Long Weekend Trip - Friday 26 January 2018 to Monday 29 January 2018 (4 days)
Saturday morning we made our way to Tawhiwhi hut for lunch in clear hot weather, some change from the usual eerie mist down there. Plenty of horses for company, with deer and eel being spotted. Many miles of river bashing, scrambling slips and overgrown tracks along the way, a far cry from the flats of Belgium for Nancy!
The bush started giving way to grassy flats as we expected Hanamahihi hut just around the corner but the track just kept going until finally at 7.00 pm we sighted camp. Our large party of 9 had kept up a good steady pace over 10 hours after a late start.
Away at our normal time next morning over wire bridges, a lot of windfall and river work with some huge trees down across the streams. Some really great native specimens stood through the windfall. The heat felt like 30 degrees down on the riverbeds as we headed up to Takarua hut after another solid 10 hour day. Along Motomuka stream we ran into a dead-end waterfall, very photogenic but impassable so some backtracking found a track swept away by landslide so some steady scrambling by the troops had us up there in good time. A nice small forestry style hut as most chose to camp sporting the latest lightweight tents.
Final day out and we were straight up and over a ridge with cicadas screaming and lovely stands of Native bush around us. We were glad to have Geoff and Dave along with their knowledge of flora. Back along the Whakatane River and a final 45 minute road slog in baking heat as we found our blue steed being stabled by the locals.
A really good solid workout in the Te Urewera!!
Our thanks to Chris for his good leadership and driving. Cheers to Lynda, Ming, Nancy, Grace, Uta, Geoff and Dave for the good company. Scribe...Mark Abela.