An eastern Tararua sampler – Upper Mangaterere Loop SF
Wednesday 17 May 2023
Our aim was an anticlockwise circumnavigation of the northwest headwaters of the Mangaterere Stream, leaving track travel for the exit (in case we found ourselves running out of daylight)1. From Mangaterere Valley Road end we followed the DoC track to Sayers for just a few minutes before continuing northwest up the valley to join an old track 2,3 which climbs up to and along the watershed spur traversing .550 and .728. Initially the track passes through scrubby vegetation, forest proper commencing at about the 500 m contour. However, the lower reaches had clearly recently received a haircut – perhaps by hunters during the roar - making track following that much easier.
Once in the forest, travel was straightforward: a left turn west at .550, a second left turn southish a few minutes beyond .728, then travel along a broad ridge with a good animal trail in most places. Climbing towards .768, we slowed briefly where a section of ridge line had been opened up by windfall and young beech was vigorously regenerating. Beyond there, a rocky outcrop allowed extensive views of Cone Ridge, Waiohine Gorge, and the main range around Simpson, High Ridge and Holdsworth. Further on there was signage indicating the head of the spur leading down to Totara Creek (which we had descended on a 2017 trip). The weather was balmy in a late-autumnal sense; morning, afternoon and lunch stops all taking place in patches of sunshine.
1 In fact we completed the loop in just over six hours, so no problems with fading light.
2 To get to the start of the climb onto the spur, follow the DoC track to the stream-crossing, cross and immediately turn right (upstream), pushing through a short patch of fern to find a second crossing back to the TL of the stream and a good track leading up valley.
3 My only previous encounter with this route was on a November 2017 MF trip led by John Thomson. John took us down it after an excursion into Totara Creek. Our task, an ascent, was easier.
- Party members
- Colin Cook (leader and scribe), Joan Basher, Helen Beaglehole, Lois Buckrell, Robin Chesterfield, David McNabb, Lynne White.