Day Trip - Sunday 22 September 2013
The weather forecast was not good and no doubt some were forgoing a tramp in favour of watching the America's Cup sailing, which ultimately ended up being cancelled for the day.
However, the weather defied the prediction, turned out to be rather nice instead with no need for raincoats on the day. Eighteen trampers fronted up to get two tramps for the price of one in two quite different locations.
First up the Paremoremo Scenic Reserve just past the Maximum Security Prison. This is the largest bush reserve in the North Shore District and has around four kilometres of track, some parts well defined and some not so good. Included were some steep sections that needed to be carefully negotiated, particularly given the heavy rain the day before.
One or two ended up on their backsides with pride hurt more than anything else! After a flat start the route climbs up a lot of steps, crosses a small stream and goes further upwards to briefly exit onto Brookdale Road before going straight back into the bush again. From here right back down again on some barely recognisable 'track' before yes you guessed it back up again this time a very steep climb that was only negotiable by hand over hand holding of small trees and branches. Down again then another short climb this time rope assisted.
We finally exited the bush where we entered just on two hours 20 minutes later. A rough boot clean in the long grass before all getting back onto 'Big Blue' and taking the scenic route around to the north western side of Riverhead Forest.
This pine plantation forest is very popular with mountain bikers and horse riders and is operated by Matariki Forests, under Crown Licence and is the third largest forestry company in NZ.
Entering the forest at Barlow Road we stopped just five minutes inside the gate to have our lunch break seated on top of a large pile of sawn timber.
What followed was a just over two hour loop through a mixture of bush tracks and forestry roads. Over a rickety old bridge and up to a high point that gave us a great view back down to where we had lunch. (see photograph)
Along a ridge road, down a clay 'track' of sorts, across a ford and into the forest proper. From here a series of four wheel drive 'tracks' that led to another high point that gave us views towards the south west. We made our way back from here via a series of bike tracks and jumps, crossing several forestry roads before getting back onto Barlow Road and the club bus.
Everyone seemed to enjoy the two destination tramp that ensured we could experience places that would not really be conducive to a stand alone tramp individually.
Leader/Scribe: Ian W Morris