Trip Reports

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

Kapakapanui – 6 May

On Saturday 6th May the club trip was to Kapakapanui hut. Two members Jason & Sandra left Masterton at a leisurely start of 10am. We drove to Waikanae where we meet the other two Becks and Ben. It was then off to the Ngatiawa road end. A short walk across farm land saw us into the first of the stream crossings. Lunch was had and the track junction in the sun before the climb up to the hut. The trip up to the hut took 2.45min. A quick cuppa tea, at the hut then we were off to the bush edge to watch the sun go down over the Kapiti Coast. The views were amazing. Mt Ruapahu to the north, Mt Taranaki/Egmont to the west and the Kaikoura Mountains to the south. It was a quick retreat back down to the hut before dark. We were glad to have put our sleeping bag on our bunks as on return found there was ten of us staying in the hut tonight. Everyone was very welcoming and we had a great night chatting and telling stories
Sunday dawned overcast but clear. A late start again and we were off over the top today and heading back down to the cars. The view was not as clear today but fantastic never the less. We got back to the cars in time as it started to rain. The drive home and back to the sunshine of the Wairarapa. A great weekend was had by all.

Paekakariki Escarpment – 15 April

Paekakariki escarpment – Te Aroha MTC Walk 15 April 2017

After the emails were flying from me on the Western side of the Tararaua’s to the Club members on the eastern side of the Taries it was the Westerners who prevailed and took on the mighty Te Aroha Trail from Paekakariki to Pukerua Bay. Leaving Tokomaru late morning in rain we were not holding out much hope for the forcasted Clear weather but alas the further south we travelled the better the weather was. We parked at the Paekakariki train station and hit the foot path heading south along SH1 to the start of the track. We were soon climbing steadily southwards getting ever so higher above SH1 and the main trunk line. After gaining more altitude and some steps we stopped for a break and to admire the views to the south, north and Kapiti Island.

After more upwards steps were conquered we had reached the high point of the trail where the breeze was steadily blowing at us but nothing like the classic Tararua tops wind. Next was the many stairs heading downwards towards the swing bridges and more stairs. Ever so gradually we lost altitude and found ourselves walking along the Main trunk line towards the Pukerua Bay Train station where we boarded a Train for Paekakariki. 10 mins later we were back at our car after a 3 hour walk.

Members were Ben, Ronnie, Scarlett (8), Bob (7) and Vinnie (4).
Excellent time had by all.


Rovers Hill – 1 April

Rovers Hill a joint production by SWTC & MTC     by Nigel Boniface

Plans for this weekend were, changeable. Vicky Brooks (SWTC) was supposed to take the trip to Rovers Hill, but she was not well, John Rhodes (SWTC & MTC) was supposed to take a MTB trip on Sunday, but was unable to get permission to go on the selected route.

So, on Saturday Barry Kempton (SWTC) led a trip to Rovers Hill (near Kiriwhakapapa), with John as navigator (he had been there before), and Nigel Boniface & Jay Just (both MTC) making sure they stayed close to the script. Trip grading was also confused, SWTC had a hard grade, MTC an Easy+, we all survived!

Early navigation instructions were simple, follow the track to Blue Range Hut until it starts to climb, then veer right and climb through the bush until we crossed a stream and got onto a ridge. As we climbed through beech and supplejack the going became easier for a while especially when we came across old bulldozed tracks and some grassy clearing.

Following a cuppa it was “lights, action” and on up the hill, a feint ground trail coming and going. Lunch was taken at the summit of Rovers Hill, not much of a view, but no wind made for a pleasant stop.

From the summit we headed to HP 810, then, following some study of the map, down through a saddle and up onto the Blue Range ridge.

It seemed to take ages to near Blue Range Hut, (lots up small ups and downs, or maybe we were just tiring), where we took various shortcuts to get to the track leading to the hut.

At the hut we met 3 guys from Palmerston staying the night. After replacing the rat baits and measuring up the door for a new catch it was time for the final act, down to the carpark which we managed in about 1.5hrs.

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).