Paekakariki Escarpment

Wed 23 Jan 2019

Scribe: Shane Wilson

A van load of twelve trampers left Wanganui at 7am for the two hour journey to Paekakariki. With changeable weather on the way down we arrived to clearing skies and a slight breeze. We began our walk along this coastal track, gradually climbing higher and higher with every step. The wind increased as we gained height, so you had to be sure of your footing.

Kapiti Island was hidden under a blanket of cloud, but views of Pukerua Bay could be seen. Further along two swing bridges had to be negotiated before our descent to the railway line. We boarded a train back to our starting point, then began our journey back to Wanganui, stopping on the way for icecream at Waireka Honey.

Kaweka Range

Sat–Mon 19-21 Jan 2019

Scribe: Tracey Hooper

Day 1: After a five-hour drive over to the ranges via State Highway 50, we arrived to start our tramp at 1100hrs. The proposed walk was to take 3-4 hrs to Middle Hill Hut. We passed through Kaweka Flat bivvy site to look over the huge gully standing between us and Middle Hill Hut. The sun (as lovely as it was) was about to undo us (Tracey) on the other side for the walk up again to gain our lost altitude. Most members said they had never consumed so much water before. Once that was out of the way we continued past the junction that we would be taking the next day, to arrive at Middle Hill Hut. The journey had taken us 6.15 hrs. We all had a bed and the hut to ourselves (with campers outside).

Day 2: We made our way to the junction and started our next big climb up to Whetu and were again blessed with a fine day with great views of Ruapehu. The trip to Ballard Hut is to take 3-4 hrs again and we arrived in 5 hrs. The hut is in a lovely location, albeit you have to commit to dropping down a long way to get to it. There was a hunter and his sons who we were able to wave off when a chopper picked them up. Once again we had the hut to ourselves, with Mark sleeping outside.

Day 3: We had to get back up the tops, past Whetu, and enjoy the top of the ranges which were relatively easy walking. The wind was snappy but not uncomfortable, and we were able to find some sheltered spots to gather ourselves. We sidled around North Kaweka (around 1700m) and made our way to Kaweka J. The track took us off the summit, so Mike went and visited the memorial on the summit as we started to make our way down, stopping at Dominic Bivvy for a snack. We continued plummeting down, with scree rolling under our feet, wondering if a track that we viewed to the right may have been the better option. Either way, both tracks had a rather difficult (nasty) section where it is so steep it is hard to remain upright. Finally making it down to the van, it had taken us 6.20h (stated as 5 hrs). We then opted for a different route, taking the Taihape Rd, with the van showing empty for diesel with 54kms to get to Taihape, but we made it. Phew!

Trampers: Tracey, Mark, Dave, Lyneke, Mike.

Three Bush Reserves

Wed 16 Jan 2019

Scribe: Sandra Rogers

Three bush reserves were the plan for us today; two were new to me and all in the Rangitikei. First was Pryce’s Rahui Reserve, second Bruce Park, and third Mangaweka Scenic Reserve Track.

All three had magnificent trees: kahikatea, matai, rimu, totara etc. It was lovely to be in bush that wasn’t ‘cut over’. We went down to the Rangitikei River at Mangaweka for lunch. The river was impressively in flood after all the rain we’d had. A really nice, social, relaxing day with a stop at the service station in Hunterville for real fruit ice creams. I recommend the peach and pineapple.

On the trip were Sandra Rogers, Barry Hopper, George Neil, Helen Atkinson, Jacky Evans, Dorothy Symes, Suzanne Roberts, Graham Sutcliffe, Margaret Stratford, Bruce Thomas, David Taylor, Richard Rayner and Graham Ellett.

