Road. The asphalt ends, but continue on gravel through a dip before turning left up Petersons Road (do not go right towards Sixtus Lodge / Glow Worm Caves). About 1km up Petersons Rd, a track turns off to the left to a carpark and toilet through a gate. This is the roadend for Alice Nash Memorial Heritage Lodge and beyond.

Created by: Madpom on 2015-03-07. Experienced: 2013-06-01

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