Papatahi Crossing (Joes Hut)

This trip is a continuation of the hut bagging buzz, need to bag Joes Hut (Wharepapa Hut on the map) and the best way to do this is Papatahi Crossing. Didn't even know that this existed until a few weeks back when I was looking for huts in the region that I haven't visited.

Camped at the Catchpool camping ground Friday night, to ensure an early start.

Saturday 27/02/2016
Out of bed at 0600 hours and packed up my tent and stuff, repacked my pack, ate porridge and drank coffee and then off to Papatahi.
Arched Bridge
The arched bridge on Turere Stream is dedicated to those who have died in the Orongorongas, built in 1990.
Looking upriver
Looking downriver
Orongoronga River
Orongoronga River
Took me two hours from the car park to the North Boulder creek, using the Big Bend track, not out in the river. The Boulder creek area is that, a place with some boulders and a nice area for bathing.
Looking up North Boulder Creek
Looking down North Boulder Creek
Its a sudden change from the flat of the river heading up here, and then its a steep climb out of the creek, and mostly its all uphill to the top of Papatahi. Saw a few goats on the way.
View into North Boulder Creek head waters
View South West into Orongoronga
Upper forest as it flattens out (a bit)
Stopped for a snack and drink of water but it was very windy here on Saturday. Then on again with views into the Wairarapa as I dropped down the other side.
View out to Ocean Beach
The track down is for the first 30 minutes nice and easy, then it hits a steeper down hill section thru ongaonga where care is required, lots of goats; and trashed undergrowth. The track ends a bit and then you wander out of the bush into the stream. Not far away is the entrance to Joe's hut.
Marker to Joes Hut
And there it is, looks a bit rough, however it is comfy. Apart from the rat that spent hours of the night chewing away inside the wall. Went for a wander up the hill out towards farm land, then back to the hut and wandered down the river for a couple of kilometers.
Joes Hut
The rat seemed to be above the fireplace in the wall so I decided that while having a dram a  toasty fire may be of discomfort to the rat.
Warm feet
Sunday 28/02/2016
A slow lazy morning as it was so hot early. Did the hut tidy and got some dry wood from the river. Then it was a slow grind up the hill in the heat. Many more goats seen today.
Views of trees
Views thru the gaps
Views thru the gaps
Open forest approaching the top
Patterned hillsides
Erosion and dead trees
Boulder Creek
The pools where Boulder creek joins
 It is a track well worth doing, an excellent chunk of up and down.

Trip Times
Saturday 27/02/2016
0738 Left the car park
0826 Onto the Big Bend track
0934 Up the North Boulder Creek
1107 On top of Papatahi
1232 Joes Hut
Sunday 28/02/2016
0936 Left Joes Hut
1230 Top of Papatahi
1314 Boulder Creek
1325 Stopped at river junction
1359 On again
1445 Onto the track
1612 At the car park

Map Stuff
NZTopo50-BQ32 Lower Hutt

View Larger Topographic Map
And hey! there where no bibles in Joes Hut, clean.

Rimutaka Forest Park Hut Bagging

This is a great place to get eight huts in an afternoon; if your into hut bagging. This trip starts at the Catchpool car park and finishes there. On my way in passed Bill and Jane; its quite good to bump into people you know in the out of the way places.
View from Orongoronga
Once into the Orongoronga River head down stream to Boar Inn.
Boar Inn
Then on down to the last downstream one being Paua Hut, after this its off up river.
Paua Hut
On up to three huts in a quick row, Raukawa Lodge, Waerenga Hut, Oaks Hut (no longer exists), Jans Hut.
Ruakawa Lodge
Waerenga Hut
Oaks Hut - nothing to bag!
Jans Hut
After Jans drop the quick way back into the Orongoronga and head upstream to Papatahi Hut, bypassing Turere Lodge and Haurangi Hut for the homeward journey. For this part I stay in the riverbed as its nice to stop for a few cups of tea on the cruise up river.
Papatahi Hut
Once bagged Papatahi down river and join the track on the true left and second to last hut to bag is Haurangi Hut.
Haurangi Hut
Then down to Turere Lodge and on back to Catchpool.
Turere Lodge
And because the gate shut at eight p.m. and I knew I'd be late, I had my tent in the car and camped the night at the camp ground. In in all a good early evening hut bagging trip.

