The Fenian Track is an old goldmining track with several interesting features. Starting next to the Oparara River where it leaves the mountains, the track climbs up the side of the valley up to a clifftop viewpoint and then into a plateau of rich forest. The track ends at a rimu-fringed clearing in the bush with a historic miners hut. The track is gently graded and sheltered by bush for it’s entire length and makes a good choice for a tramp in less than perfect weather.
These caves are accessed via a side loop about an hour into the main track. There are two caves, one of which is passed through as part of the loop. The caves are long and very dark so torches/headtorches, warm clothes are necessary for this detour. The loop takes about 60 minutes.
Total Time – 3 Hours Return (from the carpark)
After the caves turnoff, the track descends slightly and crosses a couple of bridges over small creeks before heading towards Adams Flat, a sheltered clearing in the forest with a historic miner’s hut. The hut can be used for overnight stays although it is very basic. However, the dawn and dusk choruses of birdsong can make it seem like luxury accommodation.
The final couple of kilometres before Adams Flat can often be muddy/boggy in places, even after a dry spell, though the most of the track remains in good condition all year.
Total Time – 4-6 Hours Return (from the carpark)
In October 2008 a new track is opened linking the Fenian Track with the Oparara Basin, following the course of the Oparara River.
Work has also been underway for several years on improving existing track and facilities, both in the Oparara Basin and at the Fenian end – bridges have been installed on all the river crossings and sections have been improved and regraded.