Old tramway on the Waitewaewae Track
Image: Bev Bacon | DOC
From the main Otaki Forks carpark, cross the swing bridge and climb to the river terrace. After crossing the terrace the track drops to another swing bridge over the Otaki river. The track then climbs again until it crosses the top of a large slip. From here the track sidles across to Papa Creek and continues towards Plateau Creek.
The track then follows Plateau Creek down to Saddle Creek, then reaches the Plateau which is approximately the half way point. On the far side of the plateau the track drops down following the true right of a small stream. At the point where the track eventually crosses the stream you will find a junction marked with large orange triangles. The main track crosses here and sidles around a large bend in the Otaki River to the hut.
The alternate track which continues down the true right is a short cut to the Otaki River. There is no marked track to the hut from there so navigation and river crossing skills are essential along with low river levels.
The track starts from Otaki Forks.
Ōtaki Forks is 19 km inland from Ōtaki township – approximately 1 hr 30 min drive from Wellington or Palmerston North. The easiest turnoff from SH1 is at Ōtaki Gorge Road, just south of the SH1 bridge over the Ōtaki River. The last 5 km of the Ōtaki Gorge Road is unsealed, narrow and windy – drive carefully.
There are several sections on this track are are hard to manoevre and extra care is required.
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.