Walking New Zealand
My Favourite Walk: Motorimu Shelter walk in the Tararuas
Fifteen members of the Wednesday Trampers Manawatu Tramping & Ski Club last month ventured into the hills to the east of Palmerston North.
The party left Memorial Park in Palmeston North at 8am and arrived at Kahuterawa Road end about half an hour later to a ‘blue dome day’ with a cool easterly breeze blowing.
After a short briefing covering details for the tramp, they crossed Black Bridge and headed up the Back Track (which is also the Te Araroa trail at that point).
The climb is easy as it follows an old road that used to join Kahuterawa
and Scotts Roads. After around an hour they reached the top car park for the Arapuke Mountain Bike Park and utilized the shelter and tables for a morning tea stop.
Because of the sunny day, there was a great view back down the valley to the city.
From the car park they walked down Scotts Road for thirty minutes to a road leading to the left and crossing a bridge over the Kahuterawa Stream into the Gordon Kear forest.
Following Centre Road for a further thirty minutesthe group reached Te Whare o Moturimu, anfronted whare built by Palmerston North City Council to provide a sleeping place for hikers on the Te Araroa Trail.
The shelter is a day’s hike (30km) from Palmerston North with sleeping space for about eight people. There is a toilet and picnic table nearby. The shelter was in a neat and tidy condition.
After lunch on the grass in front of the shelter, they retraced their steps to Scotts Road and back to the top car park. At this point different options were available for the return to the Kahuterawa car park.
Five members of the party chose to walk across the top of the mountain bike park and down to the Sledge Track and out that way.
The balance of the group walked down the centre of the mountain bike park using Zig Zag Road to exit at Black Bridge.
There was a short wait in the car park for the Sledge Track walkers to come out, and all returned without any incidents.
The group then headed off for coffee and were back to town around 3pm having spent a great day in the open country in calm and warm conditions.
The Shelter is at the bottom left hand corner of the map on the end of the green track. On return, the illustrated green track follows the Sledge Track loop return option (~18km round trip). The alternative ZigZag track (13km return), shown in purple, eliminates the Sledge Track loop. Both routes involve a maximum height gain and loss of