Pakuratahi Forks to Te Marua
Saturday 16 February 2002
Pakuratahi Forks to Te MaruaThis trip was suggested by Gordon McKenzie and took us into some very steep country on the true right bank of the Hutt River. We parked one car by the river near Te Marua Lakes and drove the other to the carpark at Kaitoke Water Works. We crossed the river by the bridge and took a direct route up the steep hillside leading to the spur which runs NW between Kerekere and Putaputa streams. Franz Hubmann had told us about a track which sidles along the steep hillside from our spur to Putaputa stream. We looked out for the track but unfortunately missed it.
We carried on to the top of the spur, Bump 642. Here we turned left and dropped very steeply over rough country down to the Putaputa Stream. The streambed was a skating rink covered in green slime, so we picked our way downstream very carefully until we reached the forks with the Hutt River. From here we found a broad gully leading up towards the Karikari ridge. This was a steep climb in its lower section but eventually levelled off to give pleasant bush walking above the 500m contour.
We reached the top of a bump at 560m (Ref 917150) and stopped for lunch. Gordonís route went south from here and then dropped down into the left tributary of Kororipo Stream. He warned about big trouble with bluffs if we missed the turn-off. So we very carefully navigated our way south along the spur, picking up some pink markers and following them most of the way down, only losing them towards the bottom where it got quite steep. We had arrived in the left tributary of Kororipo Stream.
Gordon had told us about an old logging track which sidles the true right bank of our tributary. We climbed the true right bank looking for the track, but no luck, and eventually found ourselves on the ridge top. Working our way south along this ridge we encountered thick stands of kiekie and supplejack. We dropped steeply down and ended up in Kororipo Stream about 200m upstream from the forks with the left tributary. There was a cairn in the middle of the stream close by.
We turned downstream past the forks and found the way barred by a waterfall 50m below the forks, but a rope on the true right indicated a possible route, so we climbed the bank up to a knoll (excellent campsite) and a bit further on came across the old logging track. This track is benched but overgrown in most places. Still it provides fast travel all the way along the hillside towards Te Marua. 9.5 hours of bush-bashing!
Party was Bill Allcock, Susan Guscott, Yvonne Ashworth, Tim Stone, Ken Fraser (leader & scribe).