You can cross from the east coast to the west coast from here.
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.
You can see there is no problem looking for a place to set up the tent. On the right-hand side is the ranger’s accommodation; just past the ranger’s house up to the right is the main ablution block. At the very end of the road, is a locked gate. From there walk 3 minutes down the road to the lodge. You can ask the ranger to unlock the gate so you can dive down to t he lodge and unload your gear.
From the lodge walk 50m to the bridge. Turn right after crossing the bridge and walk 12 minutes along the service road to the first turnoff on your left. The sign will say, Gentle Annie Track, Powell Hut and Mountain house new shelter give this one a miss. You take the right turn to Donnelly Flats.
Donnelly Flats 20 minutes is a very popular camping spot for school groups and family’s, very flat and right on the river bank. There are no amenities, just a couple of open fire places and no wood for miles. From here on you walk along the Atiwhakatu Stream.
Two bridges to cross. The first bridge is 50 minutes into the walk, a piece of cake; the second bridge is 1 hour into the walk, it is a swing bridge which can be a little slippery after a drop of rain.
1 hours 55 minutes. This is the first time I have seen an aluminium bridge way out in the bush. The previous bridge did not last long, it was made of wood. As you can see the creek is flowing quite fast today, it did not stop raining for the three days we were there. You can just make out the island over to the right of the photo; the island is a great place to stop for the night or just for a hot cup of coffee. But not today.
From the alloy bridge onto the hut is straightforward going except for a couple of small slips, it seems a hassle getting around this slip, but that’s only because the walk so far has been excellent. The board walks help with the boggy areas and make for a pleasant change.
2 hour 25 minutes – Atiwhakatu Hut. There is one last fixed bridge to cross; now you have only 7 minute walk before you can put the billy on. The hut is nice and new which is great. The creek is just in front of the door and the toilet is 20m up the track. Finding firewood is like looking for hens teeth blind folded.
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