The Te Araroa Walkway is a route that runs the length of New Zealand, connecting Cape Reinga and Bluff through public walkways and tracks. Officially opened in December 2011, the route passes through the spectacular high country in our region.
The Rakaia and Rangitata rivers pose a natural barrier to Te Araroa's trampers in much the same manner as the Cook Straight does, but they also make natural beginning or end points for Te Araroa section trampers. It is really only through-trampers that have to deal with the issue of getting across these rivers. (The Te Araroa website has some travel sugestions and links to operators that may be able to provide assistance, and you can also contact the Methven i-SITE Visitor Centre for help).
Below is some information on the Client Hills Track which starts on the southern side of the Rakaia River and finishes at Lake Heron. Te Araroa's website provides information regarding a connection from the end of this track to the north bank of the Rangitata River. The connection follows Hakatere Heron Road and then Hakatere Potts Road to Te Araroa’s Potts River terminus. Te Araroa Trust is seeking an alternative off road route and will publish details on their site as soon as this route becomes available.
|Northern Start:||Glenrock Stream, 34 km from the Inland Scenic Route 72 following Blackford Road and then Double Hill Run Road.
||Lake Heron car park off Hakatere Heron Road.|
|Tramping Standard:||Tramping Track
This Te Araroa section between the Rakaia River and Lake Heron uses public access easements over Glenariffe Station then crosses the 60,000 hectare Hakatere Conservation Park.
Glenrock Stream to Comyns Hut (5-6 hours)
From the Hakatere Conservation Area boundary the route continues up the farm track to Turtons Saddle at 1120m. Beyond the saddle travel is through Turtons Basin down the true left of Turtons Stream and in the direction of Comyns Hut. There is a tidy 4-bunk A-framed hut not shown on some maps situated near Comyns Stream, a short distance back from the Turtons Stream confluence. It takes about an hour from the saddle to reach this hut.
Continue down Turtons Stream for an hour and a half and descend into Mutton Gully. Cross Turtons Stream where markers direct. From here it's just a few minutes to Comyns Hut (8 bunks).
The current Comyns Hut was built in 1957 to replace the original and derelict hut that was built in the 1890s and still stands nearby. The hut is basic but was improved following restoration work in 2008. The hut walls act as an informal and historic register and make interesting reading.
The track departs Round Hill Stream near the Logan Stream confluence and ascends towards Clent Hills Saddle (1480m). On a clear day the saddle affords great views of the Longman Range, Ricki Spur and the wider Lake Heron Basin.
The walk down from the saddle towards Double Hut follows marker poles and takes 3 or more hours. Double Hut has 6 bunks and is in reasonable condition.
|Potential Hazards:||River crossings - never cross flooded river. Track exposed to sun, wind or cold.
|Amenities (Start):||Roadside parking only
|Amenities (End):||Carpark, Toliets, Standard Campsite nearby at Arrowsmith Station