Waitawheta Hut Via The Waitengaue River Walk

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Waitawheta Sawmill started operation in 1923 They built a tramway up the Waitawheta valley to get the timber to market’s

Quick Facts

        • Location: North Island NZ
        • Distance: 18 km
        • Time needed: 6 Hours 40 Minutes
        • Difficulty: Medium
        • Wheelchair Access: No
        • Route: Round Trip
        • Elevation: 400m
        • Wet Feet: Yes
        • Toilets: Yes
        • Dogs: No
        • Mobile Coverage: No
        • Last Updated: November, 2019
  • Track Highlights

    The Waitawheta valley is were all the history is on the old days of Kauri logging. Around the Waitawheta Hut you can look at the old Waitawheta saw mill then you walk all the way out on the old, very flat Tramway

  • Track Quality

    just the normal Kaimai Bush track till you reach the Waitawheta Hut then you are walking on the historic tram line. The only work out you will get is at the head waters of the Waitengaue river when you climb up and over the saddle, this is around 30 minutes. walking out from Waitawheta Hut is a breeze.

  • Hazards

    River crossing after heavy rain.

  • Transport


  • Water

    plenty of good river water
    There are only two toilets, one is in the new Waitawheta Hut and the other is 30 minutes down river form the new Waitawheta Hut at the old Waitawheta Hut site

  • Driving Instructions


  • Shops or Restaurants nearby

    In the town of Waihi

  • Area & Track History

    In the town of Waihi

  • Best Things To Do near this walk

  • Map location of Waitawheta Hut Via The Waitengaue River Walk

    Map of walk

Points of interest along the walk

In the map above, if you zoom in on the walk, you’ll see all the following track points and their location. Each point has photos along with a description about each one.

Point 1: Woodland Road Car Park

This is a very pleasant drive out for Katikati on this country road, just watch out for the farmer brown on his tractor and the faithful old dog running along side. there is no proper car park so park well off the road and make room for farm machinery

Point 2: Waitengaue River Turnoff

The walk up the Waitengaue Stream is a enjoyable easy walk. It was just the three stream cross that spoiled the walk. Six minutes in to the walk you are met by a swing bridge, great no wet feet, we were wrong. In an hour and a half you walk on to the old hut site, it is a good placed to have a break and to pitch a tent. You are only 5 Mt from the first river crossing and wet feet? one of three till you reach the turnoff.

Point 3: Waitawheta hut

At the Ananui falls turnoff look across the river and you can just see the orange marker hidden in the trees. You will have to cross the river at this point, I walk up the river 100 Mt to were I could rock hop cross, yes bit of a townie.
From there you follow the river for 5 minutes then start a gentle climb up another old tramway, when you reach a rocky cutting about 20 minutes, you turn right and start climbing. The first 10 minutes is the hardest, keep an eye out for old kauri stumps when you walk across the saddle. It should take you 45 minutes to reach the saddle
From the saddle to Waitawheta hut is easy. The descent down to the first creek is a little on the steep side.
From here it will take you 20 minutes to walk out onto the Waitawheta river and to the new hut which is just another 5 minutes away.
You can spend a good hour just walking around looking at the old relics and taking photos. But sort out your bed space before you go for a walk.
The day I walked out I meet nine people walking in, when i arrived at Waitawheta hut I met twelve people walking out, and this was a week day.

Point 4: The Swing bridge

just minutes from Waitawheta hut you will see another very old Kauri stump on your right. you will cross over the river on the second bridge for the day before arriving at the old Waitawheta Hut site and the last toilet stop on this track. this should take you about 30 minutes. At the end of the clearing is a river crossing were I just got across with out getting my boots wet, this is good, dry feet at 0700 H in the morning, I like this walk. But 20 minutes on at the second crossing my luck changed for the day, wet feet.
1 Hour 20 minutes from Waitawheta hut was the biggest swing bridge, not the longest I have seen in the North Island, this one was built to last a 100 years. I was talking to a farmer at the carpark and he was saying it took the boys six months to build the three swing bridges he said all the building materials were flowing in by the biggest chopper he has ever seen.

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