Desert Road - Waihohonu Huts - Ohinepango SpringBeginner
Submitted by DJ Gillming
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Front country - easily accessible
Out and Back
Undulating, small hills only
Native bushOpen tussock/grasslandsVolcanic
A nice easier/shorter option than the out & back route from Whakapapa, to see the sights around this side of Ruapehu. It is well marked, as it joins in to the Round The Mountain Track, so easy to find the way to the modern Waihohonu hut, onwards to see the historic hut, and a slight detour on the way back to see the springs. Be prepared for boggy conditions, wet feet & scoria grit ( whether wet or dry) !! The times stated are moving time; you likely want to allow for extra time to enjoy stopping at the points of interest. Check here for pics & more info.
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Features of interest
The historic Old Waihohonu Hut, the flash new hut, and the crystal clear Ohinepango Springs.
Make Up of Run
Moderate Single Track: 100%
From the intersection of SH49 at Waiouru, travel North on SH1 for 30kms and keep your eyes peeled to the left for the sign marking an unassuming turnoff and an unsealed "road"/ short driveway to a carpark area. Or, coming from the north it's 32k from Turangi, just south of the Rangipo Intake Road.
Approximately 200m off the Desert Road, there is a carpark for the trailhead.
Waterproof leggings, Thermal leggings, Lightweight fleece top, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival bag, Cellphone, Map, Gaiters.
A short enough run that you should manage with BYO, but the new hut should have water or you could also top up in a stream or at the springs.
This is in an alpine environment, so be prepared for changeable conditions at any time of the year! Can be scorching hot in summer, though it can also be very cold & wet , and even snow at any time of the year!
Post run indulgence
The Chocolate Eclair Shop
World Famous ( in Ohakune! and beyond) for their Massive Chocolate Eclairs . They also do an awesome sponge roll & fairy cakes, never skimping on the fresh cream ;) Unfortunately, only open 1/2 the year, from end of May through autumn.
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