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Te U Bivouac, Waioeka Conservation Area

Cosy Te U Bivouac. Photo: Barbara Morris
Waioeka Conservation Area
2-3 days
Te U Bivouac, four bunks
Matahi Valley Road; track starts at car park, southern end of Ogilvies Bridge; exits at the end of Waiotahi Valley Road. Car shuttle required
BF40, BE41
Notes & Map
Te U Biv (pdf, 2 MB)
GPX File
Te U Biv_Wioeka CA (gpx, yo 22 KB)
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If you’re in the mood for a remote tramp-and-camp, an excursion through two splendid Te Urewera valleys to Te U bivvy will get you well away from it all.

Driving to the start of the track deep in the heart of the Waimana Valley is an adventure in itself – a narrow winding gravel road with steep bluffs, the occasional wash-out, maybe a local horse or two and the enclosing bush-clad hills giving a taster of the upcoming tramp.

The trip begins with a short but sharp climb on the Te Pona a Pita Track and down to Waiiti Stream. Once the stream is reached, it’s wet feet and occasionally wet knees for much of the day as you follow it up to the junction known as the Three Forks – the confluence of the Waiiti, the Kaharoa and the Whakapirau streams.

This is also the site of the strategically placed former Kaharoa Pa. The route is now up the Kaharoa. It’s fairly straightforward to follow stream or track through predominantly tawa, rimu and beech forest to the bivvy, a tidy little four-bunker.

Te U Bivouac is located on a pleasant grassy terrace on the Kaharoa’s true left and has plenty of camping space if the hut is busy.

Next day, scramble through slightly rougher terrain up to the headwaters of Kaharoa Stream, careful not to take any side streams in error. Much of the route is obliterated by tree fall, although there are still some old white Permolat markers in place. Eventually a few orange triangles lead the way to Pt553m.

The route is marked all the way to the headwaters of the Waiotahi River and from there it’s an amble to an attractive camping area at the confluence of the Waiotahi and the Paititutu Stream.

Bob’s Bivvy, a makeshift hunter’s camp, offers good shelter for those who forget their tents. It,s an easy wet walk of about five hours down the Waiotahi to Waiotahi Valley Road.