Paekakariki Escarpment Track 12/5/2019

Stan, Thea and Sandra left Masterton and travelled via Pauatahanui Inlet to park at Pukerua Bay rail station. We headed north along the narrow track adjacent to the railway lone, slowly climbing the side of the hill. The weather was being very kind to us, some high cloud, bits of blue sky and not too windy. We zig-zagged up some short flights of stairs, continued north and then down into two gullies for the swing bridge crossings. Here the wind was a little blustery, funnelling up the gullies. We progressed along the side of the hill, up and down flights of stairs, stopping for morning tea next to a patch of kawakawa/kohekohe forest.
The kohekohe had large round fruit sticking out from their branches and tree trunks. Noisy birds were enjoying the forest. After another steep stairway climb, we reached the ‘lookout’ where we had lunch in the sun. With our great view of Kapiti Island to the north, we headed further along the track, slowly decreasing in altitude, more zig zags and eventually back to adjacent of the railway line. 
The next section of track had some different trees (whau), a lizard rock garden (with skinks) and more community planting. A short 1-minute shower of rain allowed a quick wear of the raincoats, including a new blue jacket for Stan. 
A hot cuppa was had at a busy Paekakariki café before catching the train back to Pukerua Bay. 
We saw approx. 30 people heading along the track in opposite direction

Mountain House Loop

On a sunny Sunday 10 club members walked the mountain house loop.  The consensus of the group was to walk up the Atakahtu valley to the loop track and go uphill from there.  We all got to the mountain house shelter and enjoyed an early lunch or morning tea for some.  We didn’t stop long as the wind was chilly.  We then made out way down the hill, stopping briefly at rocky lookout.  A great wee walk.

Mitre Flats Working Bee

Over The weekend of the 4&5th May, seven members of the Tramping club headed to Mitre Flats for a working bee. Jason Cheated and arrived the day before on the helicopter but had to unload two loads of firewood and start the cleaning before the others arrived on Saturday morning.
We all set about to clean and prepare the underside on the porch area around the two sides of the hut. We have now painted it white from the old flaking polyurethane and as you will see by the photos looks really good. When the temperature got to cold outside to paint some moved inside to paint underside of the bunks a dark green to colour to cover up all the graffiti. The new hut history sign and pin board were install on the hut. The tracks into and away from the hut were weed-eatered and the area around the hut also.
It was then onto the long three-course dinner which was a very good spread supplied by all. I am sure we all ate too much.
A slower start in the morning as we had other trampers sleeping in the hut. A great feed of bacon eggs and sausages on toast was available for everyone. Way too much food again!!! We will all be crawling out the track today.
This morning saw us apply the second coat of paint to both jobs as well as a number of hut maintenance jobs that were on the list to do.
After a quick lunch we packed up and headed back to the road end.
Another very successful working bee weekend at Mitre Flats.

