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Trip information, past trips and contacts for Wanderers Tramping Club

This page shows Club trip reports

Private Trips Reports

Click here to jump to a page that contains reports and photos for trips that were not part of the Club Program, particularly those trips that go far afield and take more than a weekend. These accounts can inspire members to do their own trips, or merely entertain them.

Waitawheta 27 March 2022

Our walk began at the end of Franklin Road, which is reached by turning right shortly before  the end of the Karangahake Gorge road. We initially followed a track through farmland until we reached the bush entry, enjoying a pleasant but cool breeze.

Kauri trees were quickly obvious along the edge of the track as we walked the old tramway up the valley. We were following the river which offered numerous swimming holes, but access was often muddy and challenging. The track was also challenging, going gently uphill, with part-buried rail lines, cobbles and metal pegs (dogs) holding down old timber sleepers.

At times towering cliffs loomed above the river and track. A small waterfall at the edge of the track fed a stream which then ran along the path before gravitating to the river, A point of interest was a bogie on rails holding a large timber log.

The Tramway finished at Devil's Elbow where the S-bend was so tight that the locomotive that pulled the logs along the tramway could not pass - it was no problem for us trampers.

As we got higher up the track we encountered a number of swing bridges with views up and down the river quite a distance below. We found a sunny spot for lunch and prepared for a warm return. The sun had come out, the temperature had risen, and there was little shade close to the river. It was great to get back into the bush and shade. 

We had seen many family groups coming towards us on our way up, who had been staying at Waitawheta Hut overnight. On our return we continued to meet others on their way up, including a school group from St Peter's School, Cambridge. 

We also encountered a large group of twittering silvereyes right above the track in a shady spot, and were visited by a number of inquisitive fantails. 

Once back on the farmland, we split into 2 groups; the fit, and the laggard (me!) and supporters. Thanks to them, I made it back to the van. The carpark was still full and the track obviously popular. We had walked 14kms.

A very enjoyable day! Thanks to the organizers.

Jenny

The Western Okataina Walkway adventure 13 March 2022

We set out on a Grade 3 walk with 17km ahead of us, with the option of a one-hour side trip to the trig and many up and down grades to cover.  Tony Dickens was the leader and Ron Clarke was the tail end Charlie.

The Grade 1 team walked down the same track for two hours and then returned to the vans. They then relocated the vans to the Education camp to pick up the grade 3 walkers.

The weather was perfect with sunshine and warm winds with high streaky white clouds.

The path was perfect. Smooth, wide and dry with lots of dead leaves covering the ground.

Our intention was to meet the Grade 1 team at the Education camp at 4pm which meant we needed to walk at a average pace of 3.4km per hour and we achieved this with a few minutes to spare.

The bush surrounded us with lush fern trees and healthy young regrowth forest.

There were eight of us fit enough to walk at Grade 3 pace and everyone seemed to enjoy the effort required to maintain this pace both up hill and downhill. Our first welcome break was taken after one hour and 3.5km covered when we stopped for smoko in the bush. After smoko we came across two marked river crossings only to find that DoC had put culverts in so we didn’t even need to get our feet wet- Iuxury

After three and a half hours we made it to the junction where the side trip to the Whakapoungakau Trig was an option.  13.1 km completed. Only Aaron was keen to go so he ran to the trig whilst the rest of us enjoyed a leisurely lunch listening to the Bellbirds serenade us.

Having saved an hour by not walking to the trig it left us with a one hour downhill thigh burner to reach our final destination and wait a few minutes for the vans to arrive.

The track is best described as an undulating endurance walkway rather than a hard tramp. We were sharing with mountain bikers so had to stay alert.

One of the highlights at the end of the day was the ice-cream at Tirau on the way home.

 The walk definitely rated as a grade 3 in the opinion of the eight Wanderers that completed the 16.4km journey in 5 hours as planned.

Rose Dickens

Hongi Hika track 27 Feb 2022

On a lovely golden summer morning 22 happy Wanderers in two vans set off towards Rotorua.  We made a left hand turn on top of the Mamakus and went North around Lake Rotorua, stopping at Hamurana for a wee break.

Then onward past Hells Gate thermal area to Lake Rotoiti. First a morning tea break, then off we went with Dianne in the lead.  Growing on the forest floor were many different fungi, and the recent wind had brought down a branch containing a lot of native orchid flowers with a great scent.  We walked through to another lake and had lunch on an elevated bank.

Returning the same way we diverted to Hori’s Wishing Tree and made a donation -  either money or green foliage - into a cavity in the trunk and had a secret wish.

Back at the vans some of the brave ladies took a dip into the lovely Lake Rotoiti.  

On the way home we stopped at Tirau and had an ice cream.  We were back in Hamilton by 5pm - a very enjoyable day      

Keith

Hapuakohe North Walkway 13 February 2022

In the teeth of a major storm, two vans left Hamilton and headed towards SH27, with Grant leading the way.  Tree branches and debris were all over the road, the van was buffeted by high winds, and it was raining.

We turned off SH27 and up the North Road to find trees and branches had come down across the road.  Someone had kindly cut a tree in half and pushed it to the side of the road so traffic could get through.  No one had mentioned the official announcement that had said: ‘Stay at home and off the roads because of  Cyclone Dobi’.

At the end of the road both vans parked up beside a fence out of the way of the pine trees, but we had to walk through them to get into the bush. We decided that having morning tea under the pine trees wasn’t such a good idea because it was very windy - branches were coming down and the trees swaying - a bit of a dangerous situation to be in. Once in the bush the weather didn’t seem to be too bad, although you could hear cracking of branches and every now and then a gust of wind would blow.

