We cruised lazily up the Mangatainoka Valley, soaking in scenery. The track seems to be perpetually boggy at the start, but is otherwise in a very good condition without the obnoxious maintainence levels of some of the popular easy tracks in the Tararua's.
Not far from the first swing bridge, there's now a big slip where there was once a small stream. The slip can be easily walked over (no diverting necessary).
The uphill slog following the second swing bridge is as annoying as ever, but doable with out too much hassle even for those as unfit as ourselves. About halfway to the track junction the track lessens in steepness.
The track from the junction to Herepai Hut is mostly flat (if a little uneven) most of the way, but climbs a bit before reaching the Hut. Once again the scenery, although generic, is quietly beautiful.
|View over the Ruapae Stream (and maybe Ruamahanga River) from a look-out just below the hut.|
|Ruapae Stream again|
|Relatively new geocache by the 2nd swingbridge|
We reached the roadend some time after 2pm, after a thoroughly enjoyable re-introduction to tramping.
Data taken from the GPS on the return journey:
Distance walked: 5.88km
Walking time: 2hr, 38min (3hr, 4min total)
Average walking speed: 3.0km/hr
|GPS Recorded track|
We filmed the 4th (and so far best) episode of Vaguely Dangerous Wilderness on this trip: