Mitre Flats – 12 to 13 August

We have two trip reports for you for the trip to Mitre Flats Hut. The first is from Bob who is 7 years old.

On Saturday the 12 of August My dad Ben, Nigel, Sandra and I went to Mitre flats Hut, it was raining and raining, until finally the sun decided to show up for about ten minutes. It took us 3 and a half hour to get from the carpark to the hut. I was so excited to see the hut just after we crossed the Waingawa river swing bridge that I ran the rest of the way. The hut was green and white, it had a fireplace, two huge bunk beds, and a hut wardens quarters that had a single bed, and a table inside.
After we got to the hut and had lunch we all helped clean and tidy the hut and cut some fire wood for the fire.

Dad and I played so many games of last card before dinner and I won nearly all of them. For tea we had yummy spaghetti bolognaise followed by a passionfruit cheesecake.

After a sleep in, Breakfast and more games of Last Card that I won again, we packed our packs and got ready to walk back to the car. On the track back to the car I counted 47 creeks and little streams that we had to walk through. On the last bit of the tramp we had to walk on a gravel road for 30 minutes. The tramp out took 3 hours 10 minutes. It rained the whole way back and when we got to the car we were all wet. On the way back home to Tokomaru we stopped in Masterton and had ice-cream. I had a good time with the Masterton tramping club and I can’t wait for the next tramp.

The End
By Bob (7yrs)

Mitre Flats Tramp

Ben and Bob met Nigel and Sandra at ‘The Pines’ road end Saturday morning. A quick final pack, raincoats on, and we headed up the farm track.
There was light drizzle for most of the walk in, the trees dripping wet and a brief light hail shower at one of the river view points. We didn’t see any other trampers on the track as we made our way to the hut. The Waingawa river was high and wild as we crossed it to reach the hut at 1230pm.

After lunch we did some hut maintenance including checking the roof mould condition, cleaning the windows and frames, collecting and chopping lots of firewood.

The rain kept away while we did our chores, no other trampers arrived, afternoon tea turned into pre-dinner snacks with Bob winning lots of card games against Ben. A delicious spaghetti bolognaise was cooked using all the pots we could find, two wet trampers called in on their way to Cow Creek. A (non-dehydrated) cheese cake was enjoyed for desert. More cards, laughs and stories continued after dinner.

Sunday morning the rain continued, heavy at times. We packed up, swept up the hut and bunk platforms and departed for the road end. The rain persisted for our trip out but spirits remained high. A great tramp, good company albeit a little wet at times!

Nelson Lakes – 14 to 16 July

Mid-week, with the big southerly storm causing ferry sailings to be cancelled, our short break to Nelson Lakes was looking doubtful. Things improved when ferries were due to sail on Friday morning, but nobody was looking forward to the forecast 4-5m swells.


Finally after an early start the five of us were on the 9am sailing, and across Cook Strait with barely a roll of the ferry, great.
The drive to St. Arnaud was uneventful, we called in to the Department of Conservation to check on track and hut conditions, before starting our walk up to Bushline hut, a steady two hour zig zag climb. We could hear children playing outside long before we arrived. With 18 in a 14 bunk hut it was warm, and cosy.


Saturday morning we woke to a clear, sunny day, just the conditions for a walk along the exposed Roberts Ridge to Angelus hut. Paul was not feeling well so stayed behind. Conditions were near perfect with little wind, sun, and some patchy snow which slowly increased in depth as we neared Angelus. It was reassuring to have our ice axes and crampons for the icy areas. The “posted” time from hut to hut is about 5 hours, we took over 6. Why rush on such a lovely day, with great views over every high point.
At the hut we met a French couple who had come in via another track from Speargrass hut, our planned route out.
Angelus hut is about 5 years old, being well insulated, with lots of windows with double glazing, it was warm and cosy when we arrived, a fire kept the chill off during the evening. As the water tank is drained for winter, and the lake was frozen over, our water had to come from thawing snow which, even with a white spirits burner, took a while.

Late afternoon a lone tramper joined us, only 7 in a 28 bunk hut, so there was plenty of room. The four of us had a shared meal, and after chatting to the others about their tramping experiences we all drifted off to our sleeping bags about 8.30.


Sunday morning everyone up and about before the sun and away shortly after 8am. The sun was out, but cloud was increasing, so not quiet such a good day. After an initial climb our route took us down Speargrass Creek to the hut. With many crossings of the Creek we were pleased they were not too wide and mostly we got through with dry feet. 

Following lunch at Speargrass hut we had a fairly rapid walk out to the road end as drizzle tried to set in, Paul had walked into meet us so it was good to see him again. Then it was back to DOC to change clothes, report on the huts, and off to Picton to catch the early evening ferry to arrive home around midnight after a very satisfying weekend.

