Manawatū

Manawatū

Massey to Levin - OPEN

Northern Start
Old West Rd (SH57), Palmerston North
Southern End
Junction of Gladstone and Poads Rds, Levin
Distance
60km
Time
2-3 days
Track Standard
Road margin   Footpath   Easy tramping track   Tramping track   Route   Mixed grade  
Potential Hazards
  • Vehicles on road or track Stay alert for logging traffic in Gordon Kear Forest
  • Poisons & traps
  • Forestry operations
  • River crossings - Never cross flooded rivers
  • Small stream crossings
  • Track exposed to sun, wind or cold
  • Weather extremes
Description
(North to South)
Old West Road to Greens Road - 10km / 2-3hr

From the carpark on Old West Road follow the Upper Turitea Walkway for a short distance then turn right into Turitea Road.
Follow Turitea Road for about 1km. 300m after the one lane bridge, enter the gate on the left and follow the fenced off riparian reserve strip for 1km. The strip is a mix of developing and new riparian plantings by Green Corridors and Palmerston North City Council. Return to the road at a second one lane bridge, turn left and walk a further 500m along Turitea Road. Turn right into Ngahere Park Road.

About 100m down the road cross the bridge over Turitea Stream, turn left through the gate and after about 10 metres on the right a new track leads up the hill for about 100 metres. At the top there are views over the valley and Tararuas.

Take the staircase down and follow a the  track through the bush. Turn right to join the Turitea Green Corridor Track.  Cross a bridge then turn right and follow the track for about a kilometre though bush where the trail joins again on to Turitea Road.

Turn right and follow the road for about 200m and cross the bridge. The trail passes the entrance on the left to the Turitea Dams (Palmerston North water reservoir, closed to the public). Take the gravel road/track to the right that rises gradually through native bush to the closed road which comes out at the end of Greens Rd. Watch out for mountain bikes on this track.
 
 
Greens Rd to Back Track - 7km / 1.5-2hr
Following Greens Rd through open farmland, the track drops to the Kakuterawa Road junction, then heads up the Kahuterawa Rd past the “Lions Reserve” picnic area following the Kahuterawa Stream. Near the end is the car park which serves as the hub for the Kahuterawa Recreation Area. From here it is a short walk to Black Bridge, where the Sledge Track and Back Track both start.
 
 
Back Track to Burttons Track - 7km / 2-3hr

Cross Black Bridge and follow Back Track, a former road which was closed in the 1960s. It is a steady climb up, mainly through native bush but with some open farmland allowing good views over the Manawatu and some pine forest near the top. Small streams are crossed and altitude rise is 200m before reaching the end of Scotts Road. A toilet has been installed in October 2018 at the Arapuke Scotts Road Carpark.  The final 2km along Scotts Rd leads to the entry to Gordon Kear Forest. From Scotts Road, a stile crosses the fence and an information sign is located just before the bridge over the Kahuterawa Stream.
 The walk to the start of the Burttons Track commences following the metalled forestry road alongside the Kahuterawa Stream.  Keep right at the first "Y" in the road and after approximately 40min from the start take the clearly signposted "Toko Corner Rd" to the right.
 
The Palmerston North City Council (PNCC) has established an approved campsite for TA hikers in Gordon Kear Forest at a 28km walk from Palmerston North and 32 km before Makahika Outdoor Centre.)  It is in a clearing at the junction of Toko Corner Road and Centre Road.  PNCC have built a shelter, (whare) called Motorimu..  There will be a picnic table, rubbish bin.  There is a permrmant freshwater stream at the site. The council will put a Protaloo there from mid November 2018 to end of February 2019 approximately.  For forestry safety reasons this is the only PNCC approved site for TA hikers to camp in Gordon Kear Forest.

  After a 5 minute  walk along Toko Corner Rd the trail enters a recently felled pine forest.  Continue through the forest to a stile next to a locked gate, approximately 1hr walk from the locked gate just past the Loop Road sign post.  Carry on, passing a second gate as you leave the plantation forest behind and enter regrowth native bush.  The track climbs uphill to a stile and a DOC sign at the start of Burttons Track.
 
Burttons Track - 15.5km / 6hr (7hr northbound)

Descends through native forest to Tokomaru Valley. The track crosses the No 1 stream, sidles downstream a short distance and then begins to follow up the Tokomaru River. Remains of an old campsite with rusting iron are passed. After descending to the river and crossing No 2 creek, the track continues to follow the Tokomaru River upstream, clearly marked with large orange triangles.

The track continues on the true right of the Tokomaru River for 15-20min. The trail here is on private land. Firearms are not permitted and dogs must remain on a leash. 

You soon re-enter the forest park and the start of the original Burtton’s Track. Five minutes further on the former Burtton’s Whare site is reached. Considered as midway, it is an ideal site for a lunch break and to absorb something of the history, well described in Ian Argyles book Burtton’s Track.The site of the former swingbridge that crossed to his farm on the western side of the river, that collapsed leading to the death of Jim Burtton in 1941 can be seen.

You may see a cottage on the other side of the stream however THIS IS A PRIVATE RESIDENCE, please stick to the marked route (do not cross the river)  and continue south. The trail here goes over private land and we do not want to upset the owner who has given us permission to go over their property.

From here the track is the historical trail built by Jim Burtton almost 100yrs ago. Mostly benched and of good width through regrowth bush, it follows up the Tokomaru River passing some attractive open clearings. Remains of old bridges and other structures can be seen along the way.

After another 1½hr, a stile is crossed as the track passes out of Tararua Forest Park.

The final hour of walk is 3.2km is along the former Tokomaru Valley Rd (now closed to unauthorized traffic but is sometime used by registered 4WD vehicles) to the junction with Mangahao Rd. 

SHELTER
About 1km back on Tokomaru Valley Road from the junction of Mangahao Road a new shelter called 'Tokomaru Shelter" is  now open to TA walkers. There is a table and five chairs and a visitors book there now.   There is also an outside toilet near the site.
 

Mangahao-Makahika Track - 20.5km / 1 day

From the junction of Tokomaru Valley & Mangahao Roads, walk SW for 2.5km along Mangahao Road, past the Tokomaru No 3 Reservoir (lake) to a small carpark and a short post marking the official start of the Mangahao-Makahika Track. (Note: It is 800m beyond the southern end of the reservoir and 400m past the Tararua Forest Park sign).

From the carpark, the track enters the bush and climbs 15m to a low spur and a track information sign, with distances and a map.

The track continues in a southerly direction for 2.5km passing some fine examples of large rimu trees that escaped the bushman’s axe, before descending and crossing three tributaries of Blackwood Stream (named after the magnificent Black Beech in the vicinity). Note: This is the last drinking water until reaching the Makahika Stream.

The track continues south with an easy and a gradual gain in elevation before veering to the west (passing an area of re-generating Manuka on land that was once farmed), before turning south and following the Makahika Ridge.

Passing spot 657 (the highest point on the track), there are several openings to the west that give an outlook down to the Mangaore Stream along with views of Kapiti and on a good day the South Island is visible.

The Horowhenua Lookout, a small cleared area with seating, is reached after three to four hours walking from the road end and gives a grand vista of Shannon, Horowhenua and the Manawatu.

The track soon drops off with a steady descent of 350m passing Kapiti Viewpoint (Archey’s Lookout) where Kapiti Island, the South Island, the Makahika Valley and Gladstone Road are seen again before reaching the terminus of the Makahika tramline formation. It was near this point that the Bartholomew Timber Company ended native logging in this area of the Tararuas in early part of the 20 century.

From here, the trail follows the former tramline route with benched track and cuttings clearly visible in many places. Several crossings of the Makahika stream are encountered and about 30 minutes after meeting the tramline, open clearings appear amidst the native bush. It was here on 23 February 2008, the Prime Minister, the Right Hon. Helen Clark unveiled a plaque commemorating the opening of the track.

These clearings become more frequent until reaching the park boundary and another orientation sign. Across the river is the former sawmill site.

For the last half hour, the track follows a poled route along an unfenced right-of-way through private land and crossing the Makahika Stream before reaching the stile at the Poulton Drive parking area.

Continue right along Gladstone Road for about 5kms passing Makahika Outdoor Pursuit Centre on right and later turn left when you reach Poads Road.
 

Optional - (route into Levin for amenities/re-supply) - The Arapaepae Lookout Track

This section of Te Araroa crosses east west over Arapaepae and connects the Mangahao-Makahika Track leading north toward Shannon with Levin.

Getting there
Coming from the Makahika Track exit, the trail starts at a locked gate 1.3 km down Gladstone Rd and 300m before the Makahika Outdoor Pursuit Centre.

From Levin, follow Queen St East toward the hill and turn left into Denton Rd. It is 100m to the car park and a further 50 metres to the start of the track

Track Description
The track is 7.3km with an elevation gain of 250m and can be walked from either direction. Easy walking time considered as 2hr30min either way or 5hr return. Being close to Levin, the area is frequently used by local walkers, joggers and mountain bikers.
From the Denton Rd parking area, a sign located inside the locked gate shows the trail route through the Matariki Forest and estimated times.

Arapaepae Lookout   3.5km   1¼hr
Spencer Junction      4.7km   1¾hr
Gladstone Rd           7.3km    2½hr

The trail ascends on a steady gradient through the pine forest until it reaches a junction on the ridgeline (2.3km) where it turns left and follows the ridge north. Adjacent to the forestry road are mountain bike trails with numerous jumps. For safety reasons, walkers are requested to stay off these tracks.

Walking north through the cleared areas, there are views east to the Tararua Ranges and west over Levin and the Horowhenua with the best view of all being from a large cleared area “The Arapaepae Lookout” which is 80m from the Ridge Rd junction. From here Kapiti Island is easily visible and on clear days the South Island, Mt Taranaki and Ruapehu can also be seen.

Following Ridge Rd for a further 1.2 km to Spencer Junction, there are good views into the Ohau and Makahika Valleys. The trail then descends and passes through an area of native bush, designated the Bentons Bush Covenant and managed by the Department of Conservation. Nearing the bottom the trail passes an old rock quarry site and crosses the bridged Makahika Stream before reaching the locked gate onto Gladstone Rd.

Walkers starting from the Gladstone Rd end should allow an extra half hour for the climb to Spencer Junction and a similar time saving on descent from Arapaepae Lookout to Denton Rd

 

 

 

Note: Map is indicative only
Extra Info

Burrtons Track

Please note: This trail crosses private land - Open daylight hours ONLY.  NO Horses, guns, vehicles, fires in forest. Dogs MUST be ON lease. 

General Information
Carparking: There is a carpark on Scotts Road. Vehicles may not be parked on the forest road where there is a locked gate at the track. Any vehicles parked on the forest road risk being towed away or damaged.

SHELTER: The Palmerston North City Council (PNCC) has established an approved campsite for TA hikers in Gordon Kear Forest at the  e 28km walk from Palmerston North and 32 km before Makahika Outdoor Centre.) It is in a clearing at the junction of Toko Corner Road and Centre Road.  PNCC have built a shelter, (whare) called Motorimu..  There will be a picnic table, rubbish bin.  There is a permrmant freshwater stream at the site. The council will put a Protaloo there from mid November 2018 to end of February 2019 approximately.  For forestry safety reasons this is the only PNCC approved site for TA hikers to camp in Gordon Kear Forest.

SHELTER
About 1km back on Tokomaru Valley Road from the junction of Mangahao Road a new shelter called 'Tokomaru Shelter" is  now open to TA walkers. There is a table and five chairs and a visitors book there now.   There is also an outside toilet near the site..

Section Walking Times:

  • To DOC Boundary - 1.5hr
  • To Tokomaru River - 3hr
  • To Burtton’s Whare site - 3.5hr
  • To Mangahao Rd Carpark - 6hr
Direction
Walking south from Scotts Road is easiest for the steepest gradient is then downhill. For walkers going from south to north, an extra 1½hr is recommended due to the uphill climb from the Tokomaru River in the latter part of the walk.
 
Local attractions
From the track end at Mangahao Road. it is 7.7km to the Mangahao Power Station. Also there's the National White Water Slalom Course at Mangaore, 3km east of Shannon. 
 
Mangahao-Makahika Track

Potential hazards: Vehicles and creek crossings.

General Information

Approximate walking times
To Blackwood Stream 1hr; Horowhenua Lookout 3-4hr; Makahika Tramline 5-6hr; Gladstone Road 6-7hr  

North or South
The track can be walked from either direction but is easiest from the Mangahao Road end as the steepest and longest gradient is then downhill.
 
Directions to Track Start/Ends
If using the track as a standalone walk, the best entry is from Shannon. Follow Mangahao Road past Mangaore Village, the National White Water Kayak Course and the Mangahao Power Station. The road then winds steeply for 6km to the saddle before descending 1km to the Tokomaru Valley Road junction. (This is the southern exit of Burtton's Track). Stay on Mangahao Road a further 2km and you pass a large reservoir (be aware that though this is called the Tokomaru No 3 Reservoir, it's the first and only reservoir you will pass).  The entrance to the track is 800m beyond the end of the Tokomaru No 3 reservoir, and 400m past the Tararua Forest Park sign. The start of the track is marked by a short post, and a small parking area. The main sign, giving distances and a map, is 15m into the bush from this start point.

If starting from Levin, at end of Queen Street East, follow around Gladstone Road for about 8km passing the Levin water treatment works and the Gladstone Road Reserve. On the right is Poads Road crossing the Ohau River. Continuing up Gladstone Road and 300m past the Makahika Outdoor Centre on left is the eastern entrance to the Arapaepae Lookout Trail that Te Araroa returns to Levin. It is a further 1.9km along Gladstone Road to the junction with Poulton Drive and the car park and start of the Mangahao- Makahika Track.


Levin

General information:
Levin I-SITE Visitor Information Centre - 93 Oxford St - P: 06 367 8440 - Topo Map Series 260 S25 Levin
 
Getting there/away
InterCity (to/from Auckland) - P: 09 583 5780 - E: info@intercity.co.nz
Naked Bus - P: 0900 62533 (calls cost)
Overlander rail service between Auckland and Wellington - Departs from Train Station - Main Rd, Weraroa,  (SH 1).

Local transport
Metlink - (bus, train, ferry in greater Wellington area) - P: 0800 801 700 
Levin Taxis - 5 Durham St, Levin - P: 06 368 4179

Accommodation Options Available at Levin end (2km detour):
Paradiseonahillside B & B, Gladstone Rd, Levin - P: 06 3688105 or 0274 316812 - E: stephcook.wgtn@gmail.com 
Bed and breakfast available, and extras - washing, drying, transport to resupply/next trailhead, can take bounce boxes.
Levin Holiday Park (camping, cabins & motel units) - 38 Parker Ave, Levin - P: 06 368 3549 - E: lhp@xtra.co.nz 
Totara Lodge Motel - Cnr Devon & Bristol St - P: 06 368 4114 - E: reservations@totaralodgemotel.co.nz 
Panorama Motel - 170 The Avenue  SH 1 - P: 06 368 5401 or 0800 660 220 - E: admin@panoramamotel.co.nz 
Makahika Outdoor Pursuits Centre, is situated approx 1.7 km from the farm exit of the Mangahao-Makahika Section of the Te Araroa Trail. It is a residential leadership camp, booked most Mondays-Fridays, however, all ‘trail-walkers’ are welcome – anytime! We will readily find a bed for you, and worst case scenario we have acres of beautiful grasslands for your tents. You are welcome to have a night of luxury and book the cottage on AirBnB (Makahika Cottage-Levin), or (if available) access one of the 46 bunks in our Lodge.
Available: Hot showers, cold beer, dinner with your hosts, washing and drying facilities, re-stock (you can pre-order by emailing orders to Makahika@xtra.co.nz, you can pay electronically), PLBs on loan and trail knowledge (for the Waiopehu to Otaki Forks sub-alpine section). There is no charge for dinner with your hosts, tenting or a bunkroom, though you are welcome to gift a small koha to be used to support our Youth Justice Programmes. John and Sally Duxfield 06 368 9347 or email jsdux@ihug.co.nz OR Makahika@xtra.co.nz 
 
Resupply:
Countdown Supermarket - 15 Bristol St, Levin - P: 06 366 0050 

 

