Coppermine creek and coppermine loop track

We’ve been very slack lately with our running. More often than not, we’d skip a run. There’s always something, isn’t there? Cutting grass, tending the vege garden, raising baby guinea fowl, studies, work, and before you know it, another weekend rolls around, you’ve had one run during the week and have no plans, nor energy for your long-run on the weekend. You promise yourself you’ll start anew on Monday, and so the process repeats itself. It’s a slippery slope, but in my defence I do stick to this half-arsed routine, rather than giving up all together.

For one of our weekend long runs we decided to explore the Makairo Track. It’s about a 50min drive from Palmy, but when we got there some or other off-road bike event was also happening. The tiny car park was packed with ute’s and trailers, some even further down the road in a paddock, and the thought of having to share the track with speeding motor bikes gave me the heebie-jeebies, so I started to search for alternatives in the area. We decided to go for the Coppermine track which is located between Woodville and Dannevirke in the Ruahines. And I’m glad we did. We haven’t done it before, so this was a new experience.

The Coppermine Creek Track is an out-and-back path following the creek to the mine area. The path is wet and slippery in places including a few slips to negotiate. Unfortunately we didn’t had a torch or headlamp with us so couldn’t explore the magazine, which is a narrow crawl space, cave like area which tunnels into the mountain side. The mine area itself has a sign indicating the mining site, but it’s really just a dead-end in the bush. 🙂

It is also on this track veering off to the left that a path leads up to Wharite Peak, from where you could take the gravel road back to Woodville if you so wish. Apparently it is very overgrown in places, as told by a friend who recently got lost on the track and took a few hours longer than anticipated to make it back to civilisation. I will certainly take a PLB, compass and map when we do it just to be on the safe side.

Since the creek track is a short family-friendly walk, we decided to extend our outing to include the Coppermine Loop Track, and therefore going in a clockwise direction. Near the far end, the loop track forks off to the right to climb very steeply up the mountain, before following the ridge for a bit and then down the other side. The path fizzles out a bit where it goes into private land with “routes” going in various direction as other people presumably also searched for the track in the overgrown bush. We ended up jumping the fence to walked back through the paddocks. There’s probably an official spot where you cross onto the farmland, but it was all terribly overgrown and we couldn’t find it.

Not sure of the distance, as Gerry’s watch is not playing ball. He measured 9km, but it was probably closer to six.

An enjoyable outing with good honest climbs, and otherwise runnable sections if you need some hill training.

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