7 Mangatarere road-end and Carrington track
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 a further 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]
7.1 Mangatarere to Sayer Hut at Totara Flats
From the road-end carpark, follow the old farm road N up-valley for 5 minutes to where an old wash-out forces a crossing.
Immediately pick up the track up the spur on the other side.
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.
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, a sign of Sayer's provision for his packhorses.
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. [revised February 2020]
Sayer Hut is a Standard hut, located at -40.945943, 175.394845. It has 6 bunks with heating, mattresses, toilets - non-flush, water from tap - not treated, boil before use, and water supply. Bookings are not required, usage is first come, first served.
Sayer Hut alert
Predator control for eastern Tararua/Project Kaka area
An aerial predator control operation using bait containing 1080 was completed on 2 July 2021. This area is now open – warning signs are in place.
There may be leftover toxic bait and carcasses in the area.
How to keep dogs, other pets and livestock safe around 1080.
This operation is part of Tiakina Ngā Manu, DOC's successful predator control programme that protects vulnerable wildlife. First published on 9 June 2021. Last reviewed on 16 September 2021.
7.2 Carrington Ridge
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 .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 .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]