4 hr return
5.2 km one way
Time for a break, on the way to
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.
Take the Coast Road to Catchpool Valley, 12 km south of Wainuiomata in the Hutt Valley.
Plan and prepare
The Catchpool Valley park gates close at 6:00 pm (8:00 pm during daylight saving) and reopen at 8.00 am.
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.
Guides and commercial tourism providers