Hot Springing to Cedar FlatsIntermediate - Experienced
Submitted by Tony Sharpe
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Intermediate - Experienced
Once parked up follow the markers up unto the Toaroha Valley. It can be muddy at times across a mix of old farmland and typical West Coast front country until you get further in and pick up the old pack track from days long past that heads into the forest. Look for the standard DOC orange markers that lead onto what was once upon a time an old logging tramline track- bits of rail, sleepers and old historic equipment will be spotted.
Carry on, ignoring the signpost to the Flood Route - you really shouldn't be running up here if its flooding, unless of course you simply want to keep dry feet (hint, that won't happen later!). Take the river section instead, its a fun wee bash around rocks, small sections of wading and under cliffs. Follow the trail into the bush at the un-named creek downstream a short way before MacMillan Creek as it climbs steadily across a bush terrace and over to MacMillan Creek itself.
Here the trail heads uphill up to a low saddle before steadily traversing down into the valley floor over 2-3km in order to avoid the Toaroha Canyon. Classic West Coast forest travel, with a few creeks to hop across and great views from time to time into the gorge. Then you are out into the valley proper. Head on to the swingbridge where you soon hit Hut Central. Well worth a stay overnight if you've 'fastpacked' with enough gear. If you want to check out the hotpools it's a short dash up to Wren Creek on a trail that's pretty obvious from the hut. The pools can be a bit hit and miss (certainly not a patch on the Copland Hot Pools Splash'n'Dash route) - but if you dig out a decent one with the shovel provided you can have a wee dip before retracing your steps the way you came.
Take care on the downhills, the West Coast forest trails are often slippery and can eat many an ankle or knee ligament
Features of interest
Wren Creek Hot Springs, Cedar Flats, Huts, West Coast bush and rivers
Make Up of Run
Technical Single Track: 60%
Moderate Single Track: 30%
Farm Road / 4WD Track: 10%
From Hokitika take the road out to Lake Kanerie, and head on to Upper Kokotahi Rd and park up at the signposted road end at the end of Middlebranch Rd
Standard road end car parking, no public transport although a taxi from Hokitika is potentially feasible if you ring around
Take the map and PLB, and know how to read the map. The trail is well marked for the most part.
Thermal leggings, Lightweight fleece top, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Windproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival bag, Cellphone, Compass, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries, Gaiters.
Its the West Coast. There's water everywhere, and damn its good to drink up there
Bad weather can occur any season here, know the forecast and don't go in a flood or heavy rain
Slippery rocks and tree roots
Post run indulgence
Back to Hokitika for a well earned feed and watering
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