The Whakanui Track takes you from Wainuiomata through to the Orongorongo River in the Rimutaka Forest Park. It can be walked as one way return or connect to the Big Bend and Orongorongo Tracks finishing at Catchpool carpark, or tramp through to the Wairarapa on the Papatahi Crossing via Shamrock and Wharepapa huts.
The Whakanui Track begins on the True Right side of Whakanui Creek and climbs to the long, flat ridge separating Whakanui Creek from Turere Stream, before descending to Hine Road/Sunny Grove in Wainuiomata. The track passes through podocarp/broadleaf forest for most of its length. Good views of the main Rimutaka Range can be obtained from the higher parts of the track (around 700 metres altitude).
North Island ▷ Wellington Region ▷ Hutt Valley
A group of 4 members of the Upper Valley Tramping Club set out to walk from Sunny Grove in Wainuiomata over the Whakanui Track down to the Orongorongo River and on to the Hairangi Hut where we had arranged to meet 5 more of our members who had elected to walk to and from the Hairangi Hut via the Five Mile Track. The beginning of the Whakanui Track is well graded but steep for approx 50 mins. It then undulates around, up and down over stones and roots through beautiful bush (nothing as steep as the beginning, challenging in places but not too difficult). It took us 3.5 hours to get to the river, 15 mins to the hut where we met the others and had lunch, and then we tramped back to the five mile track (some of us via the river), which took another hour, then approx 2 hours to get back to the carpark at the entrance to the Rimutaka Forest Park. Having others of the Club come in via the Five Mile Track meant we had vehicles to get back to Sunny Grove to collect our car. The bush is varied and quite delightful. I've been on several tracks in this area, including the McKerrow Track which isn't far from and connects with the Whakanui, but the bush on this track is very different with stands of very large trees, including rimus and ratas. Several times we came out of the bush to small clearings where there must have been slips a long time ago, and now these deep gullies were filled with wonderful ferns, one with an extremely large rata in the middle. Lots of lovely surprises on this track. The day we did it was drizzly and warm, but the bush protected us from the rain. I will definitely be going back in the summer months with my camers.
Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