Upper Otaki Hut Circuit

Paul and I meet up at South Ohau hut Friday night to do a trip down the Otaki river as far as the old Upper Otaki Hut site, and returned along Oriwa ridge to Waiopehu, then out to Poads Road.

For this trip description I have referenced the sixth edition 1972 map. "Map of the Tararua Mountain System" which gives the location and name of the Upper Otaki hut and Oriwa Lake Hollow.

Whisky for the trip was a young Highland Park which can be found at Meenan Wines & Spirits Ltd from Dunedin. Young as in eight years old, which makes a much more flavorsome whisky. Strength on their web site says 40%, however the bottle I have is 43%.

Friday 09/01/2015
Left Wellington and drove to Otaki after work. Parked car at Poads road and off along the track to Ohau River. Into the river and up to South Ohau hut. One eel spotted. Very easy fast travel due to the river being so low.

Saturday 10/01/2015
We left South Ohau just before nine with a perfect day for a wander down a river valley. Pretty new sign at the Yeates track junction, the old signs where good enough wonder what value it adds and what did it cost to drop the new docware in? The only difference this new sign adds is that it gives a suggested time and adds in Richards Knob. This seems like money wasted.
Yeates track docware
Dropped into the headwaters of the Otaki after ten thirty. Enjoyable travel, excellent weather so we slowed down as our aim was to get to the Upper Otaki hut site and bivouac there. Much stopping for cups of tea, swims, and just looking at the scenery. The river grew as we progressed down to the open flats.
Otaki River head waters
Otaki river
Otaki river
Getting to the mid Otaki
Getting to the mid Otaki
Got to a big flat area and started to look for a place to sleep and we where surprised by the presence of a hut and a picnic table. No one there and it sure beats fly camping.
Two bunk temporary hut
Inside the hut
Only thing to identify the hut
The old Upper Otaki hut site has a toilet planted on it.
Upper Otaki hut site
Wandered off back up the Otaki river to check out Murphy Creek. About twenty meters up the creek on the true left there is a ground trail heading North up to Oriwa. A comfy night with lots of mosquito's buzzing around.

Sunday 11/01/2015
Not far back up the Otaki and we headed up onto the ridge North of Murray creek following a ground trail all the way to Oriwa. Some places we had to use our compasses to keep ourselves heading to Oriwa. It took us an hour and half to go from Murray creek to Oriwa Lake hollow where the old Oriwa biv was sited. Now it is a hydrology station. Stopped here for a brief rest and then on again with more care as from Oriwa to Waiopehu there where a few places where no trace of ground trail existed, however bits of orange or red tape advertised the way. On to Waiopehu hut, where we stopped for lunch.
Otaki down river from old hut site
Otaki up river from old hut site
Murray Creek
Oriwa Lake Hollow

Oriwa Lake Hollow
Oriwa hydrology station

Oriwa hydrology station
Waiopehu looking towards Oriwa
Top of Waiopehu
Waiopehu hut
Trip Times
09/01/2015
1828 Left Poads Road
1919 In the river
1952 North South Ohau fork
2045 South Ohau hut
10/09/2015
0853 Left South Ohau hut
0949 At top of Yeates track
1001 Track down to Otaki river
1034 Otaki river
1518 Upper Otaki hut site
11/09/2015
0758 Left Upper Otaki Hut
0908 Murray Creek
1036 Oriwa hydrology station
1246 Waiopehu
1254 Waiopehu hut
1331 Left Waiopehu hut
1609 Poads Road

Map

Mid Otaki Hut site
Memories
Old South Ohau sign on the ground

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