Rad Ruahine RambleIntermediate
Submitted by Rosie Rochester
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Front country - easily accessible
Native bushRiversideOpen farmlandsOpen ridges/tops
Shut all gates. Dog permit is necessary
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The run starts at the Ruahine Forest park DOC sign. If you start early morning you will be greeted by the most spectacular sunrise with views as far as the eyes can see, right across to Mt Taranaki, Mt Ruapehu and Ngarahoe. It's an 8km 4WD track uphill, through the forest with views most of the way up to kick it off.
At around 8.4km turn left at the Stanfield Hut DOC sign. It's an awesome run along the leatherwood tops then dropping all the way down to the hut, which gets quite muddy in places and typical Ruahine rooty technical stuff for a large chunk! It'll definitely slow you down and is not really runnable unless you have mean as skills!! Good fun!.
The track continues on behind the hut where you'll drop down to the stream. Follow the stream down for around 5-10 mins, 700 metres and look out for the large orange arrow in the bush on the LEFT of the stream - this is the Homes Ridge Track. The next 4km is an awesome undulating trail through bush & you'll pop out onto a grass farm track which then starts to head back down hill.
At around 16.5km keep an eye out down on your RIGHT for the large orange marker in the bush. It's around 500 metres down to the Tamaki West Rd carpark/campsite. There's a shelter here and its a nice spot for a snack. This is your halfway point. Follow the A Frame Hut DOC signed Track which zigzags its way all the way back up the the top of the ranges. Its a very well made trail, and as you gain elevation it again gets very rooty and more technical.
It's around 4km from the carpark up to A Frame Hut. Stunning views up here over the Hawkes Bay side of the island The hut which is renowned for being a dive, and vandalised, is in the process of being restored with some stunning artwork also being created, in the hopes of preserving it and getting some respect from users - we can only cross our fingers and hold our breath though looking it its history. It's around 3km along the 4WD road back to the Stanfield Hut sign that you turned off at earlier.
Carry on the 8km back down Takapari Road.
Make Up of Run
Technical Single Track: 20%
Moderate Single Track: 10%
Easy Single Track: 20%
Farm Road / 4WD Track: 50%
Drive for around 5km up Takapari Rd which is gravel and rough in places, its fine for 2WD cars though. You might want to park next to the airstrip as the last short hill section just before the start is quite steep and rutted.
Waterproof leggings, Thermal leggings, Lightweight fleece top, Short-sleeved thermal top, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival bag, Cellphone, Compass, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries.
Stanfield Hut and stream
This is TOPS travel. Be prepared for horrific weather year round, it can change up there very quickly, can be unpredictable.
Have plenty of layers, hat, jacket etc......all the stuff!!
Expect snow in mid-winter
Visibilty can be NIL up here in a whiteout (very common)
When on the Takapari Rd section be alert for 4WD vehicles.
Many Hunters use this road as there entry/exit points into the forest park so you will likely see hunters with guns on the Takapari Road Side.
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