Requirements
  • Keep to the track
  • Respect private land Part of the track goes over DeCleenes farm
  • Forestry operations - Track may be closed occasionally
  • Open daylight hours only
  • No litter
  • Dogs on leash only
  • No horses
  • No firearms
  • No vehicles
  • No taking plants
  • Camp with care
  • No fires
Environment
  • Take all rubbish with you
  • Bury toilet waste well away from water
  • Kiwis - no dogs allowed
  • Conservation Area - No domestic animals allowed (i.e. includes dogs, cats or birds)
Amenities
(Start)
  • No amenities
  • Roadside parking only On Scotts Road
  • Accommodation in Palmerston North
Amenities
(On Route)
  • No amenities
Amenities
(End)
  • Full range of amenities in Levin
  • No amenities near Trail
  • Accommodation Makahika Outdoor Pursuits Centre, 865 Gladstone Road, Levin
Closest Town(s)
Palmerston North
Managed by
DOC
Contact
DOC Wellington
Thanks to
DOC, Palmerston North City Council & Horowhenua District Council
Northern Start
Old West Rd (SH57), Palmerston North
Southern End
Junction of Gladstone and Poads Rds, Levin
Distance
60km
Time
2-3 days
Track Standard
Road margin   Footpath   Easy tramping track   Tramping track   Route   Mixed grade  
Description
(North to South)
Old West Road to Greens Road - 10km / 2-3hr

From the carpark on Old West Road follow the Upper Turitea Walkway for a short distance then turn right into Turitea Road.
Follow Turitea Road for about 1km. 300m after the one lane bridge, enter the gate on the left and follow the fenced off riparian reserve strip for 1km. The strip is a mix of developing and new riparian plantings by Green Corridors and Palmerston North City Council. Return to the road at a second one lane bridge, turn left and walk a further 500m along Turitea Road. Turn right into Ngahere Park Road.

About 100m down the road cross the bridge over Turitea Stream, turn left through the gate and after about 10 metres on the right a new track leads up the hill for about 100 metres. At the top there are views over the valley and Tararuas.

Take the staircase down and follow a the  track through the bush. Turn right to join the Turitea Green Corridor Track.  Cross a bridge then turn right and follow the track for about a kilometre though bush where the trail joins again on to Turitea Road.

Turn right and follow the road for about 200m and cross the bridge. The trail passes the entrance on the left to the Turitea Dams (Palmerston North water reservoir, closed to the public). Take the gravel road/track to the right that rises gradually through native bush to the closed road which comes out at the end of Greens Rd. Watch out for mountain bikes on this track.
 
 
Greens Rd to Back Track - 7km / 1.5-2hr
Following Greens Rd through open farmland, the track drops to the Kakuterawa Road junction, then heads up the Kahuterawa Rd past the “Lions Reserve” picnic area following the Kahuterawa Stream. Near the end is the car park which serves as the hub for the Kahuterawa Recreation Area. From here it is a short walk to Black Bridge, where the Sledge Track and Back Track both start.
 
 
Back Track to Burttons Track - 7km / 2-3hr

Cross Black Bridge and follow Back Track, a former road which was closed in the 1960s. It is a steady climb up, mainly through native bush but with some open farmland allowing good views over the Manawatu and some pine forest near the top. Small streams are crossed and altitude rise is 200m before reaching the end of Scotts Road. A toilet has been installed in October 2018 at the Arapuke Scotts Road Carpark.  The final 2km along Scotts Rd leads to the entry to Gordon Kear Forest. From Scotts Road, a stile crosses the fence and an information sign is located just before the bridge over the Kahuterawa Stream.
 The walk to the start of the Burttons Track commences following the metalled forestry road alongside the Kahuterawa Stream.  Keep right at the first "Y" in the road and after approximately 40min from the start take the clearly signposted "Toko Corner Rd" to the right.
 
The Palmerston North City Council (PNCC) has established an approved campsite for TA hikers in Gordon Kear Forest at a 28km walk from Palmerston North and 32 km before Makahika Outdoor Centre.)  It is in a clearing at the junction of Toko Corner Road and Centre Road.  PNCC have built a shelter, (whare) called Motorimu..  There will be a picnic table, rubbish bin.  There is a permrmant freshwater stream at the site. The council will put a Protaloo there from mid November 2018 to end of February 2019 approximately.  For forestry safety reasons this is the only PNCC approved site for TA hikers to camp in Gordon Kear Forest.

  After a 5 minute  walk along Toko Corner Rd the trail enters a recently felled pine forest.  Continue through the forest to a stile next to a locked gate, approximately 1hr walk from the locked gate just past the Loop Road sign post.  Carry on, passing a second gate as you leave the plantation forest behind and enter regrowth native bush.  The track climbs uphill to a stile and a DOC sign at the start of Burttons Track.
 
Burttons Track - 15.5km / 6hr (7hr northbound)

Descends through native forest to Tokomaru Valley. The track crosses the No 1 stream, sidles downstream a short distance and then begins to follow up the Tokomaru River. Remains of an old campsite with rusting iron are passed. After descending to the river and crossing No 2 creek, the track continues to follow the Tokomaru River upstream, clearly marked with large orange triangles.

The track continues on the true right of the Tokomaru River for 15-20min. The trail here is on private land. Firearms are not permitted and dogs must remain on a leash. 

You soon re-enter the forest park and the start of the original Burtton’s Track. Five minutes further on the former Burtton’s Whare site is reached. Considered as midway, it is an ideal site for a lunch break and to absorb something of the history, well described in Ian Argyles book Burtton’s Track.The site of the former swingbridge that crossed to his farm on the western side of the river, that collapsed leading to the death of Jim Burtton in 1941 can be seen.

You may see a cottage on the other side of the stream however THIS IS A PRIVATE RESIDENCE, please stick to the marked route (do not cross the river)  and continue south. The trail here goes over private land and we do not want to upset the owner who has given us permission to go over their property.

