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29 Jul 2009 at 4:04 pm #14858Darren HammondGuest
I am leading a Medium daywalk in the Catchpool area in late August, but I have not been to the area before. Can anyone suggest a walk? I looked at the DOC website and Mt McKerrow (6 hours) seems like a possibility29 Jul 2009 at 5:03 pm #18166Glynne LloydGuest
The following times are from memory and could be wrong.
Head down the main track to the Orongorongo River (45 – 60 mins). Head down the river to Paua Hut for lunch (another 30 – 40 minutes).
From Paua Hut head down stream for awhile (30 – 45 minutes) and take the track that heads up the hill to the western end of Cattle Ridge (you come out near a house). You will need to keep your eye on the map as the track is not obvious from the river and you need to look for where it leaves the river. From the house at the top head along cattle Ridge for about 5 mins to the track that drops down to the car park.
Glynne29 Jul 2009 at 5:06 pm #18167Glynne LloydGuest
Another alternative to the return track described in my previous post would be to return upstream to the main bridge and climb go up on to and head out along Cattle Ridge.
Glynne3 Aug 2009 at 12:42 pm #18168harryGuest
The track that Glynne mentions climbing out of the Orongorongo River up onto the southern end of Cattle Ridge is the Baker Track and it starts a few hundred metres up Matai Stream. (There used to be a short-cut which climbed up the hillside out of the main river about a kilometre or two north of Matai Stream but that seems to be completely overgrown now). Note that this track is actually on private land, not in the forest park. I did this as a day trip with Glynne two or three years ago and we ran into the land owner and he seemed quite happy for trampers to use the track. The bottom park of the track goes through scrub and gorse and it is possible it could be overgrown in gorse by now if the land owner hasn’t run a bulldozer through it recently (it’s a four-wheel drive track). Further up towards the top of Mt Baker it goes through pine plantation (which used to be open pasture land in the days of the old Trampers Marathon,which went this way).
At the top of the hill is a private house, as Glynne says, with a short five-minute link track which takes you through to the southern end of the Cattle Ridge Track and the Butcher Track, which drops back down to the Catchpool car park. Again, the land owner seemed happy for us to go through, but the track does pass right by the house, so if you feel uncomfortable about going though you could always do a bush-bash of a few hundred metres along the ridgetop to the east of the house and join up with the southern end of the Cattle Ridge track (which is in the forest park).