Day Trip - Sunday 28 October 2012
This tramp passed through a stand alone area to the west of the Hunua's that provided a good mix of farmland, forest, bush, unsealed road, and some great 360 degree views.
I live on the North Shore and although I was aware that the Auckland Marathon (that included going over the harbour bridge) was on that day, the powers that be had shut off more motorway entranceways than in the past so I was forced to take a rather circuitous and time consuming route northwards before I could head south towards Greenlane.
Arriving a few minutes after 8.45am I watched as Big Blue turned onto the motorway and although I managed to signal that I was just behind the bus I was forced to follow it down the motorway and off at the Hill Road exit. Keith stopped the bus here and contact was made re where to from. As no-one had done this particular tramp before those aboard were rather pleased to see the designated leader in a belated appearance rather than having to guess where to go.
Good weather plus the chance to tramp somewhere different saw a good turnout of twenty eight that included eight non-members.
We started from the entrance to the Brookby Quarry.
A couple of hundred metres past the quarry and along an unsealed portion of Kimpton's Road we climbed over a stile farmland and proceeded to follow the fenceline up a very steep "track" to re-group at a high point at the edge of a pine forest that provided sweeping views of the quarry in the foreground with the Auckland Skytower just visible in the distance.
We briefly came out on Kimpton's Road again after this first hill before we tackled the second one equally as steep but only about half the distance.
From here we made our way to a trig with views to the east and south. Then down a channel cut through a thick stand of gorse (something we really wish the English had not introduced into New Zealand) to a fenceline with views looking northwards towards Duder's Regional Park on the left background and the Wairoa Riverflats and the Wairoa River in the centre. Over another stile and into a section of regenerating bush before emerging onto the Clevedon Circuit Tracks.
A viewing stand here gave 360 degree views with a brief glimpse of the Clevedon township over the treetops to the south east.
Down hundreds of steps on the Clevedon Circuit and then along a boardwalk to an area that was formerly a quarry. Also with a small waterfall and some seating.
Time to look around the area that included a stream, a bridge, open grassy areas and Camp Sladdin, a Boy Scouts campsite that included a half/bunkhouse building.
There was BBQ style seating scattered around the area and this provided a rather civilised place to have lunch. What comes down must go up so we then took another steep track to get back to where Kimpton's track intersected with the Clevedon Circuit.
From here it was just a matter of retracing our steps back to the bus but we did have the option of doing the upper section of unsealed Kimpton's Road rather than going back down the very steep rise we had come up at the begining of the day. The group spilt around 50/50 here and I must highlight Noel's spirited attempt to take the harder way back and still get back to the first stile before those going back down the road.
A valiant effort but he just missed out. After all he is six months older than me and I guess that must have made all the difference!
All in all everyone appeared to have enjoyed a great day out on this relatively new section of the Te Araroa Trail.
Leader/Scribe: Ian W Morris