From here the track is the historical trail built by Jim Burtton almost 100yrs ago. Mostly benched and of good width through regrowth bush, it follows up the Tokomaru River passing some attractive open clearings. Remains of old bridges and other structures can be seen along the way.

After another 1½hr, a stile is crossed as the track passes out of Tararua Forest Park.

The final hour of walk is 3.2km is along the former Tokomaru Valley Rd (now closed to unauthorized traffic but is sometime used by registered 4WD vehicles) to the junction with Mangahao Rd. 

SHELTER
About 1km back on Tokomaru Valley Road from the junction of Mangahao Road a new shelter called 'Tokomaru Shelter" is  now open to TA walkers. There is a table and five chairs and a visitors book there now.   There is also an outside toilet near the site.
 

Mangahao-Makahika Track - 20.5km / 1 day

From the junction of Tokomaru Valley & Mangahao Roads, walk SW for 2.5km along Mangahao Road, past the Tokomaru No 3 Reservoir (lake) to a small carpark and a short post marking the official start of the Mangahao-Makahika Track. (Note: It is 800m beyond the southern end of the reservoir and 400m past the Tararua Forest Park sign).

From the carpark, the track enters the bush and climbs 15m to a low spur and a track information sign, with distances and a map.

The track continues in a southerly direction for 2.5km passing some fine examples of large rimu trees that escaped the bushman’s axe, before descending and crossing three tributaries of Blackwood Stream (named after the magnificent Black Beech in the vicinity). Note: This is the last drinking water until reaching the Makahika Stream.

The track continues south with an easy and a gradual gain in elevation before veering to the west (passing an area of re-generating Manuka on land that was once farmed), before turning south and following the Makahika Ridge.

Passing spot 657 (the highest point on the track), there are several openings to the west that give an outlook down to the Mangaore Stream along with views of Kapiti and on a good day the South Island is visible.

The Horowhenua Lookout, a small cleared area with seating, is reached after three to four hours walking from the road end and gives a grand vista of Shannon, Horowhenua and the Manawatu.

The track soon drops off with a steady descent of 350m passing Kapiti Viewpoint (Archey’s Lookout) where Kapiti Island, the South Island, the Makahika Valley and Gladstone Road are seen again before reaching the terminus of the Makahika tramline formation. It was near this point that the Bartholomew Timber Company ended native logging in this area of the Tararuas in early part of the 20 century.

From here, the trail follows the former tramline route with benched track and cuttings clearly visible in many places. Several crossings of the Makahika stream are encountered and about 30 minutes after meeting the tramline, open clearings appear amidst the native bush. It was here on 23 February 2008, the Prime Minister, the Right Hon. Helen Clark unveiled a plaque commemorating the opening of the track.

These clearings become more frequent until reaching the park boundary and another orientation sign. Across the river is the former sawmill site.

For the last half hour, the track follows a poled route along an unfenced right-of-way through private land and crossing the Makahika Stream before reaching the stile at the Poulton Drive parking area.

Continue right along Gladstone Road for about 5kms passing Makahika Outdoor Pursuit Centre on right and later turn left when you reach Poads Road.
 

Optional - (route into Levin for amenities/re-supply) - The Arapaepae Lookout Track

This section of Te Araroa crosses east west over Arapaepae and connects the Mangahao-Makahika Track leading north toward Shannon with Levin.

Getting there
Coming from the Makahika Track exit, the trail starts at a locked gate 1.3 km down Gladstone Rd and 300m before the Makahika Outdoor Pursuit Centre.

From Levin, follow Queen St East toward the hill and turn left into Denton Rd. It is 100m to the car park and a further 50 metres to the start of the track

Track Description
The track is 7.3km with an elevation gain of 250m and can be walked from either direction. Easy walking time considered as 2hr30min either way or 5hr return. Being close to Levin, the area is frequently used by local walkers, joggers and mountain bikers.
From the Denton Rd parking area, a sign located inside the locked gate shows the trail route through the Matariki Forest and estimated times.

Arapaepae Lookout   3.5km   1¼hr
Spencer Junction      4.7km   1¾hr
Gladstone Rd           7.3km    2½hr

The trail ascends on a steady gradient through the pine forest until it reaches a junction on the ridgeline (2.3km) where it turns left and follows the ridge north. Adjacent to the forestry road are mountain bike trails with numerous jumps. For safety reasons, walkers are requested to stay off these tracks.

Walking north through the cleared areas, there are views east to the Tararua Ranges and west over Levin and the Horowhenua with the best view of all being from a large cleared area “The Arapaepae Lookout” which is 80m from the Ridge Rd junction. From here Kapiti Island is easily visible and on clear days the South Island, Mt Taranaki and Ruapehu can also be seen.

Following Ridge Rd for a further 1.2 km to Spencer Junction, there are good views into the Ohau and Makahika Valleys. The trail then descends and passes through an area of native bush, designated the Bentons Bush Covenant and managed by the Department of Conservation. Nearing the bottom the trail passes an old rock quarry site and crosses the bridged Makahika Stream before reaching the locked gate onto Gladstone Rd.

Walkers starting from the Gladstone Rd end should allow an extra half hour for the climb to Spencer Junction and a similar time saving on descent from Arapaepae Lookout to Denton Rd

 

 

 

Potential Hazards
  • Vehicles on road or track Stay alert for logging traffic in Gordon Kear Forest
  • Poisons & traps
  • Forestry operations
  • River crossings - Never cross flooded rivers
  • Small stream crossings
  • Track exposed to sun, wind or cold
  • Weather extremes
Description
(North to South)
Old West Road to Greens Road - 10km / 2-3hr

From the carpark on Old West Road follow the Upper Turitea Walkway for a short distance then turn right into Turitea Road.
Follow Turitea Road for about 1km. 300m after the one lane bridge, enter the gate on the left and follow the fenced off riparian reserve strip for 1km. The strip is a mix of developing and new riparian plantings by Green Corridors and Palmerston North City Council. Return to the road at a second one lane bridge, turn left and walk a further 500m along Turitea Road. Turn right into Ngahere Park Road.

