The first club tramp for 2016 was to the western side of the Tararua’s to start at the back of Levin at Poads road.
Two club members Nigel and Jason left Masterton of a Very wet and windy Friday afternoon to travel to pick up Ben from Tokomaru on our way to Poads road. The rain stopped as we got to Levin on our way. On arrival at poads road the cloud was low on the hills and a NW wind was blowing but was dry and very warm. We tramped into the south Ohau river area till we reached the old Ohau shelter site and decided to camp here as the river was up a little. A lovely night camped beside the river looking at all the glow worms. Next morning we were up early with a cuppa in bed before eating breakfast and breaking camp. We headed up the Ohau River which was only just above normal flow by now till we reached the North and South branches. We were to head up the north branch to North Ohau hut. The river was now a lot smaller but also was a couple of deeper pools to wade through which was a little cool on an early morning.
Morning tea was had at North Ohau Hut before heading up a very steep ridge at the back of the hut to reach the southern end of the camel back ridge. Some small views were had between the trees out to the sea over Levin and to the main Range of the Tararuas. A nice lunch spot at the top with no wind was a great place to rest after such a steep uphill section.
After lunch we headed off south to Girdlestone Saddle where we meet the Te Matawai and Mangahao track junction with Darling Falls Route.
Here we headed back west down into the Ohau river head waters and around the darling falls sidle track which has had a huge storm knock out a large amount of the trees along the narrow ridge which takes a bit longer to get along now. Once back into the river it was off to South Ohau Hut which was a welcome sight after 10 hours on the go.
A good night’s sleep plus sleep in then saw us head down the south Ohau river to the river junctions where we then retraced our foot steps to the car park. A great weekend was had by all three and didn’t even need our rain coats this weekend. As we left we once again hit the rain at Levin and all our was back home on and off. Ohau was the place to be this weekend.