Trip Times
Saturday 20/02/2016
1648 Left car at Catchpool carpark
1738 Into the River
1750 Boar Inn
1756 Paua Hut
1807 Raukawa Lodge
1809 Waerenga Hut
1821 Oaks Hut
1826 Jans Hut
1919 Papatahi Hut
1954 Haurangi Hut
2014 Turere Lodge
2026 Oronogoronga Track
2119 Catchpool Carpark 

Map Stuff
BQ32 Lower Hutt
Eight Huts in One day/afternoon

Dorset Ridge Hut

This trip a visit to Dorset Ridge Hut, Paul's first time. We had intended to have a wider loop and heading to Park Forks and up to Carkeek, but the power was lacking.

Friday 05/02/2016
Left Wellington and drove to Kiriwhakapapa Road End and walked into Blue Range hut for the night. Had heard that it had been worked on, only change we noticed was the stove replaced.
Latest fire in Blue Range hut
Saturday 06/02/2016
A nice walk down to Cow Creek for snacks and tea then off up Table Ridge way and into clag where we choose our direction with compass, and on to Dorset Ridge hut.

Leaving Blue Range hut
View from Blue Range looking West
Way down to Waingawa
Waingawa River
Turn off to Table Ridge
Table Ridge
Table Ridge
Tramper on sky line
Table Ridge Tarn
Dorset Ridge

Dorset Ridge Tarn
Sign down to Dorset Ridge Hut
Hut in the distance
Dorset Ridge Hut
Sunday 07/02/2016
We left the hut and headed back up onto Dorset Ridge going East to Girdlestone and then NW to Tarn Ridge hut. After stopping for a cuppa at Tarn Ridge hut and then taking a track/route we had never done before down into Arete Stream from a few meters North of point 1313, then East down the ridge into Waingawa River with just a hundred meters of scrub at the bottom.
Tarn Ridge into Waingawa River
Back out on Dorset Ridge
Dorset Ridge Tarn
Tarn Ridge Hut
Cross in need of repair
Arete Forks in far distance
Ridge down into Waingawa
Beginning to see the bush bash
Me having smoko out of the wind, in the sun
A trip in the future Paul lost his camera and the picture of me was used to track down the owner. Thanks to all involved.
Almost into the bush bash
Didnt find a game trail so bash it was
Came out onto a terrace
Waingawa river valley
Waingawa river valley
Waingawa river valley
Not far now
Arete Forks Hut
The Arete Forks hut looks much safer now as the river seems to have taken a turn away from the bank it was cutting into.

Monday 08/02/2016
A nice morning here in the Tararua's, as we make ready to leave the Arete Forks hut.
Looking up the Waingawa river valley
Arete Forks Hut
Arete Forks Hut
Walk out down the gorge, lowest I have ever seen it with only one swim. Took approx 250 pictures on the way down the gorge, to make up for last time when the water was so deep that I left my camera inside my pack.
Stopped at Cow Creek hut for lunch and then off up the hill and out to the car and back to Wellington.
Cow Creek Hut
Map of Trip

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Trip Times
Friday 05/02/2016
2046 Left car at Kiriwhakapapa Road end
2223 Junction
2235 Blue Range Hut
Saturday 06/02/2016
0848 Left Blue Range Hut
0902 At junction
0959 Waingawa drop off
1035 River
1048 Cow Creek Hut
1143 Left Cow Creek Hut
1210 Table Ridge Junction
1340 Out of bush
1547 Tarn on Table Ridge
1645 Top of Girdlestone
1724 Dorset Ridge Tarn
1809 Sign post down to Dorset Ridge
1835 Dorset Ridge Hut
Sunday 07/02/2016
0742 Left Dorset Ridge Hut
0810 At Dorset Ridge sign
0918 Dorset Ridge Tarn
0951 At Tarn Ridge Hut
1037 Left Tarn Ridge Hut
1043 Cross
1155 Off down the ridge
1354 Into the river,  we stopped for a cup of tea along the way.
1715 Arete Forks Hut
Monday 08/02/2016
0928 Left Arete Forks Hut
1409 Cow Creek Hut
1440 Left Cow Creek Hut
1554 Waiangawa sign on ridge
1711 Blue Range Hut Junction
1814 Car park