Yeoman's TrackBeginner - Intermediate
Submitted by Melissa Franklin
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Back country - remote
Undulating, some big hills
Native bushPlantation/exotic forestRiverside
Beginner - Intermediate
The poled route to the river has only been there as recently and apparently the farmer keeps changing their mind about it. Check doc website for status before going as you many have to seek permission (as previously before poled route)
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Starting where you park your car and follow the poled route down to the river. Once at the river go left upstream (keep to the left - don't cross over yet) until you get past the big cliffs (about 1.5km into the run) where you should see a orange triangle across the stream. At this point cross the river and follow the track up the hill. Once finished the climb you should come out to the a foresty road (corner of Wakarara road and Makaroro road).
Continue on Makaroro road and shortly you will see the signpost pointing you towards Yeoman's track on your right. Follow the track until its end, which will be about 9-10km into your run and you will exit on to Ellis road. Go right here and you will shortly come across Ellis Hut (don't forget to sign the visitors book and take a pen, I couldn't sign it as I didn't have a pen).
If you wish to return the way you came, just back track. However, if you are like me and prefer a loop course, continue down Ellis Road (opposite to the way you came). You will eventually come to a cross-road which isn't sig posted. Go right here and continue to take the straight through option until you get back to the corner of Wakarara road and Makaroro road. Go left here following the track you you previously used to come up from the river. Once back at the river cross it and either continue downstream on the right to the start of the poled route up the hill or be naughty like me and just track the old road but to the top of hill (the old road comes down to the river opposite to the where you crossed the river).
Features of interest
Re-generated native forest and pine forest. Ellis Hut
Make Up of Run
Moderate Single Track: 10%
Easy Single Track: 50%
Gravel Road: 40%
Yeomans Track can be accessed from the Wakarara Road End. This is approximately 75 km from Napier. Turn onto Wakarara Road from SH50 and follow for approximately 26.5 km to the end of Wakarara Road.
There is no vehicle access to the Ruahine Forest Park from the Wakarara Roadend. You will need to cross the Makaroro River.
From the carpark, follow a poled route (marked with orange track markers) along the farmers fence line and through a paddock down to the river.
You can park on side of road at the gate that prevents you from driving further down Wakarara Road (you should see an orange triangle on the beside the fenceline on the left)
If you use the foresty roads to return, just follow my instructions and so you don't end up heading in the wrong direction.
Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival bag, Cellphone, Map.
There is actually lots of water on route - the river and many streams you cross (via bridges) on the way. I didn't drink them them myself but given they flow from the Ruahines I believe they would be safe to drink.
This track will get quite muddy and wet in winter and after lots of rain. The river will also run high after lots of rain, so choose a day when there hasn't been much rain previously so you get to cross the river. I only got to do this track after my 3rd attempt to access it. Be also aware there is no cellphone reception for the whole way. When I was there I also saw nobody the whole time. Make sure you take survival gear just in case you can't walk out and let someone know where your ETA (I also left a note in my car for the land owner to find just in case).
All tracks from this roadend require a crossing of the Makaroro River or a walk up the riverbed. It is dangerous to attempt to cross the river when the water level is higher than normal. Also look out for mountain bikers (it is a grade 3 MTB track) and foresty workers on the foresty roads.
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