«Mararoa River Track (Map 130, 131, 132) Northern Start Mavora Camping Area, Mavora Lakes Rd Southern End Junction of SH94 and Princhester Rd Distance ...»
The track leaves the road on the right here and travels up the forest fringe beside a fenceline.
Beyond the eucalyptus section the track crosses a stock lane and continues up a fenceline to the base of the Twinlaw Range.
The track line turns left here and sidles east to join with a grassed farm track. This track climbs steeply up the hill face to the right. As the track nears the main ridge it veers south and becomes less distinct on the ground. Marker poles continue to show the way.
Once on the main ridge travel is along the ridgeline to the left (southeast). This is on a light but distinct farm track that leads up to the Birchwood Station/Twinlaw Forest boundary gate. Beyond the gate Te Araroa enters exotic forest on a 4WD track then traverses the Twinlaw tops on privately owned forest roads, which make for pleasant and easy walking. You’re unlikely to encounter vehicles, unless there is some forestry operation underway.
There are a number of forestry road junctions but marker poles are in place to show the way through. For the sake of completeness, turn left onto Trig Rd then right onto Twinlaw Rd. Keep left at the Feldwick Rd junction and continue along Twinlaw Rd. This is towards and through the junction with Chandler Rd. Te Araroa leaves Twinlaw Rd on a 4WD track on the right hand side of the road. There is a turning bay at the end of this track, right on the Twinlaw/Woodlaw Forest boundary.
Te Araroa enters the beech forest from the turning bay. This is on a tramping track, within the Woodlaw Forest Conservation Area. The track traverses uneven ground towards Woodlaw Peak then descends towards a narrow strip of exotic forest. Here it joins with a 4WD track that leads to a junction. Turn right at this junction onto the forestry road and soon the road emerges from the forest. It then continues down a long fenced straight, which leads out through farm land towards Scotts Gap-Feldwick Rd. (It is 13km to the right via Lower Scotts Gap Rd and Otautau-Tuatapere Rd to Otautau.) From the Woodlaw Track trailhead turn left onto Scotts Gap-Feldwick Rd and walk the road shoulder through Scotts Gap junction and onto Upper Scotts Gap Rd. Continue down Upper Scotts Gap Rd then turn right and walk up Hewitt Rd. The Island Bush Track starts up the road at the gate on the exotic forest fringe. This is a 3.5k m connection.
Island Bush Track - 4km / 1.5hr
This track is through exotic forest and then across farm land. It is entirely on private property with access being provided by 2 land owners - Matariki Forests and Mike Whale.
Access - A number of conditions apply to enable walking access to co-exist with farm and forestry operations.
The conditions are set out below and it’s important to comply, both out of respect for the land owners and to help ensure Te
Araroa walkers are able to continue to use this critical link:
Access is only for tramping parties of 8 or fewer members and during daylight hours.
Stick to the marked track and use stiles where provided.
Give way to stock and farm/forestry operations.
No camping, fires, vehicles (including bicycles), horses, dogs, or firearms.
Carry all rubbish out.
No commercial activity, including guiding or organized events.
If you encounter staff moving stock en route then step well aside and wait quietly until all animals have passed by. Please take direction from farm staff as necessary.
The track starts at the forest entry gate near the top of Hewitt Rd. If arriving by car it’s best to park near the bottom of the road and walk up. Continue up Hewitt Rd beyond the gate and through the forest. This to a junction with Loop Rd.
Turn left onto Loop Rd, the first of 4 junctions. Stay left again at the second junction, right at the third, and left at the fourth junction.
From the forestry road end a foot track leads down between the pine tree rows to the farm boundary. It’s from here that you need prior permission to continue.
Once across the boundary fence, turn left onto the farm track and descend. Markers show the way down the track and across a paddock to a pine shelter-belt. The track then turns right and follows this line of trees to a gate. Through the gate the track crosses a bridge and then heads diagonally to the right towards a gap in another shelter-belt. Once through the gap the roadside stile is visible ahead to the right. (It is left for 13km to Otautau and Tuatapere is 28km to the right.) There is parking opposite the trailhead.
