In the late 1860s miners began fossicking for gold in the Fenian, and cut a bridle track into the workings. Today we now enjoy a series of easy-access, easy-grade walking tracks into this area, through mixed beech/podocarp forest. A mecca for fungi foragers.
Walking Times and Distances are from the Fenian Carpark.
Fenian carpark to Sunshine Flat (3hr 30min one way) 9.5km Walk partway up the Fenian Track, branching off at the Junction to head up the Valley Track as far as Sunshine Flat shelter.
Sunshine Flat to Oparara Carpark (1hr 30min one way) 4.5km After a breather at Sunshine Flat, where you will be able to read up on the amazing story of how the track was constructed, continue along the Valley Track to come out at the Oparara Carpark via Moria Gate Arch.
Oparara Valley Track (5hrs) 14km A stunning new full day walk through ancient rainforest, up the Oparara River, and coming out at the Oparara Carpark. This walk and the above two require a reasonable level of fitness, as there are a few challenging switchbacks on the Valley Track.
The Fenian Track is part of the new Valley Track, connecting the Fenian area and the Oparara Basin, which was built by the Oparara Valley Trust as a walking track only. Please respect the purpose for which the track has been built. The Fenian is a Heritage Track in the Kahurangi National Park, and NO mountain biking is permitted in National Parks.
Maloneys Bluff (40min one way) 3.5km At 30 m above the river, the hard granite outcrop known as Maloneys Bluff is an excellent viewpoint to look northwards up the Oparara Valley
Fenian/Valley Tracks Junction (1 hr 15min one way) 4km Another 15 minutes along the Valley Track from the Junction will bring you out at Postal River
Fenian Caves Loop (1 hr 1.5km or 3hrs return from carpark, 5 kms) The Fenian Caves consist of three “open access” caves. A torch or headlight, and sturdy footwear, is essential. A helmet is recommended. Two of the caves are located beside the track, Miners Cave and Cavern Creek Cave. The loop track passes through Tunnel Cave, which is rough underfoot for some 80m. A reasonable level of fitness is required. Track best walked in a clockwise direction.
Fenian Gold Workings (1 hr 35min one way) 5km A track has been cut up the Fenian Creek to the site of the Fenian Goldworkings
Adams Flat (2 hrs one way) 7km An easy walk up the old heritage bridle track to the clearing now known as Adams Flat. Named after John Adams, an early settler/goldminer, who died and was buried at the goldworkings in 1882.
Adams Creek Water Race (2hr 40min one way) 8km Continue up past Adams Flat on a cut track to the Adams Creek goldworkings and dam site.