Day Trip - Sunday 8 June 2014
A weather forecasting showers plus this being the third year in a row for this tramp possibly contributed to only twelve ATC trampers turning up on the day.
Peter Tuohy from the West Auckland Tramping Club had contacted me over six months ago asking if I could lead them on this double destination tramp either for them only or jointly with ATC.
They opted for tramping with us and a mutually agreeable date was set many months ago. An impressive eighteen WATC members fronted up on the day thus giving us a combined total of 30 trampers on what turned out to be a virtually rain free day.
We arrived at our first destination and after a few welcoming words from me we were ready to tramp just before 9.30am.
First up the Paremoremo Scenic Reserve,the largest reserve in the North Shore District. The entrance was via a small bridge across the Paremoremo Creek with the Maximum Security Prison just across the other side of the road. The loop circuit we did here was just under 4 kilometres in length but took just on two and a half hours to comfortably do given the terrain which included some steep wet slippery sections. Plus allowing for all levels of fitness. Several trampers ending up on their backsides after slipping and sliding.
Quite a picturesque mixture of bush with the Paremoremo Creek running along the northern side with several smaller mini creeks draining into it.
We were out of the bush by around 12 noon and back on the bus enroute to the Riverhead Forest via the back roads and through the small settlement of Riverhead. WATC members followed in a small convoy of cars. Then up along the north western side of the forest via the Old North Road and Ararimu Valley Road. We entered the bush via Barlow Road, one of the loose metal forestry roads that run through the area. Lunch here just inside the forest on and around a stack of sawn timber.
Riverhead Forest is a working clay based Pine Forest with logging and other forestry activities during the working week. Like other Crown Land leased out it includes a recreation specification, however, this does not guarantee any group the right to use the forest. There is a risk that you could be sharing the tracks and roads with trail bikers and horse riders, although these activities tend to be more in the summer months. We were lucky throughout and did not encounter any other activity.
After lunch we went further into the area, crossing a small bridge in very bad repair that made it essential that we navigated this one at a time. Then up a partially overgrown track that exited onto a forestry road. Part way along this road there was a great view looking back down to the area where we had lunch and a distinctive large patch of grey/white leafless trees that stood out amongst the pines.
A short distance further then down a clay track, across a small ford, and into the pine trees. Lots of tracks here with endless junctions and no signage so it was important that the group stay together. I had a predetermined circuit sorted out that I had done several times before and we made our way via a number of tracks to the south western high side of the forest. Most of the remaining tracks had a series of bike jumps with varying degrees of difficulty/danger that had most of us being quite happy to remain as trampers rather than becoming mountain bikers.
It took just on two and a quarter hours to complete the circuit giving us a combined tramping time of four and threequarter hours plus the trip between the destinations and lunch. A combined time of five and a half hours.
None of the WATC trampers had done this double route before and they all expressed their enjoyment of doing something new. As well as this only a few of the ATC members had done it before.
A large group but one that kept together well with a number of brief regrouping stops along the way.
I personally think that a bit of interaction between the clubs is a good thing as we can all learn from each other’s experiences. I would hope that we may be able to do more joint tramps from time to time.
Scribe: Ian W. Morris