Upper Hutt North


Description

Upper Hutt north has much to offer the outdoor enthusiast. Tunnel gully is one of the prime outdoor locations in Upper Hutt. While it caters to all levels of fitness and ability, families will love the BBQ areas and shorter tracks. Mount Climie provides the highest vantage point in the Wellington region and provides views both of the Hutt valley and out over the Waiarapa plains and lake Waiarapa. Kaitoki waterworks has some of the best untouched virgin forest in the wider Wellington region. Lastly the Rimutaka Rail Trail provides for both the history buff and adventure cyclist who wants to get to the Waiarapa outdoors style.


Links

Upper Hutt City Council, Wonder Walkers, www.huttvalleynz.com


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Kaitoki Recreational Reserve

Kaitoki This area is renowned for its tall, original trees, swimming holes and views out over the Hutt River catchment area. The park is surprisingly new having been completed in the early 80s but is well used by the locals, particularly in summer. For the more adventurous this is also traditionally the entry point for the Hutt River gorge tubing trip. Histoically water was treated and distributed from this area to the Hutt Valley in 1956 and the original waterwork rooms are still visible along the track. While the area was logged its remoteness offered some protection.

Time and Difficulty

Most tracks are around 15 minutes although its quite easy to link them together.

Distance and Height

While the track are generally short they are very well maintained. This area is more suited to casual strolls and contemplation of the good life.
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Mount Climie

Mount Climie










This 4wd track provides access to the aerial dishes and repeating stations at the top of the 830 meter high Mount Climie. Its basically an uphill slog with rewarding views on the way. Towards the top things level out a little and you\'ll appreciate the sub alpine bush. A big drawcard of Mount Climie is the easy access into snow in winter although its not permanent so just pick your days. This isn\'t a loop but you probably won\'t care.

Time and Difficulty

While the time is very fitness dependant most should be able to get to the top in between 1.5 and 2.5 hrs. Going down is considerably easier but not that much faster unless you lugged your bike up the hill.

Distance and Height

6.0km starting at around 215m and running up to 870m at the very top



Rimutaka Rail Trail

Rimutaka Rail Trail










This well used 21km trail runs between Upper Hutt and the Waiarapa through the Rimutaka mountain range. The trail itself follows the same route as the original train tracks and the area has alot of history information along the way. The trail itself is usually done from the Upper side and is relatively easy going up to the summit with a gentle gradient. The Waiarapa side is a little more steep going downhill but nothing too scary. The trail goes through five tunnels and so its best to bring a torch along although plenty of people don't. While the route isn't difficult check the weather and particularly the wind before deciding to go. Transport can be an issue although plenty of people do it both ways and include a detour through Back Road to give some variety. The original railway route was opened to the public in 1878 and was in fairly constant usage through to 1955 when the current Rimutaka Rail Tunnel rendered it obsolete. The steepness on the Waiarapa side (known as the Rimutaka Incline) required a uniquely engineered Fell track system with a centre track providing traction. At the Fell engine museum in Featherston you can see the original Fell engines used to get up and down the incline. From the summit out to Upper Hutt normal steam trains were used.

Time and Difficulty

This is a very full day if you walk the trail of around 6-8 hours but on a bike allow a few hours one way. From the Waiarapa side it is possible to bike to Featherston and catch the train home if you time it right.

Distance and Height

18.2km from the carpark at the Upper Hutt end to Cross Creek in the Waiarapa. Height varies between approximately 80m and 350m
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Tunnel Gully and Tane Walking Tracks

Tane Track This area is named after its 220m train tunnel but provides so much more for the outdoor enthusiast including family picnics using the provided gas BBQs, mountain biking on the forest trails, bushwalking through fantastic forest and, for the really adventurous climbing Mt Climie (yes it does live up to its name). In winter the area is high enough to occasionally get snow. The tunnel was built between 1875 and 1877 and provided access to the world famous Rimutaka Incline (now a popular walk).

Time and Difficulty

While the Back road takes more time then the same section on the Rail Trail it is often used for the keen souls doing the return trip. Allow around an hour to bike the back road from the Summit down and a little more going the other way.

Distance and Height

3.3km from just before Summit Station through to where the Back road rejoins the rail trail near Big Bend. In terms of vertical height the road runs between 270m and 420m above sealevel



Kaitoki Ridge Track

Kaitoki Ridge Track










This is a reasonably long track that climbs over a ridge running parallel with the Hutt River between Te Marua and Kaitoki Recreational Reserve. The track itself is well maintained and is one of the newer tracks in the Wellington region having being opened in the 90s. The ridge lends itself to both walking and mountain running for those with moderate fitness.

Time and Difficulty

Allow three hours each way although runners can do it in around half the time.

Distance and Height

7.6km from the carpark in Te Marua Twin Lakes to the Pakuratahi Forks car park in Kaitoki Regional Park. In terms of vertical height the road runs between 150m and 480m above sealevel



Rimutaka Trig

Rimutaka Trig This track leads to the trig high above the Rimutaka Road. The 360 views include Lake Waiarapa, the southern Rimutakas and the Tararuas. The track itself is well built zig zagging up the hill but be ware of the winds which can be fierce once your at the top of the ridge. The last part of the track up to the trig isn't as well traveled, presumably because of the wind, and so is a little harder to follow.

Time and Difficulty

This section will take around 2-2.5 hours to bike uphill or around 1 hour if coming the other way.

Distance and Height

12.9km from the junction to the Rock Garden turnoff, starting at 220m above sealevel and rising until 576m at Deadwood.



Puffer access track to the Tararuas (Marchant Ridge and Tauherenikau tracks)

Quoin Ridge This is the main access track into the Southern Tararua area and also the final steps for those doing the Southern Crossing from Otaki. The track is in good condition and has a reasonably consistent gradient although for those keen to get into the Tararuas it can be a little boring. Some views out of the Kaitoki valley and Kiwi Ranch that are worth the effort.

Time and Difficulty

Allow between 20 minutes and half an hour.

Distance and Height

2.0km from the carpark to the turnoff for the Tauhenikau Valley. The turnoff to Marchant ridge is about 1.5km from the carpark.



Colletts Track

Colletts Track










This track starts as a forestry road that leads to a steep poled route up to the first radio station on the summit of Mount Climie. It took me a while to find this track although it is included on some maps. The secret to finding the track on the first summit is to follow the power poles starting near the first trig station. The track is very steep at the top but does get progressively easier. The end of the steep section is in clear shrubs and you'll be able to see the forestry road below. The end of the track leads to Colletts Road in Mangaroa Valley. This end of the track is marked by a gate covered in various warnings about private land.

Time and Difficulty

It takes around 2 to 3 hours to get to the top but you can save around half an hour coming the other way.

Distance and Height

5.4km from Colletts Road to the first summit on Mount Climie. The track starts at around 160m above sealevel up to around 830m





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