Changes in the Eastern Tararuas
My club has been sent the following info from DOC wairarapa..... Can't say I am upset about gas cooking being removed from 3 huts but it seems a bit mean to take all the markers off the 4 tracks they are closing.
A number of changes are taking place in the Wairarapa in the near future. This is for a variety of reasons and we anticipate that these changes will improve the overall visitor experience in the region.
National Visitor Booking System at Powell and Jumbo huts.
After a booking system was trialled successfully at Powell Hut last summer, we are pleased to advise that this service will be available again during the 2012 / 2013 summer period. From August 1st 2012 Powell and Jumbo hut will be made available for bookings between October 1st 2012 and April 30th 2013.
Bookings can be made via the Department Of Conservation (DOC) website (http://www.doc.govt.nz).Be sure to book early.
A Warden will be in attendance at Powell and Jumbo to assist over summer to ensure visitors have a comfortable and enjoyable stay.
Gas removal at Tutuwai, Totara Flats and Mitre Flats huts
Due to health and safety reasons the gas cooking facilities at Tutuwai, Totara Flats and Mitre Flats huts will be permanently removed between the 20th and 31st August.2012.. These facilities are becoming unsafe due to their age and are expensive to maintain.
The Department of Conservation will continue to supply firewood to these three huts, which will provide heating and a cooking source via the woodstoves available.
Closure of Tracks in the Wairarapa Area
After November 1st 2012 four tracks in the Wairarapa will no longer be maintained by DOC.
The four tracks are becoming increasingly difficult to maintain to the standard required and the number of people using these tracks is not high enough to justify the continuing maintenance costs.
The tracks affected are:
1. The Block 16 track between the Tauheranikau river and Marchant Ridge (including the track down the true right hand side of the river)
2. The Ruamahanga river track between SH2 and Cow Saddle
3. The Kaiparoro track (West of Pukaha/ Mt Bruce)
4. The Mt Ross track in the Aorangi Forest Park (end of Ruakokoputuna road.)
These four tracks will have their markers and structures (eg: bridges), removed and will no longer be maintained by DOC after November 2012.
The department is open to any expressions of interest from any tramping clubs or community organisations who wish to become involved in the management of these tracks.
I guess tracks come and (officially) go, but regarding (2) around the Ruamahanga River, if it's where I'm thinking of, the main park entrance for that track follows a marked route across a farm from around Ruamahanga Gorge Road. Does anyone know what the deal is regarding future access to the park over this farm?
Until now, I think specific permission hasn't been required as long as people remain on the marked route and follow the usual farm protocols, but if DoC has no further plans to maintain the track leading in from the far end of the farm, I wonder if those access permissions might also change.
Wow ...big saving .There are no structures on any of the tracks to be "closed"
Why then spend money on removing markers?and signs i guess.
They would be better to get into fixing the road up to the top carpark at Kaitoke, its a shocker.Also the Holdsworth and Waiohine roads are deteriorating rapidly.
The "day visitor "track from Kaitoke to Smith Ck is more like an Army assault course....windfalls , track subsidences and overgrown track make it more an " back country adventurer " track.
Tracks cease to be maintained by DOC but they never close as the tramping/hunting fraternity/J Rhodes keep them open.
What also happens is people still go that way which is fine until the only think they are on the correct ridge/spur. Then the best outcome is tracks all over the place the worst is people you cant find or people stuck in an impossible place.
The Ruamahanga river track between SH2 and Cow Saddle is interesting. Its really a route in the upper section across river rocks but the way across the farm is a major access across private land.
Walking access commission might have something to say about that as its also a way to Roaring Stag etc
Block 16 Ive never done but the number of times Ive heard it mentioned Im surprised its little used.
"the gas cookers are bcoming unsafe"....
Rubbish..either they are safe or they are not.
A registered gas fitter inspects these cookers every year, and they wont issue a compliance certificate if the cookers are not safe.
From memory there is a negotiated access to the forest park boundary from the old SH 2 road across private land.
Block 16 track is still useful as an escape route off Marchant Ridge in bad weather and links with the true right track (to be "closed")down to Smith Ck.This track was used by trampers for over 75 years, but gets little use now because the track to 22y is on the other side of the river.
The bridge at the bottom of Blk 16 was washed away and the only suitable site found was just above the Marchant Stm.
The only other alternative escape route off Marchant Ridge is over Bull Mound , but there is no bridge at the Cone Hut end.
Ive heard of people coming down many different spurs in there just for variety but if you need an escape route you do want it to be a real track. In bad weather you dont want it ending with a major river crossing.
I can easily get hold of second hand venition blinds if someone wants to remark this track the permalot way.
what happened to the omega track in between block 16 and bull mound? coming down bull mound is a pain if you're heading for kaitoke, since it comes out at cone hut
Yes. If DoC staff actually remove the markers, it could easily be a matter of months before someone's re-marked it. There are countless other unofficially marked routes around the range.
i was shown a map that had all the old possum trapper routes.
block refered to the block the trappers were working. numerous spurs had tracks down them,
The Omega track was reopened and remarked , and a sign indicates where it comes off the Marchant Ridge at Omega( i put that sign in) but of course there is no bridge across the river at the Tauherinikau Rriver , like Cone ,and Blk 16 .
I prefer the Omega track if coming or going to Alpha ,if the river is crossable, as it seems to be a more direct route. I have never been that fussed on the Marchant , little water, gets pretty warm in summer , and not to attractive in winter either.
Omega is a good clean track , no mud ,and not much used.
I found an old possum block survey peg at the top of block 18 , Bull Mound when a couple of us were putting markers up. Its now preserved and in my memorabilia.
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