Queens Birthday Weekend Trip - Friday 30 May 2014 to Monday 2 June 2014 (4 days)
A busy Friday evening in the yard at Sandringham Rd as 32 trampers (2 more joined later) and 2 buses prepared to leave - one for Kohi Saddle and the other for Pipiriki. Remarkably all arrived and the buses departed on time - the ACTC bus cosily full, and the ATC bus with some room to move. It became progressively colder as we travelled down country. Malcolm being the second driver to Kohi Saddle was wearing shorts and commented the next day that it took him a couple of hours’ tramping to thaw out !
A clear cold morning with some mist in the valleys set the scene for the weekend - sunshine, misty valleys, and "brisk" anywhere other than in the sun. Our group of 7 set off along the Matemateonga Track, enjoying the clear conditions, pleasant walking, and the birdsong in the bush. Omaru Hut morning tea, Mt Humphries track junction for lunch, and then a climb to the top - spectacular views from Mt Taranaki, to the north (Pirongia?), and over to the central mountains.
A cold evening at Pouri Hut - morning frost still on much of the grass (Ming and Nicole in tents), but we did manage a good fire, and appreciated our winter sleeping bags.
Magical sunrise views over the central mountains, with the valleys full of cloud / mist, while we felt on top of the world with regular views alternating with more enclosed bush sections. Ngapurua Hut for lunch, Puketotara Hut later in the afternoon, and grateful that Keith already had the fire going for us when we arrived. 2 minutes from the hut is a lookout down into the Wanganui River valley, and to the sunset on the central mountains again.
Next day, down .... more down ... to the river in time for our jet boat, which was later than scheduled. Never mind, a much anticipated ride down the river to Pipiriki - we were warned, but was it cold at this time of year !
A great trip and now time to catch up with the other groups. This party was Karen Manning, Karen Tasker, Kathy Engelbrecht, Ming Lo, Nicole McManus, Tony Walton (leader, scribe, photos), Vicky King, with Keith Ayton joining us at Puketotara Hut.