Butcher/Cattle Ridge Loop Track - Remutaka Forest Park (Day Walk)
Updated: May 8
Saturday, 18 September 2021
Location: 1039 Coast Road, Wainuiōmata, Lower Hutt. Follow the Coast Road for 10km until you reach Remutaka Forest Park (there is a big sign on your left), continue down the Catchpool Valley Road until you reach the car park and information area at the end. You will lose cellphone reception before you reach Catchpool valley.
Starting in the Catchpool Valley car park you wander up the very well made Ōrongorongo Track. After about 600 meters you cut right up the hill to the Butchers Track. While a bit more complicated than the Ōrongorongo track this one was nothing too strenuous for our hearty two. We likened it to the Gentle Annie in the Tararua's, a slow/long-ish slog.
When you get to the top of the ridge you can head left and go around the loop (following Cattle Ridge) or cut right to the lookout. DO NOT MISS THE LOOKOUT! We had no idea how good the lookout was but on a clear day the view is amazing. You walk up a wee way and then the track forks, take the right track which goes down for about 20 meters. You won't regret it. Master 9's jaw dropped and he exclaimed "I wish I could just dive into this view!". We had an early lunch there and watched all the other walkers amazed faces.
After lunch we returned back down from the lookout to Cattle Ridge track, this track winds along the ridge-line between a farm on your right and native forests of changing varieties. While there is some technical walking (scrambling over root systems) the rest of the day felt easy with no-one breaking a sweat.
At the end of Cattle Ridge you drop back down on to the Ōrongorongo Track where you can either head right down to the Ōrongorongo River, or left back to the Catchpool car park (we returned to the car park). As mentioned in previous walks, the Ōrongorongo Track is an extremely well made and easy track for all ages. Our two skipped and ran pretty much the whole way back to the carpark.
When we arrived back they even had enough energy to play in the river for another hour. We on the other hand just sat in the sun and watched :)
Age of Kids: Miss 6 & Master 9
Walking Time: 4.5 hours around
Length: 10.9 km
Type of Track: Loop
Difficulty: Medium with only a few steep places, a little bit of scrambling.
Buggy Friendly: No
Wet Feet: Not really but we would recommend boots and tread on your shoes.
Amenities: Catchpool car park has a toilet and there is a DoC campsite at the beginning with BBQ's. There are
also toilets at the river
Dogs: On lead only, there is a Kiwi sanctuary near the Ōrongorongo River.
Cellphone Reception: No.
Kids Rating (0-10)
Overall Fun Factor: 8.5
Legendary Factor: 8
Would we do it again?: 8
Exhaustion Factor: 5
"We really, really liked the view, it was incredible. This one wasn't too steep, there were lots of little views as you go around. It's a really fun walk."