About 100m down the road cross the bridge over Turitea Stream, turn left through the gate and after about 10 metres on the right a new track leads up the hill for about 100 metres. At the top there are views over the valley and Tararuas.

Take the staircase down and follow a the  track through the bush. Turn right to join the Turitea Green Corridor Track.  Cross a bridge then turn right and follow the track for about a kilometre though bush where the trail joins again on to Turitea Road.

Turn right and follow the road for about 200m and cross the bridge. The trail passes the entrance on the left to the Turitea Dams (Palmerston North water reservoir, closed to the public). Take the gravel road/track to the right that rises gradually through native bush to the closed road which comes out at the end of Greens Rd. Watch out for mountain bikes on this track.
 
 
Greens Rd to Back Track - 7km / 1.5-2hr
Following Greens Rd through open farmland, the track drops to the Kakuterawa Road junction, then heads up the Kahuterawa Rd past the “Lions Reserve” picnic area following the Kahuterawa Stream. Near the end is the car park which serves as the hub for the Kahuterawa Recreation Area. From here it is a short walk to Black Bridge, where the Sledge Track and Back Track both start.
 
 
Back Track to Burttons Track - 7km / 2-3hr

Cross Black Bridge and follow Back Track, a former road which was closed in the 1960s. It is a steady climb up, mainly through native bush but with some open farmland allowing good views over the Manawatu and some pine forest near the top. Small streams are crossed and altitude rise is 200m before reaching the end of Scotts Road. A toilet has been installed in October 2018 at the Arapuke Scotts Road Carpark.  The final 2km along Scotts Rd leads to the entry to Gordon Kear Forest. From Scotts Road, a stile crosses the fence and an information sign is located just before the bridge over the Kahuterawa Stream.
 The walk to the start of the Burttons Track commences following the metalled forestry road alongside the Kahuterawa Stream.  Keep right at the first "Y" in the road and after approximately 40min from the start take the clearly signposted "Toko Corner Rd" to the right.
 
The Palmerston North City Council (PNCC) has established an approved campsite for TA hikers in Gordon Kear Forest at a 28km walk from Palmerston North and 32 km before Makahika Outdoor Centre.)  It is in a clearing at the junction of Toko Corner Road and Centre Road.  PNCC have built a shelter, (whare) called Motorimu..  There will be a picnic table, rubbish bin.  There is a permrmant freshwater stream at the site. The council will put a Protaloo there from mid November 2018 to end of February 2019 approximately.  For forestry safety reasons this is the only PNCC approved site for TA hikers to camp in Gordon Kear Forest.

  After a 5 minute  walk along Toko Corner Rd the trail enters a recently felled pine forest.  Continue through the forest to a stile next to a locked gate, approximately 1hr walk from the locked gate just past the Loop Road sign post.  Carry on, passing a second gate as you leave the plantation forest behind and enter regrowth native bush.  The track climbs uphill to a stile and a DOC sign at the start of Burttons Track.
 
Burttons Track - 15.5km / 6hr (7hr northbound)

Descends through native forest to Tokomaru Valley. The track crosses the No 1 stream, sidles downstream a short distance and then begins to follow up the Tokomaru River. Remains of an old campsite with rusting iron are passed. After descending to the river and crossing No 2 creek, the track continues to follow the Tokomaru River upstream, clearly marked with large orange triangles.

The track continues on the true right of the Tokomaru River for 15-20min. The trail here is on private land. Firearms are not permitted and dogs must remain on a leash. 

You soon re-enter the forest park and the start of the original Burtton’s Track. Five minutes further on the former Burtton’s Whare site is reached. Considered as midway, it is an ideal site for a lunch break and to absorb something of the history, well described in Ian Argyles book Burtton’s Track.The site of the former swingbridge that crossed to his farm on the western side of the river, that collapsed leading to the death of Jim Burtton in 1941 can be seen.

You may see a cottage on the other side of the stream however THIS IS A PRIVATE RESIDENCE, please stick to the marked route (do not cross the river)  and continue south. The trail here goes over private land and we do not want to upset the owner who has given us permission to go over their property.

From here the track is the historical trail built by Jim Burtton almost 100yrs ago. Mostly benched and of good width through regrowth bush, it follows up the Tokomaru River passing some attractive open clearings. Remains of old bridges and other structures can be seen along the way.

After another 1½hr, a stile is crossed as the track passes out of Tararua Forest Park.

The final hour of walk is 3.2km is along the former Tokomaru Valley Rd (now closed to unauthorized traffic but is sometime used by registered 4WD vehicles) to the junction with Mangahao Rd. 

SHELTER
About 1km back on Tokomaru Valley Road from the junction of Mangahao Road a new shelter called 'Tokomaru Shelter" is  now open to TA walkers. There is a table and five chairs and a visitors book there now.   There is also an outside toilet near the site.
 

Mangahao-Makahika Track - 20.5km / 1 day

From the junction of Tokomaru Valley & Mangahao Roads, walk SW for 2.5km along Mangahao Road, past the Tokomaru No 3 Reservoir (lake) to a small carpark and a short post marking the official start of the Mangahao-Makahika Track. (Note: It is 800m beyond the southern end of the reservoir and 400m past the Tararua Forest Park sign).

