Trip Reports

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).

The Red Hills – February

The Red Hills, Richmond Ranges By Nigel

With a forecast of fine weather three of us left Masterton optimistic that we would be lucky. Our first day’s walk started at the Inwood Lookout, at 700m, it was then climb to 1500 on the Gordon Range, rather warm on a hot sunny day. We arrived at Hunter’s Hut to find it empty.
Next day we had a local walk, up the hill behind the hut, to take in the views and, as it happened, pull out 30+ wilding pines, we left at least as many too big to pull out. That night we were joined by 4 Te Araroa walkers in the hut, walking past 2 sometimes 3 huts each day!
Friday, we were off to Porter’s Creek Hut, a number of saddles to climb up and over, and a few slips to sidle over where the surface was breaking up with the number of walking poles loosening up the scree. Just one TA walker with us in the hut that night.
Saturday was a walk largely in river valleys on the way to Red Hills Hut, some steep hills were a bit of a grind in the heat. The hut was quite full, two Hunters from Blenheim, and 2 TA walkers, two of us slept under a fly. That evening we had some light rain for a while.
Sunday we had a sort of rest day and went for a walk above the hut, nice not to have a heavy pack on your back. Monday we walked out to SH 63 along a 4wd track, we had hoped to hitch to St Arnaud, but ended up walking all the way!
A good trip in some new country for us.


Papatahi Hut – 11 – 12 February

Papatahi Hut in the Rimutaka Forest Park.

On a lovely Saturday, 7 of us went in from the Catchpool road end just strolling along having a natter to those going the other way, and a look at this and that of interest. We saw hunters carrying out deer and goats that they had shot in the hills.

Papatahi Hut is a nice DOC hut, complete with gas hobs, pots and pans cutlery etc., spoiling us.

A big fat almost black possum browsed on the vegetation near the hut, before dark, not worried about us watching.

During the night a medical event occurred to one of our party, causing the inability to walk back out, so the only solution was to activate the Club’s PLB, which we did at 6am, early, because the wind had got stronger and more gusty in the hour before that.

The Westpac Rescue helicopter arrived at 7am, taking the patient to Hospital. Thankfully the patient’s issue was resolved during the day, enabling a homeward journey with Nigel.  Thank you Nigel, lucky we had that second vehicle.

The rest of the party duly walked back out, sometimes down the riverbed, and sometimes along the track, back to Terry’s people mover. Thanks are due to Terry, for taking us down and back, even though he couldn’t come in with us.

A very pleasant social trip for; Kay, Janet, Sandra, Denise, Nigel, Stan and scribe Ian S, with the added experience of using a PLB, a first for all of us. This proves the importance of always taking the PLB on any trips.

Burttons Track – 4 February 2017

Burtton’s Track on the Te Araroa trail February 4

For the long weekend the Club journeyed over the Tararua Ranges to near Tokomaru. Five of us left Masterton and waited a few minutes at Scotts Road for local members to join us. It was then about a 20 minute drive to the road end at a forestry road.

Nine of us left our transport drivers, hoping that we would see them at the other end of the track, some 17km distant. It was overcast and cool, ideal tramping weather. The track initially passed through an area of cleared forest, after an hour or so we reached a stile at the Forest Park boundary, time for a snack and a drink.

The native forest was noticeably darker under thick bush cover, and very muddy for the first hour or more as we made our way down to the Tokomaru River. The route crosses two small streams before reaching the Tokomaru, after recent rains all the water courses were higher than usual, but still easily crossable. A day or two prior would not have been so good, the grass on the banks a metre or more above the water level had been well covered.

As we reached the Tokomaru the sun shone, briefly, while we stopped for lunch, sitting on a handy log. After crossing the river we followed the track through private land before re-crossing the river, shortly after we came to the old Whare site where Jim Burtton had spent many years while he farmed the land from 1908 to 1941.

After the Whare the track followed the original pack track which Jim Burtton had constructed, this was overgrown in many places, but still visible enough to see the huge amount of work done to construct it.

On the way out we met Ian, he had driven around and walked in to meet us, we now were sure we had transport at the end! Once out to the vehicle we drove up the Mangahao Road to our accommodation for the night at an old DSIR house between the upper and lower dams. A good pot luck dinner followed before some local members drove home.

Next morning after an early start three members set off south to Te Matawai Hut, Waitewaewae Hut and eventually Otaki Forks. Three of us remained at the house, taking the time to explore around the upper and lower dams and clean the house before heading home on Monday.

Those on the first day’s trip:

Jason, Terry, Julie, Ben, Ronnie, Bob, Nigel & Ian


Mitre Flats Working Bee – 24 January 2017

Last Tuesday (24/01/17) members of the club headed to Mitre Flats to have a big spruce up of the hut. Thanks to those volunteers from the club and visitors who helped on the working bee. Over the following few days the hut was transformed inside and out. Inside was given a big spruce up on the wet days and the outside re painted. Thanks to those who helped over the six days. The hut is looking great. There is just the roof to paint which Doc is going to.


Wilderness Weekend – 13 – 15 January 2017

Wilderness 2017

13-15th January the club ran its Wilderness training weekend. This was the first time that the club had run the weekend for 20 years! The weekend was full of training and fun and friendship.
Friday: Some departed earlier (Nigel, Mike & Lora) but Barry and Jason departed at town at six for Pataru road end. It was then on with our packs and set off for Roaring Stagg lodge where the weekend was based. There was no race at all a Barry!!! Some stayed in the full hut on the Friday night and some camped outside.
Saturday was a slow start to the day. Glen ran in s for morning tea before heading out. We then got into some GPS, map and compass training. This proved very interesting for all involved. We found the GPS maps were not 100% correct with their land features which was a test for us all. As we went about our training we did a trip to the Hidden Lake and returned to the hut. After a good cup of Tea everyone packed up from the hut and head down to the camp sites a across the river. Paul joined us for the night of fun.
Once our camp was set up and the fire wood collected it was time for camp cooking. The camp dinner was a recipe from our X club patron Selwyn Pawson which comprised of Potato, carrot, onion, herbs, and mince all cooked on the coals of the fire. Even some baked potatoes and Kumera were cooked. Everyone enjoyed there meal.
Sunday: The rain started in the early hours of the morning but some of us managed to get packed up between the showers before heading back to the hut for a dry breakfast. By the time we were heading out the track started to resemble a stream more than a walking track. Everyone one was home early to dry out. A great weekend enjoyed by all.