Image of the December 2015 Wilderness Magazine Cover Read more articles from the
December 2015 Issue
Home / Articles / Waypoints

Shades of green

Tauanui Valley, Aorangi Forest Park, Wairarapa. Photo: Shaun Barnett/Black Robin Photography
Aorangi Forest Park
2.5-3hr to hut
Tauanui Hut (six bunks)
From Whakatomotomo Road, off Lake Ferry Road. Trampers are best to avoid the valley during the roar (March and April), as this is the favourite time for hunters to use the area.

Tauanui Valley, Aorangi Forest Park

The Wairarapa’s Aorangi Forest Park often gets overlooked by trampers, who naturally are drawn to the much larger Tararua Forest Park. However, the Aorangi Range boasts some fine tramping, and often – especially when one of the notorious nor-westers is blowing – experiences better weather. Lying in the rain-shadow of the Aorangi and Rimutaka Range, the vegetation is notably different too.

One autumn I headed into the Tauanui Valley, on the park’s western fringes, headed for the six-bunk Tauanui Hut set in a clearing about halfway up. As I’d set off just after dawn, the slanting light of the early morning sun lit the forest, illuminating the various shades of green and I paused to take this photograph. Such places may lack the scale and grandeur of the Southern Alps, or indeed the Tararua tops, but they have their own, subtle beauty.

Enjoy unrestricted access to all content for just $4.50/month for 12 months

Subscribe now to a monthly website-only subscription for just $4.50/month (normally $6.50/month) for the first 12 months. You’ll receive instant access to all articles, trips, gear reviews and buyer’s guides, and get the Wilderness Wildcard, which offers discounts at more than 20 partners around New Zealand.

Just choose a monthly website-only subscription and use coupon code ‘4fifty’ to receive this special price.

Or view all our subscription options.

Already a subscriber? Login Now.

Discount applies to the first 12 monthly payments after which time the subscription price will revert to the current $6.50/month. Cancel your next payment at any time in your ‘My Account’ page. NZ subscribers only receive the WildCard.