Raukawa Lodge This was the second attempt at this trip, the first being postponed because the weather forecast wrongly predicted heavy rain. Ignoring the currrent forecast for rain, six adults and nine kids packed up and began the 2 hour hike into the Orongorongos from Catchpool Valley on the Wainuiomata Coast Road. The track is well benched and winds it's way gently up the hill beside the Catchpool Creek. We broke the trip in half and had lunch beside a lovely pool in the sun. The second part of the trip descends quite steeply into the Orongorongo Valley. Everyone coped well and we arrived in the Orongorongo Valley in high spirits. The dog was required to be on the lead at all times due to the Kiwi recovery area nearby. A rough bridge of drift wood logs had been constructed to aid the river crossing and 10 minutes later we arrived at the lodge with dry feet.
Raukawa Lodge is perced on a low terrace looking out over the river. The wood burner heats water for the shower, and the toilet flushes. There are mattresses for 18, eight of which are in a separate bedroom. There is a double ring gas cooker, full cooking and eating utensils including plates and cutlery. This is one seriously nice hut. In the immediate area is a selection of smaller huts starting with the 4 berth Boar Inn at $25 per night. Raukawa Lodge is the top of the range and will set you back $135 per night. Bookings are at the park ranger station, by phone, or online. A clever little online graph will even show you current bookings for all the huts.
This trip comes highly recommeded by all 15 of us.