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Cone - Neill Forks Loop

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  • I've been having a look at 3 day trips in the Tararuas & Ruahines and found what looks like a decent loop (on paper) but would like to know if it is actually feasible. Starting from Mangatarere Road west of Masterton Day 1: Over to the Waiohine River and Saddle Track to Cone Hut for the night. Day 2: Up Cone Ridge and drop down to Neill Forks Hut (or carry on to Toatara Flats Hut). Day 3: Climb back onto Cone Ridge & down to Totara Flats. Back out to Mangatarere Road. http://www.topomap.co.nz/NZTopoMap?v=2&ll=-40.951315,175.352455&z=13 I'll be taking my friends who are fairly new to tramping and would like roughly 8 hour days. One particular question I have is can the Waiohine River be crossed by Sayer Hut? Any thoughts on this loop would be much appreciated as I haven't done anything in the Tararuas before. Also, if you know of a different 3 day loop of around 8 hours per day (beginners pace) I would be keen for information.
  • Hello Briar I can say that we stayed in Sayer Hut , better to camp out I got bit of a rash from the mattress We stopped there as Totara Hut was full of school kid We had a swim in that river and yup if its not up from raining crossing would be no problem
  • Ps Better to spend another hour on the flat well forty minutes if your in a hurry i took lots of pics and stay at Tutawae hut as Cones got rats and Tutawae has gas We went in from Waiohine gorge and up to saddle track see my blurb , two Wednesdays ago
  • A nice tramp is to start at waiohine gorge, tramp up to cone and then follow the ridge along and down to neill forks hut for the night, this is a moderate days tramp for people of moderate fitness . The next day back up to the cone ridge but instead of following the ridge back take it down to totara flats hut for morning tea, then follow the waiohine track back to the waiohine gorge car park . both days will only take 6-8 hours each day . If you are to start at mangatarere rd, the waiohine is easily forded from Sayers during normal river flows . Another option is to start at Holdsworth, pop up to Mt Holdsworth for lunch then drop down to Totara flats for the night, then the next day pop over to neill forks for lunch then back to totara flats for another night and the third day back out . But note, totara flats is a three ticket hut, and the totara flats are the best place to pitch a tent in good weather, so if that is an option ? A great three day loop, but is probably not wise to try just yet, is holdsworth-mid waiohine-aokaparangi-maungahuka-neill forks-totara flats-holdsworth . The best introduction to the Tararua imo, is to walk the Tauherenikau valley from marchant rd to cone or tutuwai, then you could head upto alpha hut if fitness allows, you could then follow the marchant ridge back to the carpark, or just head back down to the tauherenikau valley.
  • "I'll be taking my friends who are fairly new to tramping and would like roughly 8 hour days." That sounds a little optimistic. If they have problems it will be at the end of day one or about morning tea on day 2. Better to start with a few 2 day walks to make sure your friends know what they are up against and that there gear all works as it should ie boots without blisters packs that are adjusted right etc. It doesnt take much to wreck a 3 day tramp
  • Geeves is right.A lot of the Tararuas will be rough going for newcomers,the Holdsworth Jumbo loop is a good starter and also from Holdsworth lodge through to Kaitoke.Also going to Roaring Stag,Herepai and Cattle Ridge is a good one.Neill Forks is a cool place but a lot of up and down to get to and fairly remoteish.
  • Thanks for all the suggestions so far. The Tauherenikau loop looks like a good option thanks Gaiters. Geeves - my friends are doing their Duke of Edinburgh Award expedition, and the criteria state 7-8 hours per day for 3 days. They have done 2 or 3 overnight trips in the ranges; so hopefully enough to have shaken everything down.
  • Your first post said fairly new to tramping which we had to assume for safety reasons was fairly limited experience. Ive never been to Neil forks but others that have replied on that part have. They know what you are in for. A few years ago I was at Totora Flats A party from Chilton St James School were doing Duke of Ed. There trip was Holdsworth to Kaitoke via Cone etc.There was 48 in the hut that night. They should of built that hut bigger even if it is one of the biggest huts
  • The route that you have selected Briar , is probably well within your capabilities (viz. your profile is impressive, young lady!)But i have reservations about your first time tramping mates. Also starting at Mangatarere, i woudnt leave a vehicle there overnight ...not a secure area. Personally the Holdsworth - Jumbo is a good trip, safe car parking etc , although i believe there is a big slip thats occurred on the track into Atiwhakatu Hut. The Holdsworth - Kaitoke ( or reverse )is a nice valley type trip if the weather is unsuitable for the alpine Jumbo- Powell trip. Both trips are suitable for medium fitness punters.
  • Yes theres no doubting your experience but those trips that Old Goat mentioned are more recommended for those less experienced.The Tararua terrain and weather can be very unforgiving.One other trip is of course the Southern Crossing but this is very weather dependent as a lot of it is above the bushline,highly recommended in the right conditions.One classic Ruahines trip is the Daphne,Howletts,Longview circuit if youre still thinking about going there.Theres not many better located huts in the North Island than Howletts.
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This topic was closed automatically due to inactivity on 12 June 2014 22:38.
Forum Tracks, routes, and huts
Started by Briar
On 10 March 2012
Replies 20
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