Those on the weekend trip, Julie, Barry, Paul, Iain and Nigel


Atiwhakatu – 23 July

With the forecast of more rain, before a sunny afternoon, there were a few drop out of our Sunday trip to Blue Range. With a probably slippery track up to the hut the working bee will be re scheduled, instead two of us walked the Atiwhakatu valley into the hut for an early lunch.
The Atiwhakatu hut had been full overnight, 28 at least, due to Jumbo being closed. We only met three others going in for a day walk. The bridge along the track which was damaged some weeks ago has been replaced, joining a long list of bridges the valley which have had to be replaced due to flood damage. The day was enjoyed by Nigel and Sandra.

Mangatainoka Hot Springs – 7 to 9 July

Mangatainoka Hot Springs, overnight tramp, 7 – 9 July.

Jason, Julie and Sandra left Masterton Friday night, stopping in Dannevirke for quick dinner then on along the back roads and gravel to reach “The Gums” campground at the end of Makahu Road. Despite driving through rain showers on the way, the road end was dry and quiet. We set up the tents then walked to the Mangatutu hot springs for a soak. We settled into one hot pool, leaving the other for the 5 local shepherds that arrived later (although they declined the soak and returned to their Friday night drive.)
Saturday morning we packed up camp, repacked our packs with dry tents and walked back along the access road to the Makino Hut track. A short steep climb through Kanuka forest gained us some height and great views to the Kaweka range and surrounding farmland. The track undulated through the kanuka and we arrived at Makino Hut for lunch in the sun. Makino is a bright orange 6 bunk hut in a small clearing, we met a family of 5 and a group of 2 near the hut.

We returned to the track junction and checked out the views into the Mohaka river valley. Our decent took us down to the Te Puia track. At the bottom of the hill we followed the Mohaka river upstream to reach the Mangatainoka hot springs and campsite.
A quick brew and camp set up ensued and then it was into the hot tubs – sharing with 5 chatty ladies from Auckland. Dinner was next with a friendly (just-waking-up) morepork and an adventurous possum, followed by a shared desert. We returned to the hot pools for another 3.5 hours of soaking. No other campers or hut stayers arrived so we had the pools to ourselves.

Sunday morning we packed up in light rain and walked out to the road end via Te Puia hut. Great view of the Mohaka river with huge rock gorge-like cliffs along the way, several good camp sites and swimming holes were observed.
A very enjoyable trip with lots of soaking in the pools.

Manawatu Gorge – 2 July

Manawatu Gorge Walk By Sandra
With the Manawatu Gorge road being closed, and the Bridge cafe not being open, our normal plan to walk west to east was changed to ease car movements.
Car logistics were sorted by Nigel and we were off to our prospective start points – a great view of Mt Ruapehu and the windmills in the cloud from the saddle road for those starting in Ashurst.
Group 1-Nigel, Flo, Laura and Mike started from the Woodville side with an extra half an hour detour around a track slip they found. Group 2 -Thea, Stan and Sandra met Jason at the Ashurst side, encountering lots of other day-walkers at this end of the track.
An interesting walk with plenty of viewpoints to windmills, the quiet road, waterfalls and the mighty river. The bush was vibrant green and shiny with recent rain, a few birds singing and plenty of fungi to look at (including a photographer at the side of the track with fluro-orange fungi shots).
The two groups met for lunch at the 5km mark with picnic table and windmill view.
The walk continued after lunch with both groups on a down-hill slope to road ends. The car swap and group meet-up with hot chocolates was completed at the Tui HQ Brewery


Makara Track – 25 June

On Sunday 25th June the Clubs mystery trip headed north out of the Sunny Masterton through the rain north of Eketahuna to an overcast day east of Mangataioka.
The club trip ended up at the Waewaepa Scenic Reserve. The trip was along a nice well graded old road called Makara Track. It was a leisurely two hours to the saddle where we had lunch. Great views were seen looking west over towards the wind farms on the way up. Very little views were seen looking north into the Hawkes Bay at the top due to low cloud.
The Tuis were in full song all the way up. A nice surprise was to see a NZ Falcon flying in the wind. A nice lunch was had in the shelter before returning back down to the cars. On the trip home a nice hot brew wat the Tui Hq was a must do. Members Sandra, Denise, Laura, Mike, Stan and Jason had a great day exploring this forgotten highway.

Totara Flats & High Ridge – 17 – 18 June

The club trip on 17-18th June went to Totara Flats and High Ridge. Members John, Ben & Jason completed the trip. A mid-day start from Holdsworth carpark on the Saturday and we were off up to the Totara flats turn off for a late Lunch and Brew up. On the way we managed to pass many trampers which pleased John. The weather was nice and warm. Off down to Totara Flats hut for the night. What a surprise we had when on a nice Fine weekend no one else was in residence.
Sunday we were up pre daylight to get away on our long day to climb up to Flaxy knob. Some nice early morning views looking back down over the flats as the sun got up and we managed to get higher up the long steep ridge. We were not the only early risers and a few deer were seen as we climbed up the ridge. John made a brew for us all at the top of flaxy knob.
It was still quite a long walk till we reached the bush edge on high ridge. The above bush line section was nice and sunny with the odd patch of Icey snow from the Southey blast a few days earlier which made the breeze very cold. A very late lunch at 3pm was had in the shelter of Powell hut. After lunch is was to get as far down the mountain as we could before we had to dig out our torches for the last section of the trip out! A great weekend had by all.

