Aorere GoldfieldsBeginner - Intermediate
Submitted by Stu Houston
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Front country - easily accessible
Undulating, small hills only
Native bushLakesideOpen ridges/tops
Beginner - Intermediate
If you don't have a high clearance vehicle you can park at the farm gate and walk 1 km to carpark.
From carpark the track climbs up an old 4x4 road, then becomes a gravelled track through manuka/kanuka bush past old gold workings with occasional views of the Aorere Valley. After several kilometres you come to a track junction beside a stream. Don't cross the stream but carry on round the track where soon you come to a turn off to Stafford Cave, which is only 2 minutes down a side track and worth a look.
Carrying on the track you come to the turn off to the Ballroom Cave which is a 6 minute detour but worth a look as it was actually used as a Ballroom during gold miner times and is cool to venture into. The track carries on around, following an old hand dug drain till you climb up to the dam and the lake which was built to help with mining operations in the early 1900's. The lake is quite neat set in amongst open regenerating forest with a mountain back drop.
Carrying on the track follows the lake for a while before dropping into and out of creek beds and you reach a junction point which gives you two choices of return to the carpark - by a bush track or to carry on down an old 4x4 track. Either is good and equal distance.
Features of interest
Old historic gold mine workings and 2 large open caves and a lake.
Make Up of Run
Moderate Single Track: 40%
Easy Single Track: 20%
Farm Road / 4WD Track: 40%
Devils Boots Road - go past the actual boots till you reach the gate.
From Collingwood drive down the Aorere Valley on Collingwood Bainham Main road and turn off at Devils Boots Road. Carry on down this but turn right off to the actual Devils Boots and drive on past them till you reach a gate across the road which you can drive through to access the carpark.
To get to the Carpark for start of track you need a high clearance vehicle for last 1 km across farmland.
Short-sleeved thermal top, Windproof jacket, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries.
There are good clean streams at regular intervals along this track.
Streams can dry up after long dry spells (Summer 2018/19 had no rain for 14 weeks)
Farmer may close access through land at any time. Please respect his land and stock.
Stay on trail as there are mine shafts off trail.
Post run indulgence
local institution.Great Beer !
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