By Daniel Hunsche, 10 June 2023
Quote: "Something pretty chill because I'm still waiting for my knee to heal" - Chris Russell
In hindsight, bush-bashing up a spur with a non existent track and then bouldering / canoying down a harsh stream was not the skill level expected for a chill walk. But it did make for an amazing time.
Starting off early we drove to the bast of the Ruahine range - Loveday Road end, Where we were initially met with an electric fenced off farm. trusing in past reports we traveresed the muddy farm land and found a safe passage into Raparapawai Stream where we bagan our chill stream walk.
As we trudged up the stream we pass Granges track, and we initially expected to see some signes of human track making from there on out, this was not the case, the doc sign was barley visible in its overgrown surroundings and with only the steady flow of water and a gps guided phone topo map we continued on.
Apparently there is a spur that you climb up to get to the hut, maybe we took the wrong spur (unlikely thx 2 gps) but maybe no sole has ever thought it worthy for a proper track (thanks DOC), but just a scramble up through classic low kiwi scrub and we were at the top, with much complaint from Alex who didnt have the strongest knees and was ill prepared for such a rough time. Little did he know, the decisions made the enxt day would spell more discomfort.
Hut review : Amazing, its got a roof, a place for firewood (all wood was classically wet) a fire (Was filled with plastic meat trays and assorted rubbish from the amazing soles who ventured there before us), the views, you can see the whole Wairarapa and out to the coast, pretty special. I might sound overly critical but it was actually an 8/10 I reckon, just let me remind you to please take your rubish out with you if you are reading this :)
So it turns out that appon reading the intentions book this hut is frequented about once a month, and the most common access to the hut is from Fairbrother Road end and up Oruakeretaki Stream; which would explain why the route we took was so dismal. With this new information we formeda new plan, lets go out via Fairbrothers! Now if you look on a map you will see there are two real routes to get to Oruakeretaki Stream from the hut, the first: take the doc track down till you meet a stream then follow that stream down, or two take some random seemingly overgrown and unused track to a closer stream and then follow that. We chose the first option, more maintained track = better, right?
Nah man it turned into a canyon and we were forever scramblying over steep ledges to get around waterfalls and climbing over big boulders with no real route to get back over them if we did change our mind. Poor alex and his knees, but to his credit, he did live to tell the tale. Chris and his knees however, all good.
once we got out of the canyon it was a pretty chill walk out to Fairbrothers road end, and a simple and quick hitch hike back to the car thanks to a friendly farmer.
So could i recomend this walk ? yea of course! (If you like wet feet) just dont take either of the two routes we took and maybe try hanging a laft at the fork when going up Oruakeretaki Stream and getting close to the hut, but dont take my word for it, because thats the only bit I havent done haha.