Author Topic: Mt Mathews 941m, Orongorongo Valley  (Read 1928 times)

Mt Mathews 941m, Orongorongo Valley
« on: January 05, 2013, 09:03:40 PM »
The Catchpool car park gates close at 8pm and it’s about a 2km walk to start of track.  Doc fortunately met us while completing their security check and let us in to camp at free camp site.  The $10/person tent site with showers but no cabins needs to be booked on line.  Take the very well maintained (pushchair accessible) Orongorongo track to main bridge 50min (cell ph. coverage beneath) and flushing toilets just past. Either head upstream or take the Big Bend track past Turere Lodge (Doc lodge but must be pre booked) & Haurangi hut (Doc hut $80/night sleeps 10 must be pre booked) to Whakanui track intersection 1Hr.  
Cross over the main river and head up river to a Eastern tributary stream where you may find a metal marker.  Bain hut is located on the North-East bank in the trees (it’s the only open private hut, built in 1926 but is very dank).  Head up the tributary stream until you see poorly located orange markers which will lead you onto the bush track on the North (LHS) bank.  A Doc sign ½ way up (about 1Hr in for us) says 2Hr to summit & 2.5Hrs to the coast. From here it was another 1:20 to the summit.  The track just stops, there is no trig but a metal pole stub and geocache being a good sign you are at the top.  All up about 4:20 for us from Catch pool car park though cache book brags a 3Hr trip.
Because it had rained all day the river on our return was now impassable.  We watched an elderly couple attempt a crossing towards us but their legs were swept away (a 1st in 30 years) a few metres from where we were waiting for them so we instinctively grabbed one each and hauled them to safety.  Bill & Alison suggested we had indeed saved their lives and invited us back to their private hut called Ratanui for a cup of tea and wait for the river to recede.  We had such a great time sharing life stories that were invited to stay the night and were provided bedding, food and an open fire till our departure the next morning. Forever grateful to the Stevenson’s for their hospitality and friendship.
Heading down river we assisted some more hut owners unload firewood and were invited to their annual new year’s spit roast bush party and to also stay with them in their hut overnight.  So we bagged another 4 peaks then tramped back in by 8:30pm…See post on Rimutaka for the results of yet another display of the hospitality of the Orongongo Valley private hut owners.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2013, 07:54:09 AM by Sasquatch »