Weekend Trip - Friday 14 March 2008 to Sunday 16 March 2008 (3 days)

Splish Splash, One for the Ducks

The weather forecast was for occasional showers and thunderstorms, but were we fazed? No way - this weekend was targeted at the Water Babies in the club, so anyone allergic to water was sooooo on the wrong trip.

Saturday was a cruisy 4-hr walk from the Puketi Forest headquarters through gently rolling native forest to Camp Creek. The campsite was superb - flat, spacious, wreathed in nikau palms and next to a crystal-clear stream. We soon divided into suburbs - the Central Plateau, the Lower Ghetto, the Badlands, the exclusive West Bank - and whiled away the afternoon. Apart from the odd malicious wasp and some marauding possums in the night, Camp Creek certainly sets the benchmark for A+ bush camps.

Photo: Diane Dowle

We spent six hours in the river on Sunday. DOC has closed the first section of the river, but that’s for people without pack liners who don’t know how to pack-float. It was fairly shallow at first to lull us into a false sense of security, but then the vitals were in the water and (gasp - that’s cold!!!) away we went.

To pack-float, you do up your shoulder-straps and waist-belt super tight, undo your chest-strap, lean right back on your pack, pedal your legs, and gracefully breast-stroke with the current. The pack acts like a giant cork, and the upper part of your body can’t go under the water. Yes, you do get wet - but the plus-side to a river trip is that it’s lovely and flat. Mostly we were no more than splashing through the water at knee height, but you can still get very cold so polyprops are a must.

Lunch was a leisurely affair on a sunny shingle bank, the heralded rain turned out to be a vicious rumour, and after a most superb weekend we left the Forest Pools picnic site mid-afternoon to head home.

Leader/Scribe: Diane Dowle

With Water Babies: Peter Waworis, Carol Exton, Max Clark, Tina Jacques, Keith Ayton (driver), Jean Barton, Geoff Fischer, David Cray, Bruce Calvert, Simon Lin and Graham Pollock.