Walking track back in action after slip

Last updated 12:00 17/12/2013

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A popular walking spot in rural Manawatu is back after the completion of a year's worth of work to fix slip damage.

The Rangiwahia Hut Track, suitable for day and overnight tramps, attracted about 12,000 visitors a year in the 1980s and early 1990s. But numbers dropped to less than 3000 a year after a large slip took out a section of the track.

Twelve months of work to upgrade and reroute the track has been completed, with engineers and geo-scientists helping create the new zig-zag design.

Conservation services manager Rod Smillie said the entire track had been given a makeover, making it an easy and accessible walk to the alpine tops of the Ruahine Forest Park. "It's one of those things you must do if you live in Manawatu."

The track ambles through red beech forest to the open tussock tops of the Ruahine back country.

It's mostly uphill, as Rangiwahia Hut is located at 1327 metres above sea level, but it is a gentle, well-graded climb, Mr Smillie says.

The 5-kilometre walk from the end of Renfrew Rd to the hut is designed to be accessible for families, school groups and new trampers.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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