Kawakawa Station Walk
Kawakawa Station is one of the Wairarapas’ best-kept secrets. Come and find out what you have been missing in this stunning part of the world, where the Pacific Ocean meets the rugged Cape Palliser coastline. Get together with mates, work colleagues or family for a weekend escape to walk, eat and be merry!
Arrive at Kawakawa Cottage between 4pm and 7pm. A welcome platter awaits your arrival. Make yourselves at home and we will visit you to give you your walk briefing, maps and safety radio required for the next day. A sumptuous 2 course dinner awaits, for you to prepare with minimal effort. Grab a good night's sleep before your big walk.
Day 1 – Kawakawa Cottage to Jakeb’s Cabins (5-6 hours)
Enjoy an easy start walking along the coast next to the black sand beaches and watching the many moods and colour changes of the Cook Strait. Experience aromas, sounds and the salt air upon your taste buds that will bring back childhood memories of seaside holidays past.
Then you begin your upward journey into the rugged Wairarapa hills making sure you take plenty of breaks to soak in the breathtaking views across the Strait to the South Island's inland and seaward Kaikoura ranges. Your walk will take you to the Ant at around 615m with 360 degree views over the Haurangi ranges and out over Palliser Bay to Lake Onoko and up to Lake Wairarapa. From there you shall head to your second night's accommodation at Jakeb's Cabins. Once there, you can enjoy a beverage with your family and friends, soaking up the bush clad hills down to the ocean's blues.
Day 2 – Jakeb’s Cabins to Purple Hut (5-6 hours)
From Jakeb's Ladder Saddle the journey takes you into the various stages of regenerating bush admiring the enormity of the landscape; the Mangatoetoe Valley is now below, to your right, winding its way out to the Pacific Ocean. You shall pass through places such as Kowhai Saddle and along the old logging track to Pam’s Path and the Red Basin making your way down the well marked track, past the possum trappers' caravans to the Purple Hut.
Here, you will find a cosy hut and dinner, just waiting for your final touches. Your bags will have already been transported here. Enjoy a hot shower and put your feet up. You’ve earned it! Relax and enjoy a night in the bush.
Day 3: Purple Hut to Kawakawa Cottage (2-4 hours)
Wake up to the sound of the tui and the bellbirds chiming the beginning of a new day. Have your coffee on the verandah and listen to the therapeutic sound of the river running by. After a leisurely breakfast, begin your walk by following the farm track. Look out for the white markers to lead you off the track and into the manuka trees.
Continue on through the bush following the markers. Straight ahead of you is the Black Hut – this hut is an old logging hut that is still on skids today, as it would have been transported each time the loggers moved to a different place. You will come across Flood Gate Gully, this is where 40 men once camped in the early days, clearing scrub and bush to make way for pasture.
From here you will drop down to the river bed and may have to get your feet wet as you meander along the river bed for another 5km. Take in the landscapes of Kawakawa Station to your left and Palliser Bay Station to your right.
What else to do after the hike?
Before you leave, why not take in the other attractions the area has to offer? There is the fishing village of Ngawi with its bright bulldozers waiting patiently to launch and retrieve the fishing boats from the sea. Or the 9 hole Links golf course that is only $7 a round per person with an honesty box for your fees. The Pinnacles are on your way around the coast and they too deserve a stop off. Do not forget the majestic Cape Palliser lighthouse that has been there since 1897 beaming out to the ocean. The seal colony is on the way too, so a great chance to get up close (not too close!) and personal with nature at its best.
What to bring:
- Sleeping bag.
- A good level of fitness.
- Towel Torch.
- Lunchbox Daypack.
- Camera Sunscreen.
- Sunhat Wet weather gear.
- Tramping or hiking boots are highly recommended.
- 1-2 litre water bottle Spare sox and woolly hat.
- Hillsticks do make life easier and we have a few if you wish to use ours or you don’t have one.
Be aware the weather can change quite suddenly so always bring warm woollen and waterproof clothing / warm hat and thermals if you feel the cold.