IntroductionThis popular, easy walk passes through different forest types and has swimming holes at the end of the track - it's ideal for families.
The Ōrongorongo Track is the most popular in Remutaka Forest Park. It's an easy grade and makes for a pleasant day trip to the Ōrongorongo Valley and back to the Catchpool car park.
For the first hour and a half the track climbs through the mixed podocarp and broadleaf forest along Catchpool Stream. The damp floor of the Catchpool Valley supports many nīkau palms, tree ferns, kāmahi and tawa trees.
As you climb up to the drier sides of Cattle Ridge, the forest is more open and consists mainly of hard beech. Look out for a magnificent grove of huge northern rātā trees towering above the forest canopy as the track reaches its highest point in the saddle between Catchpool Valley and the Ōrongorongo River.
There are swimming holes at Tūrere Stream at the end of the track. You can continue past the stream to the river where there are toilets.
Catchpool valley is 12 km south of Wainuiomata. Follow the Coast Road for 10 km to the Remutaka Forest Park entrance, then follow the Catchpool valley road for 2 km to the car park and information area.
If the water is flowing over the ford on the road, park before the ford and use the Nga Taonga Nature Walk to reach the car park.
The track starts from the main car park next to the small information shelter.
There is no cell phone reception on the Ōrongorongo Track. There is reception in the car park and a small amount of phone reception on the river bed at the end of the track.
Be aware that there are some steep drops immediately beside the track, so supervise children carefully.
Pack warm clothes and a waterproof raincoat, see the DOC day hikes packing list for a full list of what to take.
The track is muddy in places, particularly in winter or after rain – sturdy shoes with good grip are best.
If you want to light a fire (eg for cooking) while in the Remutaka Forest Park, visit www.checkitsalright.co.nz. This will tell you the current fire status and if you need a fire permit. At times of high fire danger, there may be a total ban on fires. Please respect any fire restrictions, they keep native wildlife and visitors safe.