New Zealand Walk: Whareroa Farm to Orange Hut
Wednesday Wilderness Walkers (WWWs) go almost dry and mud free from Whareroa Farm to Orange Hut.
When 31 Wednesday trampers arrived at Whareroa Farm the parking lot at Mackay’s Crossing was already crowded with cars and a group of trampers from the Tararua Tramping Club.
Luckily our tramping footprints did not coincide since their objective was Mt Wainui and ours the Orange Hut in the Akatarawa Forest. However, a late arrival for Mt Wainui somehow got mixed in with our group and decided to stay with us, so we were 32 on departure at 9.30am.
According to Wednesday trampers who are experienced in these matters, Above: The group on a big wide road. Below: Time for a cuppa!
as a mere 19.9k return trip, the walk to Orange Hut falls into the “easy” category. It is not, however, easy on the feet as much of the tramp is on rocky surfaces.
To avoid possible high speed downhill mountain bikers we took the newly mown horse track up through the farm to Campbell’s Mill Road where there are some magnificent views of the Kapiti coast.
Then it was down into the Akatarawa Forest on Hydro Valley Road. Dennis who was in the leading group placed pointer arrows at intersections with other forestry roads so possible confusion was avoided and 2/3 of our group had lunch at the new Orange Hut after walking 9.9k in.
The balance of the party turned back at the entrance to the forest. The forest walk started out through a small area of pine forest.
For most of the walk we were in second growth native bush. The new Orange Hut was developed by the local 4 wheel drive club after the previous hut burnt down. Extensive use of concrete flooring and concrete block walls gives a very “solid as” feel to the new hut and the very functional adjoining semi enclosed BBQ area.
All our party were back at the parking area by 3.00pm on what turned out to be a raincoat free tramp, a welcome change!
The next stop was one our favourites, the Otaki Riverside Cafe. Thanks to van driver Chris and car drivers Bernard, Charles, Dennis and Marion. Thanks also to William and Maureen for photos and to Bob for official GPS reporting.
Various tramping calorie counter reportage has yet to be “fact checked” but 2500 calories is a best estimate. Above: On the road. Below left: Lunch at the hut.