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Toaroha River


Probably no one enters the Toaroha Valley to go climbing. However, the valley is well tracked and offers good access to the Diedrichs Range, the Toaroha Range and the Mungo River, from where peaks on the Main Divide can be approached.

POINT (171.144419 -42.998244)

Road end to Toaroha Saddle
Turn off Upper Kokatahi Road down a side road past a dairy farm to the roadend on the true right of the Toaroha River. Sections of the marked access cross private land (Terry Sheridan, phone 03 755 7967). Access continues along a 4wd track that zigzags down a bank and then continues up valley, marked by orange triangles. Once in the bush, the track follows an old tramway part of the way up valley, before a standard tramping track kicks in. Cross the bridge to Cedar Flat Huts (DOC, six-bunk main hut and an older historic hut). Hot pools in Wren Creek can be approached up the track from the sign near the bridge on the true right of the Toaroha.
From Cedar Flat Huts, head up valley on the true left, crossing to the true right again at a second bridge a short way upstream. The well-maintained track continues up valley, crossing back as it nears Top Toaroha Hut (DOC, six bunks), which is the true left just above a small lake. The track to Toaroha Saddle is well marked until upper Bannatyne Creek, where it isn’t so obvious, but cairns and sparse markers lead up a tussock gully to Toaroha Saddle Bivvy (DOC, two bunks), west of the saddle. There are good tops campsites at tarns further east around Toaroha Saddle itself.
Road to Cedar Flat, 3 hrs
Cedar Flat to Top Toaroha Hut, 5 hrs
Top Toaroha Hut to Toaroha Bivvy, 1 ½ hrs
Mullins Creek
An old, intermittently maintained (by volunteers) track leads up to Mullins Hut from the Toaroha Valley. Mullins Creek enters the Toaroha about an hour up from Cedar Flat as a spectacular waterfall. Cross the bouldery river, okay in ordinary flow, and find the track start 50m downstream from the Mullins junction and about 30m up a small side creek on the true right of the creek. The track climbs and sidles into a side creek, goes up the creek for 20m, and then climbs out on the true right to a small scrubby ridge. Beyond, it sidles into a creek, goes up that for 50m, and then climbs out on the true right and follows a ridge over a knoll into Mullins Basin.
The Diedrichs Range is accessible up slopes to the north-west of Mullins Hut, between two small creeks where scrub is minimal. Slopes above lead to the range near the basin saddle (where there is a cairn) between Pts 1610m and 1780m. To descend from Mt Ross to Mullins Hut, drop into the basin west of Pt 1251m and pick up tape in a creek at about J34 571989 / BV19 471 373 to avoid thick scrub on the spur.

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Yvonne Cook and Geoff Spearpoint,
in association with the Canterbury Mountaineering Club