Pukeatua track clearing

Photo above; getting all the gear to fit on Dave’s trailer was first job

A GWBN team of 6 met at the end of the road to head into the Otaki Forks in western Tararua. The plan was to clear the Otaki Forks end of the Pukeatua track, working from a base at the DOC caretakers house.

Getting all our gear, tools etc down to the house was solved by the generous offer by David Campbell of The Gate to cart it all down on his trailer. And on to the start of the track.

Pukeatua track was initially formed when the Te Aroroa trail was planned to pass through the Fararua forest Park. The track enables walker to exit the forest park after tramping from Waitewae hut, over Pukeatua to the Mangoane road. And on to Waikanae. Or visa versa.

The track is 13 kms in length, and traverses a faily easy ridge after a climb via the fenceline track. Its also an ideal day trip..

We have taken on a one-off agreement with DOC to improve the standard of the tracks from Ohau to Mangoane, that the TA trail follows. (Gable End, Dora, Main Range, Waiopehu and Pukeatua). We have already cleared the Waitewaewae track last summer. Maintenance of the remaining tracks will be undertaken befor summer 2023. Providing funding is obtained. This track clearing is in addition to the scheduled GWBN long term track program.

The team was Brett Gillies, Nic Blair, Derrick Field, John Duggan, Dave McQueen and Jonathan Kloecker. Brett came to help on the first day. Jonathan, from Germany, had recently finished the South Island section of the TA Trail. Over two days half the track was cleared. A couple of days were also spent on the Waitatapia section of the Waitewaewae track, to form some steps on steep sections of the detour we cut while clearing theWaitewaewae track. The track from the swingbridge was given another trim and some regenerating trees removed. Jeremy Collyns came in on Sunday to help survey a more permanent detour around the slip.

With most of the team gone, getting the gear out was via using one of The Gates koha carts. But took two of us to do it, back to the roadend.

The rest of the Pukeatua track will be cleared from the Mangoane end, when weather allows.

Nic on the scrub bar, cleraing the Pukeatua track.

Jonathan tidying up the Waitewaewae track.

John using the chainsaw on the Pukeatua track.

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