From the carpark, the track enters the bush and climbs 15m to a low spur and a track information sign, with distances and a map.

The track continues in a southerly direction for 2.5km passing some fine examples of large rimu trees that escaped the bushman’s axe, before descending and crossing three tributaries of Blackwood Stream (named after the magnificent Black Beech in the vicinity). Note: This is the last drinking water until reaching the Makahika Stream.

The track continues south with an easy and a gradual gain in elevation before veering to the west (passing an area of re-generating Manuka on land that was once farmed), before turning south and following the Makahika Ridge.

Passing spot 657 (the highest point on the track), there are several openings to the west that give an outlook down to the Mangaore Stream along with views of Kapiti and on a good day the South Island is visible.

The Horowhenua Lookout, a small cleared area with seating, is reached after three to four hours walking from the road end and gives a grand vista of Shannon, Horowhenua and the Manawatu.

The track soon drops off with a steady descent of 350m passing Kapiti Viewpoint (Archey’s Lookout) where Kapiti Island, the South Island, the Makahika Valley and Gladstone Road are seen again before reaching the terminus of the Makahika tramline formation. It was near this point that the Bartholomew Timber Company ended native logging in this area of the Tararuas in early part of the 20 century.

From here, the trail follows the former tramline route with benched track and cuttings clearly visible in many places. Several crossings of the Makahika stream are encountered and about 30 minutes after meeting the tramline, open clearings appear amidst the native bush. It was here on 23 February 2008, the Prime Minister, the Right Hon. Helen Clark unveiled a plaque commemorating the opening of the track.

These clearings become more frequent until reaching the park boundary and another orientation sign. Across the river is the former sawmill site.

For the last half hour, the track follows a poled route along an unfenced right-of-way through private land and crossing the Makahika Stream before reaching the stile at the Poulton Drive parking area.

Continue right along Gladstone Road for about 5kms passing Makahika Outdoor Pursuit Centre on right and later turn left when you reach Poads Road.
 

Optional - (route into Levin for amenities/re-supply) - The Arapaepae Lookout Track

This section of Te Araroa crosses east west over Arapaepae and connects the Mangahao-Makahika Track leading north toward Shannon with Levin.

Getting there
Coming from the Makahika Track exit, the trail starts at a locked gate 1.3 km down Gladstone Rd and 300m before the Makahika Outdoor Pursuit Centre.

From Levin, follow Queen St East toward the hill and turn left into Denton Rd. It is 100m to the car park and a further 50 metres to the start of the track

Track Description
The track is 7.3km with an elevation gain of 250m and can be walked from either direction. Easy walking time considered as 2hr30min either way or 5hr return. Being close to Levin, the area is frequently used by local walkers, joggers and mountain bikers.
From the Denton Rd parking area, a sign located inside the locked gate shows the trail route through the Matariki Forest and estimated times.

Arapaepae Lookout   3.5km   1¼hr
Spencer Junction      4.7km   1¾hr
Gladstone Rd           7.3km    2½hr

The trail ascends on a steady gradient through the pine forest until it reaches a junction on the ridgeline (2.3km) where it turns left and follows the ridge north. Adjacent to the forestry road are mountain bike trails with numerous jumps. For safety reasons, walkers are requested to stay off these tracks.

Walking north through the cleared areas, there are views east to the Tararua Ranges and west over Levin and the Horowhenua with the best view of all being from a large cleared area “The Arapaepae Lookout” which is 80m from the Ridge Rd junction. From here Kapiti Island is easily visible and on clear days the South Island, Mt Taranaki and Ruapehu can also be seen.

Following Ridge Rd for a further 1.2 km to Spencer Junction, there are good views into the Ohau and Makahika Valleys. The trail then descends and passes through an area of native bush, designated the Bentons Bush Covenant and managed by the Department of Conservation. Nearing the bottom the trail passes an old rock quarry site and crosses the bridged Makahika Stream before reaching the locked gate onto Gladstone Rd.

Walkers starting from the Gladstone Rd end should allow an extra half hour for the climb to Spencer Junction and a similar time saving on descent from Arapaepae Lookout to Denton Rd

 

 

 

Note: Map is indicative only
Extra Info

Burrtons Track

Please note: This trail crosses private land - Open daylight hours ONLY.  NO Horses, guns, vehicles, fires in forest. Dogs MUST be ON lease. 

General Information
Carparking: There is a carpark on Scotts Road. Vehicles may not be parked on the forest road where there is a locked gate at the track. Any vehicles parked on the forest road risk being towed away or damaged.

SHELTER: The Palmerston North City Council (PNCC) has established an approved campsite for TA hikers in Gordon Kear Forest at the  e 28km walk from Palmerston North and 32 km before Makahika Outdoor Centre.) It is in a clearing at the junction of Toko Corner Road and Centre Road.  PNCC have built a shelter, (whare) called Motorimu..  There will be a picnic table, rubbish bin.  There is a permrmant freshwater stream at the site. The council will put a Protaloo there from mid November 2018 to end of February 2019 approximately.  For forestry safety reasons this is the only PNCC approved site for TA hikers to camp in Gordon Kear Forest.

SHELTER
About 1km back on Tokomaru Valley Road from the junction of Mangahao Road a new shelter called 'Tokomaru Shelter" is  now open to TA walkers. There is a table and five chairs and a visitors book there now.   There is also an outside toilet near the site..

Section Walking Times:

  • To DOC Boundary - 1.5hr
  • To Tokomaru River - 3hr
  • To Burtton’s Whare site - 3.5hr
  • To Mangahao Rd Carpark - 6hr
Direction
Walking south from Scotts Road is easiest for the steepest gradient is then downhill. For walkers going from south to north, an extra 1½hr is recommended due to the uphill climb from the Tokomaru River in the latter part of the walk.
 
