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One of the most popular walks in New Zealand, this well developed track passes through different types of bush, leading to the Orongorongo Valley.

Track overview

5.2 km one way

Walking and tramping

2 hr one way Easy: Walking track

Seasonal restrictions

Entrance gates to Catchpool Valley are open summer 6am-8pm; winter 6am-6pm

Dog access

Dogs on a leash only

About this track


Group walking the track. Photo: Ligs Hoffman
Time for a break on the way to
the river

The Orongorongo Track is the most popular in Rimutaka Forest Park. It is of easy grade and allows for a pleasant day trip to the Orongorongo Valley and back to the Catchpool carpark. For the first hour and a half the track climbs through the mixed podocarp and broadleaf forest along Catchpool Stream. The damper floor of the Catchpool Valley supports many nikau palms, tree ferns, kamahi and tawa trees.

As you climb up to the drier sides of Cattle Ridge, the forest is more open and consists mainly of hard beech. Look out for a magnificent grove of huge northern rata trees towering above the forest canopy as the track reaches its highest point in the saddle between Catchpool Valley and the Orongorongo River. There are safe swimming holes at Turere Stream at the end of the track.

You'll find the Catchpool Loop Track signposted 15 minutes down the track.

Butcher Track begins about 10 minutes along the way.

Getting there

Take the Coast Road to Catchpool Valley, 12 km south of Wainuiomata in the Hutt Valley.

Know before you go

Before you go into the outdoors, tell someone your plans and leave a date to raise the alarm if you haven't returned. To do this, use the New Zealand Outdoors Intentions process on the AdventureSmart website. It is endorsed by New Zealand's search and rescue agencies and provides three simple options to tell someone you trust the details about your trip.


Pōneke / Wellington Visitor Centre
Phone:      +64 4 384 7770
Address:   18 Manners Street
Full office details
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