From the Island Bush Track trailhead turn right (west) onto Otautau-Tuatapere Rd and walk 2.5km, past Gill Rd to the Merrivale Rd junction.
Other Information Otautau Accommodation Otautau Hotel - 167 Main St, Otautau - P: 03 225 8166 - E: firstname.lastname@example.org - W: www.otautauhotelpub.co.nz/contact rooms, bars & restaurant Otautau Railway Hotel and Backpackers - 76-78 King St, Otautau - P: 03 225 8577 - backpackers, bar & restaurant Resupply Supervalue Supermarket - 157 Main St, Otautau - P: 03 225 8029 - W: www.supervalue.co.nz/ Open daily 8am-7pm.
Island Bush - Tuatapere General / Visitor Information Tuatapere Hump Ridge track Trust & Tuatapere Visitor Information Centre - PH 0800 486 774 or P: 03 226 6739 - 31 Orawia Rd, Tuatapere - E: email@example.com - Open hours 7:30am - 6:30pm Accommodation Tuatapere Motel, Shooters Backpackers & Holiday Park Complex - 4 McFeely Street, Tuatapere - P: 0800 009 993 or M: 027 2222 612 E: firstname.lastname@example.org Waiau Hotel - 47 Main St, Tuatapere - P: 03 226 6409 - E: email@example.com - rooms, bar & restaurant Last Light Lodge - 2 Clifden Highway, Tuatapere - P: 03 2266667 - camping sites, campervan sites, backpacker type facilities and a restaurant/café.
Resupply Four 4 Square supermarket - 73 Main St, Tuatapere - P: 03 226 6898 - W: www.foursquare.co.nz/ - Open daily 7:30am-9pm Potential Hazards Vehicles on road or track Take care on roads Farming operations Forestry operations Few water sources Requirements Keep to the track Respect private land Open daylight hours only where noted Leave gates as you find them No litter No dogs No horses No firearms No vehicles No bikes No camping where noted No fires Wear hi-viz clothing/pack cover and don't use headphones Amenities (Start) No amenities Roadside parking only Amenities (On Route) No amenities Longwood Forest Track (Map 135, 136, 137) Northern Start Junction of Otautau-Tuatapere and Merrivale Rds, Merrivale
Route Walk 7.5km up Merrivale Rd into the forest, all the way to the road-end. A washout about 6km up Merrivale Rd prevents 2WD vehicles progressing further but there is roadside parking there.
Note: the only reliable water source on Te Araroa for over 13km is Merry Creek, accessed a short distance down a 4WD track that departs Merrivale Rd on the left hand side, just beyond the final farm paddock.
Merrivale Rd end to Bald Hill - 4.3km / 2hr
From the road end a short 4WD track leads off to the start of the Longwood Forest Track.The first orange track markers are encountered a little further along. A GPS may come in handy here (and across the tops) as the ground trail is not always obvious.
The track climbs gradually for 2.5 km to a clearing but soon re-enters the forest. From here it’s only 500m to the tree line from where the transmission tower is visible on clear days. The track is marked by poles across the open tops to the transmission tower at a road end upon Bald Hill.
Bald Hill to Martins Hut - 15.5km / 7hr
Descend the road from the transmission tower. Water may be available from small streams draining from the left. This is in the vicinity of the gates which cross the road. Fill up here as there is no other easily available water source for some distance.
Continue down the road to the old quarry from where the track departs on the right near a square steel plate sign.
The track within the forest is well marked and easy to follow through increasingly stunted forest. In open sections, however, the route is lightly marked with poles. Continue through forest and shrublands across "Little Baldy" and the saddle to the main Longwood ridge. The track from here is often indistinct but follows markers to and beyond the Longwood trig. The descent on the marked track is fairly steep and through forest to historic Martins Hut, built 1905 and the last (or first if northbound!) hut on Te Araroa.
Martins Hut is compact with 4 timber bunks with mattresses. It would provide welcome shelter in poor weather. There is a small water tank behind the hut - though do treat the water.
