Introduction

Leitch's Hut is accessible by three tracks in Whareorino Forest allowing visitors to plan for an overnight tramp.

Track overview

Walking and tramping

Various: 3 - 7 hr Advanced: Tramping track

Seasonal restrictions

Mahoenui Track is closed between 1 September - 10 October each year for lambing, as the track goes through private property.

Dog access

No dogs

About this track

Description

Leitch's Track

Time: 3 hr to Leitch's Hut

Access to Leitch's Track is off Leitch Road via Mangaotaki Road (turn westwards at Piopio). From the car park at the end of Leitch Road, the track enters Whareorino Forest. A former surveyed road, this popular and clearly marked track is well graded and the shortest route to Leitch's Hut.

Mahoenui Track

Time: 3 hr to Leitch's Hut

This pleasant track follows the Awakino River from Chris & Jan Barker's farm on Gribbon Road upstream to Leitch's Hut. As conditions can change rapidly, we suggest that you email owners first to find out about any changes (barkernz@xtra.co.nz). The track goes through private property which is a working farm, with parking available at the cattle yards. Ensure that your vehicle is parked clear of gateways.

From Barker’s cattle yards, follow markers through the farm to the DOC land. The track mainly follows the river north to the junction with the Waikawau Track. Cross to the east bank of the Awakino and walk north for five minutes to the hut. In winter and periods of heavy rain the river may be too deep to cross. Check the weather forecast before walking this track.

Access across the Barker's property is closed between 1 September - 10 October each year for lambing.

Access Mahoenui Track off Gribbon Road - turn off SH3 at Mahoenui.

Waikawau Track

Time: 7 hr to Leitch's Hut

Turn onto Crawford Road off Manganui Road. Park on the northern side of the Waikawau River on Littin's farm. Phone the owners for permission first +64 6 752 9737.

Follow the markers along the Waikawau and Mangapapa Rivers. This is a gradual climb with several river crossings. Continue up to the Waikawau Saddle and then descend to Leitch's Clearing. Follow the clearing down to the Awakino River, cross it and walk north along the river for five minutes to Leitch's Hut. In winter and periods of heavy rain the river may be too deep to cross. Check the weather forecast before walking this track.

Access Waikawau Track off Crawford Road, off Manganui Road, Waikawau.

This track has overgrown vegetation, windfalls, and loss of marking in places. Trampers are advised to take care.

Mangatoa Track

Time: 4 hr to Leitch's Hut

From the car park on Mangatoa Road saddle, walk along the gradually climbing track until you reach the Herangi Ridge. The track veers right and drops down past the Waikawau track junction before taking you to Leitch's Hut.

Access Mangatoa Track off Mangatoa Road saddle, either via Waikawau or Marokopa.

Leitch's Hut.

Leitch's Hut

Category: Standard
Facilities: 16 bunk beds, heating, mattresses
Bookings not required - first come, first served

Getting there

Whareorino Forest is approximately 45 km southwest of Te Kuiti.

Know before you go

Keep to the tracks to prevent the spread of chytrid fungus that affects the endangered Archey's frog.

Maps: Use NZTopo50 BF31 (Marokopa ) and BF32 (Piopio)

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