Length: from 2.0 up to 3.0 days
Distance: 21.6 km (12.5 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 650m to 1020m. Gain: 1501m. Loss: 1501m . Gradient: 8 deg (Moderate-hard)
Skills: - Prolonged rivers (4/6)

A long weekend hike in the Ruahine Forest park- "There and back again"


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

Distance: 1.8 km (0.8 DOC hours) - Road - Easy terrain
Altitude: 661m to 761m. Gain: 65m. Loss: 126m . 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.

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

Distance: 5.5 km (3.0 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 650m to 744m. Gain: 336m. Loss: 322m . Gradient: 7 deg (Moderate)
Skills: - Streams (2/6)
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: 1861254, 5575875

Standard Hut

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

From Iron Gate Hut to Up-and-over track summit via up-and-over track
View
Distance: 1.3 km (1.0 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 713m to 1020m. Gain: 335m. Loss: 32m . Gradient: 16 deg (Moderate-hard)
Skills: - Prolonged rivers (4/6)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From Iron Gate Hut, head upstream adjacent to the river on the southern bank on unmarked tracks until a section of windfall blocks your way. Drop to the river, and cross to the island mid-flow just upstream. Follow the island up to it's upstream end, and then cross back to the southern bank. After cutting round/through the next loop in the river, the southern bank ends at bluffs above a rapid. The Oroua must be crossed here, either by wading just above the rapids, or by swimming the pools as far upstream as you can push below the bluffs (sometimes safer as it puts some distance between you and the rapids). The crossing is thigh to waist deep in normal flows, and can easily become impassable.

Once across a DOC triangle marks the start of the up-and-over track which cuts off the next bend in the river, avoiding some serious, tricky gorges. Good campspots also exist here.

The track heads 100m up the northern bank before heading up the next sidestream, which it soon crosses. From here a steep, but well cut and marked track climbs to reach the spur just above pt1037.

From just above pt 1037 the cut track cuts east off the spur, but it is also possible to continue from here up the spur on a roughly marked route to Mangahuia highpoint.

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

From Up-and-over track summit to Triangle Hut via river / up-and-over track
View
Distance: 2.1 km (1.5 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 811m to 1016m. Gain: 70m. Loss: 215m . Gradient: 8 deg (Moderate)
Skills: - Prolonged rivers (4/6)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

Just above pt1037 the up-and-over track swings east off the spur and descends in a series of zigzags back to the Oroua River, above the worst of the gorges. From here if follows the riverbed upriver for 1.5km to reach Triangle Hut. The river is gorged in places (especially just below the hut) and requires several crossings and in-river travel. The deepest crossings are normally thigh-to-waist deep in slow water, but this route can easily become impassable after rain.

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

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

Last updated by: Madpom at 2015-03-06 20:36:35. Experienced: 2013-11-01

From Triangle Hut to Up-and-over track summit via river / up-and-over track
View
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 (4/6)
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

From Up-and-over track summit to Iron Gate Hut via up-and-over track
View
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 (4/6)
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.

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

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 (2/6)
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

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.

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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