Another water source at Martins Hut is small stream off on an unmarked side track between the toilet and the hut. This is off to the left as you are facing downhill. Water also becomes more readily available on the main track lower down.
Martins Hut to Long Hilly Track - 23.5km / 9hr
100m past Martins Hut the route leaves Martins water race and continues down to a forestry road. Turn right here and 10min later turn left onto Cascade Rd.
Follow Cascade Rd for about a kilometre to the Ports Water Race Track, which starts at a small foot bridge on the right (south) side of the road. This may not be obvious if overgrown so pay close attention and navigate carefully.
The track then follows the Ports water race, which was constructed to supply water for gold mining at Round Hill. While the race was abandoned in the 1950s it remains largely intact. This track has had recent maintenance work and is well marked. It hugs a steady contour line beside the water race as it winds its way through gullies and across the hill side.
The area comprises regenerating podocarp forest. The water race margins, however, were exempt from milling and retain a number of mature rimu, kamahi, and totara trees.
At the end of the Ports water race, the track joins the Long Hilly Track, and its a further 6km (1-1.5hrs) to Colac Bay.
Other Information Accommodation en route Martins Hut - Basic 4 bunk hut - The water source at Martins Hut is a small tank behind the hut. There is also a small stream off on an unmarked side track between the toilet and the hut. This is off to the left as you are facing downhill. Water also becomes more readily available on the main track lower down.
Route At the end of the Port’s Water Race the track joins the Long Hilly Track. Turn left here and follow the track down past a number of sign-posted historic gold mining sites to the car park on Round Hill Rd.
The Long Hilly Track is an extremely popular daywalk, taking in a number of historic mine workings from what was once the largest Chinese mining settlement in New Zealand, dating back to 1874.
There is a loop track available for day-walkers which takes 2hr15min.
Turn left out of the Long Hilly Walking Track car park and walk 850m down Round Hill Rd to the SH99 junction. Turn left here and then, after 4km, right onto Colac Bay Rd. Adjacent to this intersection is the Colac Bay Tavern where meals and camping facilities are available.
Other Information Accommodation Colac Bay Tavern & Camping Ground - 15 Colac Bay Rd, Colac Bay - P: 03 234 8399 or M: 027 435 5872 - Meals, backpacker and camping facilities available.
Mahuru Cottage (B&B, Cabin - self contained or Camping) - 93 Roundhill Road - P: 03 2348922 or M: 021 0338883 Situated opposite the Long Hilly Track Carpark. It has breath taking sea and mountain views with a variety of wild life. Cash only or negotiate with the owners to do light jobs around the farm like weeding, mulching, gardens etc (nothing hard) for a couple of hours instead.
Route This coastal track connects Colac Bay with Riverton and is mostly near the coast.
Before the climb up to Mores Reserve the track crosses sections of private farm land. Keep to the marked track here and be aware that this section is closed during September and October for lambing. It is also foot access only and dogs are prohibited.
To reach Riverton during the lambing closure, continue on Tihaka Beach Rd to Orepuki Riverton Highway (SH99). Turn right here and walk the road shoulder into Riverton.
The track formally begins at the Colac Bay Rd/SH99 junction (with the Colac Bay Tavern and campground adjacent). If the tide is right, head east along the beach. Alternatively, at high tide, walk the initial section on the Foreshore Rd frontage then descend to the beach when the road turns inland. Continue along the beach then ascend the formed sand track to Tihaka Beach Rd.
When this road veers inland Te Araroa remains on the coast (unless you’re here during the lambing closure). Keep to the track, which follows marker poles along the beaches and across the headlands.
From the final deer fence the track leaves the coast and heads up towards, then through, Mores Reserve to emerge at a car park at the end of Richard St.There are public toilets here. Walk down Richard St towards Riverton.
At the bottom of Richard St turn left onto Bay Rd and walk around to the Palmerston Rd Bridge. The Tihaka Beach Track ends at the junction with SH99 just before the bridge.