Local attractions
From the track end at Mangahao Road. it is 7.7km to the Mangahao Power Station. Also there's the National White Water Slalom Course at Mangaore, 3km east of Shannon. 
 
Mangahao-Makahika Track

Potential hazards: Vehicles and creek crossings.

General Information

Approximate walking times
To Blackwood Stream 1hr; Horowhenua Lookout 3-4hr; Makahika Tramline 5-6hr; Gladstone Road 6-7hr  

North or South
The track can be walked from either direction but is easiest from the Mangahao Road end as the steepest and longest gradient is then downhill.
 
Directions to Track Start/Ends
If using the track as a standalone walk, the best entry is from Shannon. Follow Mangahao Road past Mangaore Village, the National White Water Kayak Course and the Mangahao Power Station. The road then winds steeply for 6km to the saddle before descending 1km to the Tokomaru Valley Road junction. (This is the southern exit of Burtton's Track). Stay on Mangahao Road a further 2km and you pass a large reservoir (be aware that though this is called the Tokomaru No 3 Reservoir, it's the first and only reservoir you will pass).  The entrance to the track is 800m beyond the end of the Tokomaru No 3 reservoir, and 400m past the Tararua Forest Park sign. The start of the track is marked by a short post, and a small parking area. The main sign, giving distances and a map, is 15m into the bush from this start point.

If starting from Levin, at end of Queen Street East, follow around Gladstone Road for about 8km passing the Levin water treatment works and the Gladstone Road Reserve. On the right is Poads Road crossing the Ohau River. Continuing up Gladstone Road and 300m past the Makahika Outdoor Centre on left is the eastern entrance to the Arapaepae Lookout Trail that Te Araroa returns to Levin. It is a further 1.9km along Gladstone Road to the junction with Poulton Drive and the car park and start of the Mangahao- Makahika Track.


Levin

General information:
Levin I-SITE Visitor Information Centre - 93 Oxford St - P: 06 367 8440 - Topo Map Series 260 S25 Levin
 
Getting there/away
InterCity (to/from Auckland) - P: 09 583 5780 - E: info@intercity.co.nz
Naked Bus - P: 0900 62533 (calls cost)
Overlander rail service between Auckland and Wellington - Departs from Train Station - Main Rd, Weraroa,  (SH 1).

Local transport
Metlink - (bus, train, ferry in greater Wellington area) - P: 0800 801 700 
Levin Taxis - 5 Durham St, Levin - P: 06 368 4179

Accommodation Options Available at Levin end (2km detour):
Paradiseonahillside B & B, Gladstone Rd, Levin - P: 06 3688105 or 0274 316812 - E: stephcook.wgtn@gmail.com 
Bed and breakfast available, and extras - washing, drying, transport to resupply/next trailhead, can take bounce boxes.
Levin Holiday Park (camping, cabins & motel units) - 38 Parker Ave, Levin - P: 06 368 3549 - E: lhp@xtra.co.nz 
Totara Lodge Motel - Cnr Devon & Bristol St - P: 06 368 4114 - E: reservations@totaralodgemotel.co.nz 
Panorama Motel - 170 The Avenue  SH 1 - P: 06 368 5401 or 0800 660 220 - E: admin@panoramamotel.co.nz 
Makahika Outdoor Pursuits Centre, is situated approx 1.7 km from the farm exit of the Mangahao-Makahika Section of the Te Araroa Trail. It is a residential leadership camp, booked most Mondays-Fridays, however, all ‘trail-walkers’ are welcome – anytime! We will readily find a bed for you, and worst case scenario we have acres of beautiful grasslands for your tents. You are welcome to have a night of luxury and book the cottage on AirBnB (Makahika Cottage-Levin), or (if available) access one of the 46 bunks in our Lodge.
Available: Hot showers, cold beer, dinner with your hosts, washing and drying facilities, re-stock (you can pre-order by emailing orders to Makahika@xtra.co.nz, you can pay electronically), PLBs on loan and trail knowledge (for the Waiopehu to Otaki Forks sub-alpine section). There is no charge for dinner with your hosts, tenting or a bunkroom, though you are welcome to gift a small koha to be used to support our Youth Justice Programmes. John and Sally Duxfield 06 368 9347 or email jsdux@ihug.co.nz OR Makahika@xtra.co.nz 
 
Resupply:
Countdown Supermarket - 15 Bristol St, Levin - P: 06 366 0050 

 

Requirements
  • Keep to the track
  • Respect private land Part of the track goes over DeCleenes farm
  • Forestry operations - Track may be closed occasionally
  • Open daylight hours only
  • No litter
  • Dogs on leash only
  • No horses
  • No firearms
  • No vehicles
  • No taking plants
  • Camp with care
  • No fires
Environment
  • Take all rubbish with you
  • Bury toilet waste well away from water
  • Kiwis - no dogs allowed
  • Conservation Area - No domestic animals allowed (i.e. includes dogs, cats or birds)
Amenities
(Start)
  • No amenities
  • Roadside parking only On Scotts Road
  • Accommodation in Palmerston North
Amenities
(On Route)
  • No amenities
Amenities
(End)
  • Full range of amenities in Levin
  • No amenities near Trail
  • Accommodation Makahika Outdoor Pursuits Centre, 865 Gladstone Road, Levin
Closest Town(s)
Palmerston North
Managed by
DOC
Contact
DOC Wellington
Thanks to
DOC, Palmerston North City Council & Horowhenua District Council