Pukerua Bay to Plimmerton

Wed 9 Jan 2019

Scribe: Barry Hopper

A great morning as we depart the clubrooms at 7am and head south, arriving at Pukerua Bay Beach at 9.20am. Stunning morning with Kapiti in perfect visibility, no clouds and the water as calm as can be, no wind either as we set off at 9.30am. We had to be at, and past, Wairaka Rock by 12.20pm, the high tide this day. As it turned out all of us managed to get around this outcrop with no problems. We had morning tea in the shade of the outcrop and carried on south along the rocky coast towards Plimmerton where we had options for the return journey. The weather was just amazing with many fishing vessels coming close inshore for set-nets and enjoying the fact that there were basically no waves in a very calm sea. As I said, visibility was amazing with multiple views of Kapiti and Mana Islands and also across to the South Island. We had lunch by a discarded settlement and quarry and proceeded on our way south to Plimmerton. Once we had turned the corner into Hongoeka Bay we were treated to the sight of a seal having a lazy feed off a set-net only a very few metres off shore. It would dive down, grab a fish, surface and roll onto its back and just lie on top of the set-net while having a feed and enjoying the calm sunny conditions. Nice work if you can get it. Arriving at Plimmerton Boating Club early afternoon, it was time for a toilet stop, change into togs and into the harbour beside the Boating Club for a well-earned and timely swim. Although cold at first, it turned out to be very refreshing. This was very relaxing and a shallow spot to go swimming even though it was only a couple of hours after high tide. The womenfolk found there were showers in the toilet facilities here, definitely recommended for future summer tramps. After our swim there were options - two different tracks back overland to Pukerua Bay Beach or a trip on the train back to Pukerua Bay, with four choosing the latter. The remaining group along with myself set off up - and I mean up as it was quite a climb in places to find the ‘Track’ back to Pukerua Bay. The views from up here were amazing, looking back down into Karehana Bay and the Plimmerton Boating Club’s extensive facilities, Mana Island, and out across the water to the South Island. This track took the best part of two and a half hours to get back down to Pukerua Bay Beach to the vans. The views from this track were many and varied. A stop south of Otaki for real fruit ice-creams and back to Wanganui by 6.30pm concluded an amazing eleven and a half hours on a beautiful, stunning summer’s day in paradise. Enjoying this great day were Carolyn Shingleton, Cherry Channon, Dorothy Symes, Helen Atkinson, Jacky Evans, Laurel Stowell, Margret McKinnon and her grandson Luke, Pippa McLay, Roger Kealey, Sally Gray, Sue Campion and Sue Haden. Sorry, Graham Sutcliffe didn’t make this one. Leader/driver was Barry Hopper, and it was my great pleasure.

Otaki River Walks

Sun 6 Jan 2019

Scribe: Sandra Rogers

Twenty-one headed for the Otaki River walkways. First we did Chrystall’s Bend upstream walk, from the northern end of SH1 Otaki River bridge. An impressive amount of planting has been done throughout the walk, which takes you to a very pretty lake. The plantings have been done by various schools, community groups, Fonterra etc and looked to me to be all native plants. About 4k return.

Our second walk was seaward on the northern side of the river, a walk of 8k return along a stopbank to the estuary. There is an interesting wetland at the end near the sea, with more native plantings and another nice lake. After around four hours walking, it was back to the van and off to River Cottage Cafe just down the road. Thank you all for your company.

On the trip were: Sandra Rogers, Jacky Evans and Murray Voss (drivers), Carolyn Shingleton, Jeanette Prier, Fred Verschoor, Kate Jones, Trish Herbert, Bev Sinclair, John Baxter, Barbara Gordon, Anne Condon, Maryanne Sleyer, Dorothy Symes, Bruce Thomas, Helen Atkinson, Dianne Weeks, Earle Turner, Julie Kearse, Adrian Pike and Bridgette Hund.

Remutaka Rail Trail

Wed 2 Jan 2019

Scribe: Dave Scoullar

The New Year got off to a flier with two full van loads on the Remutaka Rail Trail — 12 walkers at each end who met at the old Summit rail station site for lunch. With the big drive it was a long day, but great weather, even if the group who ended at Cross Creek got severely blown about.

This 18km trail is immensely popular, especially with cyclists, and we saw quite young children pedalling along with their parents.