Access: Chester Rd branches off SH2 at Clareville, 2.5 kilometres N of central Carterton, and is well signposted. Mangatarere Rd turns off Chester Rd after 5.2 km. A slightly dodgy concrete ford is reached 11.6 km up Mangatarere Rd, with the road-end 1 km beyond.
Overview: This road-end has no facilities, but gives the quickest access to Totara Flats. [revised October 2015]
First follow the northerly farm road up-valley for 8 minutes beyond the road-end to where an old wash-out forces a crossing. Immediately pick up the track up the spur. Scrub and fern give way to better bush, and an hour and 20 minutes from the stream, the crest of the ridge above the Waiohine Valley is reached. Here the track forks. Both branches lead to Totara Flats. The L (main) branch goes to Sayer Hut. The other, indistinct, branch gives access to the Totara-Waiohine confluence.
The track to Sayer Hut follows the ridge S for 12 or 15 minutes until it drops off down a spur to the R.
Halfway along this ridge section, a lookout gives a good view of the Waiohine Valley, with Cone Ridge and the Main Range beyond. The track continuing further S along the ridge leads towards Waiohine trig and is part of the old Sayer Track leading down to the Kaipaitangata Valley.
From the spur top to the hut, Sayer Track drops steadily, finishing with a 30-minute series of zig-zags. The track is well padded and now often omits some of the old zig-zags. Sayer Hut will be found 5 minutes beyond the foot of the hill in a grass clearing, about an hour from the top and 2½ hours or so from the road-end.
From the track forks above, the indistinct branch follows the ridge N. Twelve minutes or so along this lesser branch, an old track to the Totara-Waiohine confluence turns off to the L. The lower part of this is now so obscure it is better regarded as off-track travel. [revised October 2015]
The mouth of Carrington Creek is 11.1 km up the Mangatarere Rd. Cross the Mangatarere Stream and follow a track, indistinct in places, over flats up the Carrington Valley. After 3 crossings of Carrington Creek and some 10 minutes from the road, watch for a turn L to reach an old tramline above. Another 15 minutes brings the forks. Carrington Track now climbs the spur between the forks. Steep at first, but soon giving good going, it reaches the old Gentle Annie Track at point 801 in about 2 hours. From the spur top, the old Gentle Annie may be followed NW to join the new graded trail. On the descent, pick up the old track from the saddle just E of the Totara Creek Track junction to reach point 801. Turn S and after some 20 minutes, pass a track dropping L to Gentle Annie saddle. From the Carrington Creek forks, follow grass flats and in 2 minutes pick up a track leading to the old tramline. [revised October 2015]
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