Atiwhakatu Hut – 12 March

With the cycle/run duathlon having been postponed until April I put out a speculative e-mail to see if anyone was interested in a walk to Atiwhakatu Hut on Sunday. With a forecast of rain on Saturday and Sunday I was surprised to receive 6 positive replies.

By 8am on Sunday that was down to 5. We arrived at Holdsworth car park to find a steady drizzle, no wind and a pleasant temperature around 15*C, so a good day for this walk which is sheltered from most wind directions. There were a quite a lot of cars in the park, and at least a dozen tents at Donnelly Flat, but the only person we saw until our return journey was a runner finishing the Hooper Loop.

The bush was looking green and fresh, last week the kidney ferns were looking in need of some moisture, today they had it! The steady drizzle continued to the hut, with one spell of heavier rain. We went down to the river to look at going under the big slip, as we thought the river was too high, the slip was very wet, and more was slowly moving down the hill (maybe some drainage above the track would help?).

At the hut the last names in the logbook were Clayton & Ben, they had passed through on Saturday, going up to Jumbo. After lunch it was time for the return journey, the drizzle had almost stopped and just occasionally the sun would try to make a brief appearance. As we got back to the slip we met Terry, feeling guilty that he had not joined us earlier. The weather was starting to improve which was bring out more walkers, a party of 6 with very little gear going into the hut, few dog walkers, party of 5 going up to Jumbo, and new member Ian having a late start to go to the hut.

A good walk on a wet day many may have put down to a TV day. Those on the walk: Thea, Kay, Denise, Jay, Pauline, Nigel and late arrivals Terry & Frog (the Dog).

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