Trip Reports

Boggy Pond and Wairio Wetland – 3 December 2017

Boggy Pond and Wairio Wetland.

On Sunday 3rd Dec, 7 of our Club Members went to have a walk around at these sites. This follows on from a very interesting informative talk by Ross Cottle of Ducks Unlimited, at a previous Club Night. They are a small group of very dedicated people who have worked wonders with this area on behalf of Wildlife.
The weather was kind to us, cloud to stop it becoming too hot, the NW wind chopped up Lake Wairarapa with plenty of white caps, but just gave us a nice breeze to keep us cool.
There were plenty of birds to see, from white Spoonbills down to Mother Duck & her little ones.We saw one solo bird, that might have been an Ibis, couldn’t think of what else it could be, and Aunty Google couldn’t offer any other alternatives when we got home either.
So, Denise Sandra Laura Thea Mike Nigel and scribe Ian, had a good day, finished off with a stop at the ice cream shop on the way home.

Tinui Cross Walk – 12 November 2017

Tinui Cross Walk.

Janet was joined by Thea, Stan, Denise and Sandra on this short day walk to the Tinui Cross.
It took 1 hour 20 minutes to reach the top. The vegetation and track was varied – we walked through pine forest, farmland and QE2 protected native forest. There were a couple of small ponds, weta hotels to check, seats with views and native orchids.
At the top we explored the rocky outcrop which has a trig, sundial and the cross itself. The views were amazing. We pulled out some small wilding pine seedlings before returning to the shelter for our cup of tea break. There was a light rain shower as we packed up and started our return trip down the hill. The sun was back by the time we were out of the bush, reaching the car park in 45min.

Cattle Ridge Hut Trip – 4 – 5 November 2017

Cattle Ridge Hut Trip 4th & 5th November 2017
Attendees: Jason, Angela and Ben

Waking up on the Saturday morning revealed low cloud on my side (western) of the tarries. On the way over the Pahiatua track there was no rain just the low cloud pea soup, so that was a good sign for things to come. I met Jason and Angela in Eketahuna where I ditched my vehicle and hitched a ride with them to the Putara road end. We hit the track around 0815 and arrived at the track junction atop of the first climb of the day around 0945. After an hour and a bit of plodding, watching and talking we were having a brew and lunch at roaring stag hut. Once lunch was had we heaved on our packs and bounded over the Ruamahunga River swing bridge, we ditched our packs soon after and checked out the campsite which the club has frequently used over the years. Once we had reminisced about past wilderness weekends spent there we started the inevitable climb up 1 of the steepest tracks in the Tararuas towards Cattle Ridge hut. After some steady climbing we had a scroggin stop at the bush line where we were rewarded with some awesome views of the Wairarapa and the blue range. Jason took a clear photo of the Blue range hut from a distance of around 5 kms on full zoom which turned out quite clear from such a distance away. More climbing in the sub alpine and over the last hurdle Cattle Ridge hut had come into view. By now the wind had picked up considerably so was a relief when the packs were taken off in the new porch area of the hut. Arrival time to the hut was 1515. Once unpacked and a brew was being consumed the rain started to fall horizontally, our arrival could not have been timed better. Cheese and crackers and the good ol’ “de-hi” were had and soon we had retired to the pits. The wind was certainly on form overnight with the hut shaking and shivering.
A late breakfast and pack up saw us shutting the door of the recently refurbished hut at 0845 and we were arriving at Roaring Stag an hour later where we met up with a few groups of trampers that had stayed overnight. 18 in total had stayed in Roaring stag that night. Makes the climb up to Cattle Ridge all the more worth it when we had the hut to ourselves. We had a group discussion about where to head from here. Up the Ridge to the junction or up the river to the hidden lake. Since it was so early it was a no brainer to head for the hidden lake. After a bit of bush bashing we were at the lake edge enjoying the scenery and tranquillity. Such a peaceful place to be.
A due east compass bearing had us heading for Ruapae stream then a short climb up to the ridge to join up with the track to the junction. Lunch was had in the sun on the track, soon after we were heading down the hill and over the 2 swing bridges finally arriving at the carpark at 1430. A good weekend weather wise (not having to break out the parkas) and a marvellous tramp had by all.

Hidden Lakes Walk number 2 – 15 October 2017

Hidden Lakes walk (2).
The second club trip to the Hidden Lakes started with some drizzly rain and turned out hot and sunny. Participants travelled to the starting paddock in multiple cars and rugged up for the cold and wet weather. Across a couple of paddocks and up a slight rise and we were at the edge of the QE2 covenant. We walked through forest (mainly titoki, totara and coprosma) until we reached the edge of the first lake with a great viewpoint  . Raupo and a small dinghy on the shore, views across the lake with several ducks. We continued around the lake, found another short track with views past a maimai. 

Some more exploring led to great views of the Ruamahanga, native tree planting and picnic tables for morning tea. At this appropriate time, the sun came out and we all enjoyed a drink and morning tea cake in the heat.
Back along the track, around a view bends and through some vegetation we found the second lake, slightly smaller than the first with steep hills on most sides. We frightened a duck who flew out of the grass we’d just walked around.
We travelled back over farmland and back to the cars. A very enjoyable walk with the weather improving all the time.
On the walk were; Judith, Janet, Denise, Jason, Debs, Pete, Nico, Steve, Jo, Iain, Sophie-Maree and Sandra.


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