Butlers Incline is part of the old gold mining days from the early 1900 the incline is a double tramway track that is part of the Pikao County tramway system, that delivered the gold carrying ore to the ore crusher at the base of the Waiorongomai Valley on the eastern side of Mount Te Aroha.
On an earlier walk to the base of the butlers Incline we attempted to climb the incline from the base, this attempt failed as the ascent up the railway sleepers and the steep angle of the incline in the heavy rain proved to much and we returned back down the incline fifteen minutes into the climb, so this time we took the high level pack track directly to the top of Butlers Incline.
The track starts at the end of the Waiorongomai Valley rd there is a information board here explaining the track system, some of the tracks are a loop that return back to the car park others are a long walk to the summit which can take several hours of tough walking.
The high level pack track is accessed off the low level walk way which follows the farmland until you come to a junction this track takes you to the top of the Furn Spur incline, from here the high level pack track starts, we followed the track for around thirty minutes but a landslide had blocked the track and was in passable however there is another track to the top of Butlers Incline, which was a thirty minute walk back to the Buck Rock track the way we just walked in.
The Buck Rock track heads north up the mountain side at first the going is easy then starts to steepen further up the track, around twenty minutes in there is a side track that heads up a very steep track to Buck Rock and care needs to be taken as the track finishes on a sheer cliff face. from here the track hugs the steep side of the mountain and in places there are near vertical drops down into the valley floor.
There are numerous stunning waterfalls along the track which drop down from high up on the mountain side and with glimpses of the valley below through the thick native bush this is a great walk, we finally arrive at the top of the Butlers Incline around 1.5 hrs from the start of the walk, the old restored wheel assembly for raising and lowering the ore carts down the incline are located at the top, there is a side track that takes you down below the incline track and there is a bridge over the drop so you get a fantastic view up the incline.