Not the Raglan Ranges 12 – 16 March 2019

With the forecast for a lot of rain in the Nelson & Marlborough regions it seemed sensible to go somewhere different than our planned return to the Raglan Range. The Tararuas looked windy, but the
Kawekas were forecast to be fine and not much wind.
A look at maps showed what might be a suitable 4-5 day circuit, including Kaweka J, the highest point in the Kawekas (1724m), so a good spot to visit. After a longish drive we arrived at the Makahu Saddle road-end about 3pm, sort of ready for what we expected to be a 3-4 hour walk to Studholme
Saddle hut. The track was steep, even by Tararua standards, so it was slow going. Fortunately at around 1400m there was Dominie hut, a stand up 2 bunk hut, we all agreed it was a good place to stop for the night (Barry had the floor!)
Wednesday morning we woke to a gale shaking the hut, no hurry to go outside, but it did eventually ease off a bit and Barry suggested a day walk to the tops, we could always return if the wind was too bad. We made it to Kaweka J, past a memorial cairn to those from the Heretaunga Tramping Club who died in WW2, and north to North Kaweka where we found some shelter for a lunch stop, and time to enjoy the view over Hawke’s Bay. Then it was back to the hut, and a game of cards. That evening the forecast was for overnight gales, again, but easing early morning.
Thursday, we left about 9am with the wind easing rapidly, by the time we reached the tops (40 minutes) it was almost calm with some sunny patches. Thus the weather continued as we made our way north, the Kaweka tops are similar to the Ruahines rolling with not too many descents, once you
are up there! That night we stayed at the 4 bunk Ballard hut, along with a hunter from Whanganui and a solo tramper from Napier, Barry probably had the best sleep, outside under a fly.
Friday morning we woke inside a cloud, our hunter was expecting a “taxi” to fly in? Once again we left about 9am, starting with a steep 200m climb which warmed us up. It was still misty as we retraced our steps for the first hour or so, then we started our descent to Middle Hill hut. We were
soon out of the mist, and enjoying a rest in the sun, before entering the forest. This turned out to be a wonderful world of beech trees, moss, and a nice soft track covered in leaves, not a lot of birdlife though. We arrived at the hut mid-afternoon, and all to ourselves. So after a wash it was time to
relax and catch a few Z’s. That evening we heard a Kiwi, and Morepork.
Saturday, and home time, but not before a walk out to complete the loop. From the map it looked a bit like the Barra track with drops into streams and climb out again. The difference was that the descents lost much more height, some 100 to 200m, others only 50m. We were “over it” by the time
we reached the vehicle. On the way out I checked most of the 60 odd DOC200 traps which had been re-baited a few days beforehand and removed 4 rats and a stoat. In exchanging e-mails with DOC in
Napier they are experiencing an increase in rats recently, as we have been at Donnelly Flat.
A good trip, interesting country that none of us had been to before, not a place to be if it is wet and
windy.

Patuna Chasm – 17 March 2019

A very popular trip, I could have taken more than we had
pre-booked for.  With a few late drop
outs we ended up with 9.

The Masterton ladies all met at the normal meeting place and
headed down to Patuna Farm, just out of Martinborough.  Chris from Carterton met us at the farm.

We were transported to the start of the track and began our
walk.  First across farmland tracks, we
stopped at the wave cloud rock and had lunch. 
Then next was to tackle the track and ladder down in to the Chasm.   Then
we walked through the river and the magnificent chasm.  A wonderful trip, lots of photos taken,
enjoyed by all.

Robyn, Amy, Linda, Chris, LJ, MaryAnne, Amanda, Tia and Denise

Pencarrow Lighthouse – 9 April 2018

Last Sunday 9th April the club left the Tramping boots behind and traded them in for Bike Ride.
A cycle trip to Pencarrow lighthouse was always going to depend on good weather. Immaculate planning saw a wonderful day, if a bit breezy, but then it was Wellington.
Three members, plus a visitor drove down to Eastbourne, where we met a second visitor. A steady northerly gave us an easy ride down to the Pencarrow Lighthouses, so we decided to carry on to Baring Head lighthouse, past an optimistic surfer. On the approach to Baring Head there is a reasonably steep climb, which was greatly assisted by a significant tailwind. After lunch it was time to return, into what was now a strong headwind. On the return journey there were many more walkers and cyclists about, with a few cyclists walking for a while as everyone experienced strong gusts as we rounded each minor headland.

Blue Range Hut – 3 April 2018

Blue Range Hut
On Monday 3rd April John, Nigel and Jason popped up to Blue Range Hut which is about two hours walk uphill from the Kiriwhakapapa Road End. The mission was to dismantle the water tank and clean it out and return it to the tank stand. The reason for the cleaning was somebody had contaminated the water supply. We removed a large amount of soot and ash as well as AA Batteries and sardine tins and a lot of paper magazines which someone had dumped in their back in February. The water supply is now safe to drink after the rain this week. Some other jobs were undertaken while there. Then we had a great easy walk back down to the road end.