The Pouakai Crossing – 2 – 5 June

Taranaki Mountain Trek: The Pouakai Crossing

On the western tip of New Zealand’s North Island lies the quietly picturesque region of Taranaki. Garnering attention as a hub for the arts, world-class events and unspoilt natural beauty, it is also being recognised for an incredible hike: the Pouakai Crossing.
The 19-kilometre trail through Egmont National Park is being heralded as the country’s newest ‘great walk’, as it ascends the two peaks of Mount Taranaki and the Pouakai Ranges by way of dramatic vistas and landscapes.
We started on the Friday night heading for Stratford for the night. Thanks to Daphne for hosting us for the night then it was off to meet the rest of the group.
We started off after introductions to our party of 7 and the group photo from the Kaiauai carpark at 9.15am. The sky was clear no wind and the perfect winter sun at just the right temperature. It started as a gentle climb with a shallow stream crossing just into the trip. We were treated to the occasional glimpse of the mountain through the bush and the occasional peep of a fantail or call of the tui and we heard the wood pigeons wings flapping through the air. We stopped for lunch before tackling the ‘lovely’ Henry peak which seemed like never ending steps and occasional ladders. When we finally reached the viewing platform at summit of the Henry peak we were able to see Mt Taranaki in all it’s glory. We then made our way down Henry and around the base of Maud peak and up onto the Pouakai track where we reached the Pouakai tarns at approx. 4.30pm. We decided to set up the tents and camped approx. 150m from the Tarn. We had dinner at the viewing platform by the tarn and sat here for approx. 3 hours watching the sunset and the stars come out along with the other photographers who had made the short trip up a different track. It was a truly majestically site and we were very lucky to have perfect viewing conditions. We walked over to the edge of the ridge and saw the lights of New Plymouth and other towns nearby. Then had a cosy sleep in a tent.

Day Two

Up early with a slight drizzle, we had breakfast and packed up the gear and headed to the Pouakai hut to re stock our water and use the toilet.We were pleased to have camped out as the hut and camp site had 70+ stay there the night before. We next headed out to Holly hut taking our time along and down the ahukawakawa track passing through the swamp along board walks enjoying the views along the way except when my boot went in knee deep in mud. We made it to Holly Hut for lunch. Then the party decided to head to the Bells falls. We ditched our packs at the hut and made an afternoon trip to the falls. Back at the hut we managed to dry some our gear our and sleep in bunks for the night.

Day Three

After hearing rain fall throughout the night I knew we were in for a wet walk out I layered up with merino and we set off. This part of the trip was the most challenging mentally for me as I was over analysing my steps as the rocks were wet and mossy and the wooden steps were slippery and a majority of the track had surface flooding. We had to negotiate a few rocky valleys such as the boomerang slip. We finally made it to the razor back for the decent down to the north Egmont visitors centre carpark I had tears of joy we had made it! What started out as a crazy idea between cousins after our summit trip turned into a very memorable trip of a life time. I’m truly grateful for every person in the Masterton tramping club that came for the trip for all your experience and knowledge and support when I needed it, from just the general chat at the dinner table to one party member who helped me negotiate the wet rocky valley where I began to experience my first ever panic/anxiety attack.
Members were Stephanie, Tracy, Jason, Barry, Paul, Mike, and Laura


Kaiparoro Trig – 21 May

Kaiparoro Trig By Nigel

The weather forecast was true and after a dull Saturday Sunday dawned a fine sunny day. Six of us initially met up at Jason’s, where we delivered some plants, before continuing to the road end at Kaiparoro.
Initial excitement in seeing a bridge over the stream was dampened by a sign saying the facility was closed until an unnotified date. So after a pre-trip photo we crossed the stream, initially we had a problem finding the start of the track, forestry logging had changed the scenery a bit. Once on the track it was a steady climb through unlogged pine trees and eventually the native forest, where the wide logging track became a narrow walking track.
The track out to the open tops on Kaiparoro was well padded with a number of unofficial markers, it was good to get out into the warmish sunshine. An early lunch was taken among the tussock, after which various landmarks we pointed out, it being interesting how they are seen from a different angle.
About 12.30 it was time to head home, we took the “normal” loop track, going back down in a clockwise direction once we regained the original track. It took slightly longer than normal as we came across a number of areas of felled pine trees over the track, which added to the interest of not losing the track. By the time we arrived back at the cars we decided that the sign on the bridge probably really meant the whole area was closed! We were not the only ones to make this error as there were two other people we also met on the route.
On the way home we found time to stop at Pukaha for a warm drink, a great end to a pleasant day.
Those on the trip: Thea, Denise, Janet, Flo, Jay and Nigel