Wakamarina Track

Rating: Grade 4+
Know before you go: This is a remote back country ride. Be prepared for any weather conditions, carry spares, water and warm clothing.

The Wakamarina Track is best ridden from the Blenheim side. From State Highway 6 about 1km north of the Wairau River Bridge turn west on to North Bank Rd for several kilometres and then veer right up Onamalutu Rd (green dashed line). However as at July 2014 Onamalutu Rd is closed by logging, so carry on up North Bank Rd (blue dashed line) then right on Fabians Rd and shortly after right again on to Bartletts Creek Rd. Keep to the this road all the way up the hill to the top to the carpark (start of magenta line). A shuttle right to the start of the track can be arranged with Blue Moon Backpackers in Havelock for $50 pp minimum 6. Ph 021-140-8204. It's well worth the $50 otherwise it's a long shuttle.

Location map for start of the ride

Click the Wakamarina Track link under Featured Rides to go to the ride on MTB Project website

From the carpark a good track climbs steadily to Fosters Clearing which takes an hour or more to reach.

The climb to Fosters Clearing and part of the technical descent after the clearing

From here the track descents gradually with some more technical sections before crossing a creek and beginning to climb. 15 minutes after the creek is the start of a 25 minute carry and push to the highest point on the ride.

Good technical riding on the descent from Fosters then down into the Wakamarina

Roots and logs abound for the first half of the descent from the top

From the high point the marked track veers left and follows a ridge; make sure you follow the orange markers. There are some technical root sections before descending 800 metres in a series of technical switchbacks to the Wakamarina Valley at Devils Slab Hut. From here the riding is mostly non-technical as the track sidles high on the true right of the Wakamarina before dropping down to cross Doom Creek on a bridge. 

One of the numerous switchbacks into the Wakamarina and the climb out of Doom Creek

There is a steep, but rideable climb from the bridge up to the Doom Ck loop track and then an easy 10 minutes out to the road end. Alternatively you can keep right just before you drop to Doom Ck and take the detour up Doom Ck and back along a water race, which adds an hour or so to the ride. 

From the road end there is another hour's ride to the Trout Hotel on the main road. Not a good ride to do in wet conditions. Contact Bluemoon Havelock ph 03 574 2212 or Helibike Nelson for shuttles.

As an alternative that doesn't require a shuttle, do an out and back to Devils Creek Hut from the Wakamarina end of the track taking in the Doom Creek track on either the way in or out.