Combined MTC and SWTC track clearing – 27 March 2018

Monday 27th March 2018

Applied Tramping is a term which has been given to exercise where enjoying the view, companionship, and native flora and fauna, is supplemented with a specific purpose.
The Masterton and South Wairarapa Tramping Clubs occasionally organise a joint trip to encourage fellowship and to increase numbers participating.
One such recent trip was to the ridge line behind Featherston where a track leads from the end of Bucks Road, past the summit of Finis and the highest point, on this track, of Mt. Frith, and eventually to the Remutaka road summit.
For some years South Wairarapa Club members have been instrumental in trying to keep the track “open”, and it was with this in mind that on a recent Monday 5 members of from the Clubs set off to do some track clearing.
The main “culprit” needing to be cleared is gorse, gorse loves daylight, which is what you get when you clear an area of ground.
Why clear the track along the Finis-Frith ridge, well it is an official DOC track, has some unique views over the Wairarapa, and gives a good route for a day walk near Featherston.
And what of our day of applied tramping? Well we cut a lot of gorse, cut it, throw it into the air, and the westerly wind carries it away! We also collected a few gorse prickles in our fingers no matter how good your gloves, and, most important of all, had TWO breaks for a cup of tea!
If you are interested in helping on one of these infrequent trips please contact either of the Tramping Clubs.

Ruahine Range Waitangi Weekend 2018

Ruahine Range Waitangi Weekend 2018

Club members took the Monday off to make it a four day weekend. We all travelled up on the Friday and meet at the Mangaweka camp ground. Then up early on the Saturday morning to head inland to Mokai Station. From Mokai, east of Mangaweka Julie, Nigel, Jason, Clint and Sandra started their ascent across farmland. During the climb we encountered, plenty of Microtis orchids in the grass, and great views. A sidle below the Mokai Patea range high point took us to a saddle and the Forest Park boundary. A steep descent through beech forest and we arrived at Iron Bark hut for lunch. (Thanks to Mokai Station for access across their land).
At this point our tramping party split into two groups.

Group 1 continued to Colenso Hut for the night. We arrived at Colenso hut after a short side walk to look at Lake Colenso. Two of the party went to check and reset all the stoat traps around the lake after we had had a brew. On the Sunday we were up early as the hunter headed out for an early morning hunt. Clint left us here to head home as he couldn’t get the Monday off. Julie and Jason then walked down stream to the confluence of Mangatera River where we then headed up stream till we meet the turn off to the Potae River track. On the way two whio were seen basking in the morning sun. Great views were had at the highest point Patae all around to Mt Ruapahu, to the west and around the Ruahine range to the east and south. We soon arrived at Ruahine Corner hut where we were to stay for the night. A nice relaxing afternoon exploring the Alpine Tundra and soaking up the sun. Two other parties arrived that night from different parts of the Ruahine range but they had started on the East side of the range. Monday morning we were up early as we wanted to beat the forecast low cloud and possible rain as we were off track navigating to Ohutu Ridge via a few deep Georges and some very steep country and some beautiful streams. Once on Ohutu ridge it was plain sailing all the way back along the ridge till we started the steep or was it vertical drop down into Whakaurakou River it became a bit of a bush bash due to the heavy snow fall in the winter which brought down lots of trees which made it hard going. Once down a short walk upstream to meet up with the others waiting at Iron Bark hut.

Group 2 spent the remainder of the day and first night at Iron Bark. We collected firewood for the hut, talked tramping with 7 others from Parawai tramping club. On Sunday we used the two footbridges to cross the Maropea and Unknown streams then started our ascent and walk to Colenso hut. The track was steep to start with then levelled out. There was plenty of scratchy small tree falls and ongaonga. We descended past a slip into the Mangatera river valley. A short walk through grassy boggy areas and bush noisy with rifleman got us to Colenso hut. A lovely sunny afternoon at the hut was had, exploring the lake and bird life, looking for whio. We chatted to the Parawai club members who visited on their way to the Unknown campsite, and two others at the hut (who were checking the stoat traps protecting the whio).
On the third day, group 2 returned to Iron Bark hut, we had a great view of a morepork sitting quietly in a tree and morning tea in the sun at the top of the hill. After a quick swim in a beautiful green pool we rested up until group 1 arrived.

On Waitangi day the 4 of us were up and packed and off to the road end. 75 minutes up the hill through the beech forest returned us to the Forest Park boundary. Light drizzle and a cold breeze awaited us as we re-traced our steps across the farmland and back to the carpark.
Birds we saw or heard on the trip. Kereru, rifleman, whio/blue duck, grey warbler, tomtit, shag, falcon, scaup, whitehead, waxeye, morepork, bellbird, tui.
Trees/plants of interest: Mountain cedar, Ongaonga, bush lawyer, Dactylanthus, orchids (sun, potato, greenhood)