Underhill Road/Bucks Road - Tauherenikau River - Bump 883 - Mt Tauherenikau - Bump 750
Saturday 12 February 2000
This trip was to approach Mt Tauherenikau from the Featherston side of Underhill Road provided the Tauherenikau River was negotiable. From Featherston you turn left along Underhill Road and drive until you meet Bucks Road on the left. Bucks Road leads up and along the TR of the Tauherenikau River finishing at a very popular picnic and camping ground on the terrace above the river.
From the road end (departed about 8.30am) we took the DoC marked track that climbs about 100 metres (by-passing the big horseshoe bend in the Tauherenikau River) and then descends to the river in the gorge upstream, taking about 40 minutes. There is a low level DoC marked wider track which continues along the river terrace leading to further camp sites and the river which we were to use on our return.
We went upriver for about 100 metres to find a suitable place to climb onto the banks of the TL of the Tauherenikau River. We selected a small side stream for the initial climb that required some scrambling until we were up on the river terrace. Bush on the terrace was a dense mixture of supplejack and dracophyllum, that was a challenge in places.
Once we started to climb the bush became easy going with little undergrowth. The map shows a very light green area which we thought might have been scrubby. The spur appeared to have been cleared in places with very small secondary growth now appearing. Some bigger tree stumps had signs of fire at their base. Progress up to point 883 was good going with views in places over the southern Wairarapa. We stopped at 12.30 for lunch about five minutes from Mt Tauherenikau.
After lunch we moved onto Mt Tauherenikau (889 metres) (which is piped and cairned), point 885 and then turned right heading down in a south-easterly direction towards Bump 750 and the Tauherenikau River. The route up the spur is reasonably easy to follow but with numerous new windfalls and storm damage we needed to be reasonably careful to stay on the main spur while descending.
When the spur came to an end we bush-bashed to the right and came out in the grassy scrubby areas above the pine plantations on the river terraces. We could see the picnic grounds across the Tauherenikau River where the cars were parked. We chose to head across the pine paddocks to the edge of the river terrace. We then walked up-river along the terrace and found a good graded farm track what lead down to the river. We then proceeded to cross back to the TR of the Tauherenikau River. Once across the river we popped into the bush and onto the well formed DoC track that lead to the car park five minutes from the river. The important point here was to turn right as the track being well graded does a semicircle to avoid any steep climbing. Turning left lead down river where the track shortly petered out in merging with the river.
We were back at the cars shortly after 4.15pm.
Party members were: Sieny Pollard, Ken Fraser, Colin Cook, Peter Jagger, Margaret Conal, Mike Arnold and Bernard Molloy (Leader and Scribe).