I enjoyed the variety in the forest and wandered along observing the different trees and terrain. The dominant trees seemed to be tawa and tanekaha, but there were plenty of other species such as rimu, puriri, beech, rewarewa, miro and tree ferns. I even spotted a lone kawaka, or New Zealand Cedar. Up on top of the range there were even a few Dracophylla (Dr Seuss trees). A few good stands of Dawson Superba (Giant moss) were spotted beside the track. On the fauna front, there were a few grey warblers, and a couple of tui low down, but not very many birds were around. This may have been partly due to the windy and cloudy conditions. Fresh hoof prints were widely spread; I don't know enough to tell for sure but I think they were pigs.
5:40 hours from Aongatete Lodge (out of Katikati) to Kauritatahi Hut (770m), 4:55 hours on the return trip.
- There is a well established campsite where the North-South track crosses the Poupou Stream (true right bank).
- At the Kauritatahi turnoff there is a decent camp spot about 30m up the Kauritatahi Track. Water can be found a couple of minutes south on the N-S track, or a couple of minutes up the K track.
- On the North-South Track between the Aongatete and Upland Rd tracks there is quite a long flat area along the western side of the track for the northern half of this section. It looked like it should be easy to find a campsite under the rimu and tanekaha trees, although there is no water.