Here’s another suggestion for something to do when the rugby is on; The Six Disks Tramp near Levin. Yes a tramp, not a bike ride, but hey I’m branching out. This post is sponsored by Mountain View Motel, Levin. A Great Place to Stay.
If you thought that any of the tramps near Levin were too short (like Lake Papaitonga), or required way too much commitment (like the giant 3 or 4 day tramps through the Northern Tararuas), and the tramp to Burn Hut from behind Shannon although a nice length is a bit hard to get to with the log trucks messing up the road, then fear not. Try the Six Disks Track. It is a 9.9km loop from Poads Road (off Gladstone Road) in the hinterland behind Levin. Strictly speaking the Six Disks Track is the short connecting track between the Ohau River track and the Waiopehu Track, but I’ll describe it as a clockwise loop.
Admittedly it doesn’t look much on the map, but it is one of those curly, lovely, tree root and mud tramps that the Tararuas is great for. It’ll take about 4 hours or so, so it is worth a stop if travelling through Levin (and worth an overnight stop according to my sponsor).
From the carpark at Poads Road the walk crosses a private farm over some old terraces of the Ohau River.
When it enters the Forest Park there’s a fork in the track, follow the Ohau River one on the left, as later on the Six Disks track is steep and you’d want to be climbing up it, rather than coming down. The track above the river is mostly flat, and quite a nice track, albeit a bit muddy.
The Six Disks track is signposted going straight up a hill shortly before you reach a swingbridge over a small stream after which the Ohau River track climbs the Gable End Ridge. Climb the Six Disks Track. This is the fun bit. It is as rough as guts, and steep as. It’s a whole lot of fun being a 3D tramp which brings out the gibbon in all of us. The track is often at eye level a few feet ahead. At the top where it hits the Waiopehu Track there is this sign. Notice it is only an hour back to the carpark, which is twice the speed that the walk to this point took. This is a function of how easy the tracks are to walk. The walk down isn’t anywhere as hard.
Most of the walk is within forest, but there are a couple of vistas here or there, and the higher peaks still have their snow cover.
A 4 hour muddy steep tramp in the Northern Tararuas sure beats watching men put their heads up each others’ bottoms or whatever rugby is all about.