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Tararua Tramping Club

Te rōpū hikoi o te pae maunga o Tararua   -   Celebrating 100 years of tramping

Tararua Footprints Tararua Tramper's Guide

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Tararua Footprints front cover
Tararua Footprints front cover

Tararua Footprints A Tramper's Guide to the Tararua Ranges by Merv Rodgers was first published by the Canterbury University Press in 1996.

The Tararua Tramper's guide is maintained and updated by you.
If you have an update for the guide please contact the Chief Guide Paul McCredie -> mailto:ttc [period] chief [period] guide [snail] ttc [period] org [period] nz?Subject=Query from TTC website on 021 477 617
Updates are welcome on the Tararua Tramper's Guide Feedback page

This guide is an aid the tramper (or tangata hīkoi, walker, backpacker, hiker) of moderate fitness who is going on a particular trip for the first time. A few trips are simple road-end walks, but the majority are tramping trips that need boots, pack, and the usual tramping gear. The region covered is the Tararua Forest Park and its foothills, bounded roughly by the main roads along the Wairarapa and Horowhenua, the Akatarawa–Waikanae road, the Manawatu Gorge, and the Remutaka Hill road.

Organisation of the guide

The contents are arranged by the main valleys of the park, and their trips within, are dealt with in clockwise order, starting with the Mangatainoka Valley in the NE, and finishing with the Mangahao Valley in the NW. Valleys are dealt with from their common access point. Access notes are biased towards trampers arriving from the south.

In a given valley, a group of tracks that start from the same general vicinity are normally discussed in clockwise order, and in groups proceeding upstream. (But occasionally different.) Thus in the Waiohine Valley, the tracks near the Waiohine road-end are described first, then those near Totara Flats, followed by those near Hector Forks, and so on.

Tracks are described from the valley from which they climb. Tracks on spurs are often described in greater detail in the downhill direction, for this direction is usually more difficult to travel. Most trips will combine portions from several track descriptions.

The main ridge trips such as the Major Crossings are the next group in the guide, followed by the major river Gorge Trips. The guide finishes with some Extra Bits associated with tramping.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International License.

"Our cooking utensils consisted of two billy cans and a frying pan. Our baking was done on the ground, a hollow was made and over it a scrub fire was kindled, the ashes raked back, the dough was then placed in it and covered over with the hot ashes to bake - the result called damper was not very sightly, but it passed for good bread when there was nothing better. A baking of damper would sometimes last three weeks, so that in such a case, one's digestion was not impaired by eating newly baked bread."

James McKerrow, Pioneer explorer-surveyor of Otago.

[This reminds me, Merv, of the tale from Hector's trip up the Matukituki, where they had prepared sun-dried jerky from sheep they had driven many miles, then killed and smoked. "And it was remarkable how little of it sufficed to satisfy a man!"]


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