Where the walks will be happening
On your walks you will be visiting 'The Gate', a Place to Pray, A prayer retreat built on 136 Hectares of Heritage Forest situated 3 kilometers from the entrance to the Tararau Forest Park. We have the last private dwelling on Otaki Gorge Road. If you organise a group you could meet us at the house for 'The Gate' 1350 Km Otaki Gorge Road or at the Historic Arcus Dam track car park 1400 Otaki Gorge Road.
We ask for you to give us a donation for the privilege of walking to the dam, with a record of your visit in the intentions book after reading the safety/ hazards notice on the entrance gate.
The property has a big percentage of virgin forest which means no milling or major development of the land even though it was divided into 22 sections when we purchased in 2000. Charlie Arcus was the developer of the Puketua Power development that saw the dam track developed and the dam created with a spillway that creates a waterfall after rain. The resource consent for the power scheme was cancelled after the storm in 1995 bought down a large slip in the Pukeatua stream bed destroying the power house in stream bed. We purchased the property at a mortgagee sale in 2000.
Other walks on the property include
1. The Emergency track developed when the road was closed for 7 months to the forest edge called Kathy's Way approximately 1 km from Gorge Road and very steep. approximantely 1 hour return from the dam track. Steps lead to the original emergency track.. initially very steep also opening out on the forest edge. Ropes are found on both these tracks.
2. A walk through regenerated forest from Gorge Road entry 300 m after the Pukatua Stream/ Roaring Meg bridge heading towards the cairn, taking about 20 minutes on a simple formed track on 2 levels.
Relish the sounds of flowing water as you walk the track to the dam with the flourishing native forest beside you, smelling the fresh fragrance of lush vegetation as you progressively venture inland into the hidden valley on the track made alongside the Pukatua stream towards the dam site. A sight to behold when full and overflowing with the thundering sound of falling water one side and when you reach the lookout the still water on the other. It is always changing, as are the 6 streams you will cross and the dam patches you may encounter as your wander along the fairly easy track after ascending about 600 metres to the upper level that takes you into the virgin forest.