The start of the Orongorongo Track is an ugly mix of gorse and gravel, but it soon enters native forest.
Close to the start, the track descends to Catchpool Stream, and from there, it gently climbs through beech trees and kamahi, with the occasional taller rimu and miro, before descending again to the arched Turere Bridge.
From here, it’s around 6km to Papatahi Hut.
Walkers can choose to walk the Big Bend Track upstream, which winds up the valley before dropping to the wide riverbed at the Whakanui Creek. It is also possible to walk to the hut all the way along the riverbed from Turere Bridge.
The hut is well decked out with pots, pans, crockery and cutlery.
- Total Ascent
- 3-4hr (allow 6-7hr if travelling with young children)
- Papatahi Hut, ($100 - sole occupancy, 10-bunks)
- From the Catchpool Valley, off the Coast Road