Weekend - Friday 16 November 2018 to Sunday 18 November 2018 (3 days)

This November weekend tramp was spent in the Whirinaki forest. One of New Zealand's few large blocks of podocarp forest, and one that activists worked hard in the 70s and 80s to preserve.

We arrived bright and early Saturday morning, about 12.30 am. After a short night, made shorter by the dawn chorus at 5.30am, the medium group were up and ready to go at 7.45am. There is plenty of noise in this forest.

We were about to get going, but not before our dear leader had finished his meditations over his boots. Or should I say his son's boots. They looked identical but were a size smaller. The options were grim.

So we headed of through the Te Whaiti Nui A Toi Canyon, until we reached a bridge that was our signal to leave the track and follow a stream. This we followed until we reached a bully track, which we followed until we reached the Moerangi track. This track is also used for mountain biking, and has an easy gradient. I wouldn't want to bike it. We then had lunch in a sunny spot and then sidled Moerangi and wandered down the hill to a hut.

Six hours, and nothing to do from 2pm, except to make observations about food, kit, and why male trampers conk out at 70 while women go on for ever and ever.

Sunday broke to another fine day. We wandered some more along the track before we bush bashed down to the Moerangi stream and worked our way along an ancient trail, in and out of the stream, fighting all types of battles, including Ongaonga (nasty), trips, falls, bruises, cuts etc.

Having spent 4 hours traversing the stream when we could have taken the main track in 2, we bush bashed our way up a steep hill and back onto the track, and shot through to Roger's hut for lunch. This hut was named after Roger, who was born in Rotorua while his daddy was building the hut. It is not often that one comes across a hut with stained glass windows.

Then another 3 hours out to the road end, but not before seeing a whio.

I lost my vivofit. If anyone cares to go hunting for it, it is somewhere along the Moerangi stream, either in the water or the nearby bush. I would appreciate its return before the battery runs out, in approximately 2 years. Just watch out for that Ongaonga.

We were, Sally, Don, Kay, Vicky, Michael, Martin (leader) Bill (scribe)