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Oven Camp Ridge                                 Back

 

{Three Day Backpack BP(3d2n) L 5 F}

This circular walk starts and ends beside Karori entrance ramp. The first day is very easy, with a lovely Summer campsite on top of Tabletop Mountain. Day 2 is a bit longer, with a morning Cocks Comb visit, a long ridge to Blue Mountain Creek, and a few kilometres of lovely river walking. Day Three is unremittingly hard, with an early start mandatory, a climb of 1216m and descent of 336m, and then a longish road section. Suitable for well-equipped, very fit and experienced backpackers. (Hence the shorter times for the various sections than in e.g. the Bark Hut backpack).

This trip can be varied by carrying your pack while riding a mountain bike in, hiding it in the bush and picking it up on the way back(Green below). This will replace 2 X10.75 km of walking with biking, all but the 2 km Easement section on good 4WD roads.

Sections A, C, E, F, J1, J2, J2 variant, O variant, R partial.

Map section

Description Day 1

Maps: (RC) = “Rowleys Creek 9236-2-S; (W) = "Winterbourne 9236-2- N

Length

(km)

SectionTime (min)


 

A

KARORI GATE 0389620/83020, E.along easement, then thru fence toTTOPXROADS 0391669/82707 (Rowleys Creek map)

2.10

25


 

C

Tabletop Crossroads TTOPXROADS 0391669/6582707 on Tabletop Management Trail North to Tabletop Retreat Road Junct. TOPXHIDEA0392117/6588023

(part Rowleys Creek map- then all Winterbourne)

7.0

75


 

E Tabletop Retreat Road Junct. TTOPXHIDEA 0395447/6586908 to Oven Camp ridge turnoff OVENCRIDG7 0396338/658843703 Hide bikes

2.00

25


 

F Oven Camp ridge turnoff OVENCRIDG7 0396338/6588437 to start Tabletop South Ridge TTOPSRIDG1 0396349/6589574

1.00

10


 

I variant From start Tabletop South Ridge TTOPSRIDG1 0396349/6589575 via Tabletop Trail to SALTHUT 0395856/90257, then fill water at SALTHUTDAM 0395767/6590467 and return to Salt Hut

1.60

30


 

H SALTHUT 0395856/6590257 to Tabletop Summit campsite TTOPSUMCAM 0396233/6590631 CAMP

0.60

20


 


 

Totals

14.30

185


 

A very easy day, with a gradual downhill along a good(but very seldom used) 4WD road , some interesting plants, a watering point just before the end, and a lovely campsite above the world’s cares on Tabletop Mountain summit.

Sections G, J1, J2 variant, O variant, S1.

Map section

Description Day 2

Maps: "Winterbourne 9236-2- N only

Length

(km)

SectionTime (min)


 

G TTOPSUMCAM 0396233/6590631 to TTOPSRID2 0396530/6589820

1.30

20


 

J1 From TTOPSRID2 0396530/6589820 bear 32T (slightly downhill, then contour) to CCOMBSADDL 0396947/ 6590532

0.90

25


 

J2 CCOMBSADDL 0396947/ 6590532 via CCOMBHIGHP 0397150/ 6590700 ASL 1064 (leave packs) and down dragonsback to CCOMEAST 0397317/6590675

0.4

25


 


 

Allow viewing time


 

30


 

J2 variant

CCOMEAST 0397317/6590675 up dragonsback to COMBHIGHP 0397150/ 6590700 (pick up packs)

0.3

10


 

O variant

COMBHIGHP 0397150/ 6590700 down NNW via MACLCCOMB8 0397055/6590859 & wpts MACLCCOMB 7-2 to Macleay-Kero Spur junct MACLCCOMB1 0400575/6592725 ASL 240

5.3

135


 

S1 Kero Spur junct WMACLCCOM1 0400574/6592725 ASL 240 down Macleay to MACLBOTTGU 0402200/6591580 ASL230 CAMP

4.0

50


 


 

Totals Day 2

12.2

295


 

A pleasant early-morning walk along Tabletop, through long tent lawns with tiny scattered flowers. The section (J1)between Tabletop and Cocks Comb Saddle is a bit tricky. Essentially, you need to stay in the narrow gap below the great boulders that have tumbled down from Tabletop on your left, and above the heads of the gullies that quickly deepen on your right. Follow the spur down Tabletop, and just when it begins to ease at (W) 96500/89825, contour around to your left and slightly down to the 1020 metre line. Stay at that height around to the saddle. A good GPS and a lot of waypoints will definitely help here.

After the Cocks Comb visit, a careful angle down from the high point (COMBHIGHP 0397150/ 6590700) will lead you onto the horsetrack, which(with a bit of care at spur junctions) takes you right down to the Macleay. There are views back to the Cocks Comb cliffs, and up the straight section of the Macleay to Blue Mountain Creek and beyond.

The river walking is a joy- big open banks, easy crossings, lots of interesting plants, with good horsetrails and open flats. The Bottom Gully camp is near a big pool, and is flat and well-sheltered with plenty of room.

Sections T, E, C, A

Map section

Description Day 3

Maps: "Winterbourne 9236-2- N only

Length

(km)

SectionTime (min)


 

T Macleay-Bottom Gully MACLBOTTGU 0402180/6591580 ASL230 up NW,W to Oven Camp ridge turnoff OVENCRIDG7 0396338/6588437 (Pick up Bikes)

8.75

375


 


 

Sub- sections of

Section t

Climb ridge c. SW, S. to Local High Point OVENCRIDG2 0401330/6590100 ASL 840

1.75

120


 

Continue on Ridge W then S to LHP OVENCRIDG3 0400500/6588750 ASL 920

2.00

95


 

Continue on Ridge c.W to LHP OVENCRIDG4 0399400/ 6588450 ASL 925

1.00

40


 

Continue on Ridge c.W to LHP OVENCRIDG5 0397825/ 6589024 ASL 987

1.00

55


 

Bear WSW then SSW to LHP OVENCRIDG6 0397125/ 6588575 ASL 985

1.00

35


 

Bear Due W to OVENCRIDG7 0396338/ 6588437 ASL1000

1.00

30


 

E Oven Camp ridge turnoff OVENCRIDG7 0396338/658843703 to Tabletop Retreat Road Junct. TTOPXHIDEA 0395447/6586908

2.00

25


 

C

Tabletop Retreat Road Junct. TOPXHIDEA0392117/6588023

(part Winterbourne then Rowleys Creek map) on Tabletop Management Trail South to Tabletop Crossroads TTOPXROADS 0391669/6582707 ASL 1110

7.0

75


 

A

TTOPXROADS 0391669/82707 W along easement to KARORI GATE 0389620/83020 CAR

2.10

25


 


 

Totals Day 3

19.85

495


 

This is a long, hard day with some tricky navigation, a climb of 1216m and descent of 336m, a longish road section and no water en route. So you should choose Spring or Autumn with lots of daylight and not too much heat, and preferably with a full moon on Day 3. (You can walk the road and easement section with a good head-torch if pushed). With the above, all waypoints in your GPS, and being very familiar with off-track compass/map use, and you’ll be OK. There are some excellent views from the ridge tops, and a strong sense of accomplishment when you reach the car- probably in the dark!