Lake Rochfort RambleBeginner
Submitted by Sarah Coxon
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Can be run in any direction
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From the road, locate the "Lake Track" sign hanging in the trees, and take the trail into the bush. You will quickly come across one of the hydro scheme buildings; head around to the right and over the bridge, staying in front of the building. The track is marked with pink triangles, and initially you might need to keep a careful eye out for them as you move through a rocky, rooty section alongside the stream.
The track then veers away from the stream and starts to climb. About 1.1km, you pop out at the private road - check for traffic, then head straight across and up the stairs to regain the track. The vegetation becomes a bit more scrubby (this section can be exposed to the wind) before heading back into forest. Eventually you reach a series of large concrete blocks/steps, and emerge at the lake.
There is a picnic table just along to your right - grab a seat and a bite to eat, or just take a moment to catch a breath and admire the view. Now there's a little flat running to stretch out the legs. You can't quite loop the lake, but you can enjoy views around 2/3 of it. Follow the road around to your right until you reach a small beach (about 500m), then double back past the concrete steps where you emerged from the bush, to skirt a short distance around the other end of the lake.
Once you reach another small 'beach' and the road heads up and away from the lake, it's time to turn around. Retrace your steps to reenter the bush, and follow the track all the way back to the car. Take care on the various roots, rocks and timbers as you descend, especially if it's been wet.
Features of interest
Beautiful native bush, small lake and hydro scheme
Make Up of Run
Technical Single Track: 40%
Moderate Single Track: 40%
Gravel Road: 20%
From SH67, head 1.7km along Powerhouse Road and you'll see a large sign for Kawatiri Energy. The track starts about 100m further along the road, heading left into the bush and is marked with a small white sign. If you reach the bridge at Christmas Creek, you've gone too far.
Limited parking on the narrow grass verge. There is a small gravel space just prior to the start of the track, but take care not to hinder access to the hydro plant.
There are a few points within the first few hundred meters where you may need to keep an eye out for the pink trail markers, but mostly the trail is obvious.
Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.
Just as easy to take water with you. There is the lake if you really needed, but like many on the Coast, it's dark with tannins, and you'd need to take care around access and hydro plant.
Sections of the climb can be exposed to wind. In heavy rain you can find creeks appear across/along the track quite quickly.
Watch for vehicles on the road crossing.
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