I am back home for a short time after a very successful ATC Winter trip to the Abel Tasman coastal and inland tracks and the Queen Charlotte Walkway. All went very well thanks to Christine Major’s careful organisation, a great bunch of people and mostly co-operative weather – Auckland’s regularly wet weather while we were away was not seen in the top of the South Island. Already Christine has plans underway for next year’s winter trip.

A reminder that we have some great day walks and multiday tramping trips lined up over the coming months – please book in as leader, driver or trip member to ensure there is space for you, and so that the trip can run smoothly as planned.

Thanks very much to all our regular bus drivers, and a reminder that you too can become a driver – for a vehicle that is so easy and comfortable to drive. Have a chat with Keith Ayton to check out what is involved.

Margaret Law has now officially handed over the multiday trips organisation role to Andrew Murdoch. A really big thank you to Margaret for the tremendous effort she has applied to organising an interesting multiday tramp for us each month – her knowledge of tramping throughout NZ and persistence in tracking down on the ground information has really turned out some superb trips.

Thanks Andrew for taking this role on …. BUT for all weekend tramp leaders and members – you can help a lot of with trip organisation and leading trips too to ensure there is something for everyone. We are especially keen for people to take a lead organisational role for specific trips, so do contact Andrew if you have specific knowledge or interest in the locations targeted for our future trips.

Just a little website quirk when looking further out in our Multiday Tramps programme – it shows the first 20 but not the ones following. To get around that, change the number displayed to 50, and then it will show you our plans currently through to the middle of next year.

When you receive FMC’s August Backcountry magazine you will see that it has a special Auckland focus, including an article I was commissioned to write on tramping in the Auckland region. Apologies in advance if I have missed your favourite local tramping trip!

The new hut – Te Whare Okioki – being built in the Kaimais by the Kaimai Ridgeway Trust via funding assistance including from the Backcountry Trust and ATC (Roger Taylor bequest) is almost complete – we are currently working through a few things with DOC Tauranga before we can finalise the date from which it will be open for bookings, hopefully sometime in the next few weeks.

Spring is almost here – more daylight time is already wirth us so we can enjoy the early mornings and evenings again.

Tony Walton