About an hour or so into the bush Grant had a phone call to say the other group were turning back and going to Pukemokemoke. We agreed to do the same and meet them there. While walking out the weather was deteriorating, the wind was blustery and every time it blew you could hardly walk, it was so strong. 

After arriving at Pukemokemoke we had lunch and started off on our walk, meeting the other group walking back towards the carpark as they were coming out. Eight of us climbed to the summit, but two stayed behind and walked back to the van.  It was still foggy at the lookout, but it wasn’t raining by the time we got there.

Driving back to Hamilton there was a police roadblock in place at Whitikahu beside the garage. They had a detour set up alongside the pumps and back out onto the road to avoid a branch that had landed on the wires and brought them down on the road.

After a stop at Gordonton for ice cream we headed back into town.

Thanks to the leaders and many thanks to the drivers who had to handle very difficult road conditions.

Ron

 

 

Hamilton Gardens 30 January 2022

The Trip Bulletin proclaimed this as a Mystery Ramble, although the fact that it started later than usual and started at the Hamilton Gardens supplied some clues. A group of 15 members gathered by the garden café and set off through the carpark and up the hill to the cemetery. We went through the cemetery, not awaking the dead, and then towards the new road works on Cobham Drive. We got a good view of the new bridge and other road construction for the Peacocks Subdivision.

From there we dropped down to Howell Avenue and then via the very extensive new boardwalks to the river bank. A walk along the river bank and over more board walks till we finally found suitable trees in Hammond Park, for shade and to have a rest and coffee etc., for those that brought any. We then continued southeast until the pathway gave out and we had a gentle climb up to a road

It was then time to ramble along Malcolm St and back to where started at the Garden Café. It was a fine day with lots of sun and a gentle breeze.

We then changed our clothes and some of us went for morning tea at the café. Overall it was a very enjoyable short walk and a good start to the new tramping year. While I have not had much to do with the club lately I look forward to many more tramps and I would like to thank Diane and Pam for their leadership and Keith for his little snippets of addition information.

Angus

Mokaihaha Track. 21 November 2021, Grade 1

This tramp was a substitute for the planned trip to Waitekauri which for various reasons wasn't suitable.The Mokaihaha Ecological Area is situated on the Mamaku Plateau, 9.6 kms. south-east of the Mamaku township, a very small settlement which we drove through on the way home. The tramp was graded as a 1 but included a few ups and downs and some dead trees to climb over, so was probably at least a 1 +, maybe even a 2. It was the first time the Wanderers' had been out for a while because of Covid restrictions. Two van loads of happy trampers were keen to get out of town. The majority of these were booked in for the harder tramp but there were 7 of us who preferred the easier option.

The more energetic group set off at a good pace but we enjoyed our morning tea before we started to walk .We were surprised how cool the weather was, as most of us had been expecting it to be very warm and lots of sun. However, once we were in the bush, the temperature was just right, there was no need to keep taking off, or putting on, extra clothes. It was so good to be out tramping again – with like minded people. What struck me most was the absolute quiet - silence even. I felt that I wanted to absorb it. Then there were the amazing, huge trees, including the large podocarps. We felt awed by the sheer size of them. Also we were fortunate to hear a kaka, which was a very distinctive sound. We weren't lucky enough to see one though. .

The walk itself was very pleasant, a few tricky paths to manoeuvre and some steepish parts but nothing too difficult. Walking in a small group was very pleasant, an easy pace and time to chat. We went and had a look at Lake Rotohokahaka which wasn't very impressive; it was more like a large mud pool than a lake. I had been imagining that perhaps it would be suitable for a swim! We sat and had an early lunch, then made our leisurely, way back, to the South road, where we had left the vans. and were due to meet the other group.

It seemed that everyone had had a good day. Thanks go to the leaders and the drivers. As usual we stopped on the way home, for a coffee or an ice-cream.

Margaret 

 

Mokaihaha Track, 21 November 2021, Grade 2+

After the usual gathering at the car park in Collingwood st, we all set off in two vans, both full. First stop, the toilets at Tirau, was welcomed by many. Keith set a cracking pace in his van with Dianne suggesting he must have been speeding. Nevertheless, we arrived at our destination, the Mokaihaha Ecological Area on South Rd Mamaku, all rearing to go. After an introductory talk with Keith outlining (with great detail) exactly where we all going, we separated into the two graded groups.  The 2+ Grade set off on the Mokaihaha track, while the others started at West Road. 

It was a pleasant walk for about 500m up to Lake Rotohokahoka, which was hardly a lake at all, more of a large swampy puddle. By all accounts it was very special to Maori back in the day as they used to catch eels here. We did wonder how the eels got into the lake in the first place. Continuing on that track we wandered along on a rather nice track where the mature trees were mostly tawa with other large podocarps like rimu appearing here and there. 

There were quite a few windfalls that were not really a problem to navigate around. However, one in particular, proved a challenge for a tardy group at the back who were not paying attention. The boys said it was the girls' fault who were so busy chatting, yet the boys too were chatting and didn't notice that the trail had disappeared. Some swift thinking soon brought about a few short and sharp blows on the trusty whistle which had been gifted by the Wanderers Club. This soon bought the leader back to the tardy group who then got an ear full as to how to negotiate a windfall. This wee incident was all very light hearted and brought smiles to our faces!  

Yet another light hearted moment came soon after, as that same whistle blower stomped on a log only to have it break in two, leaving him in a rather precarious position. That soon brought uproarious laughter to our faces! 

Frivolities over, lunch was next on the program. This we had at the junction of the Mokaihaha track and a four wheel drive track. We then had to navigate this deeply rutted and puddled track which produced a few minor tumbles as we made our way back to South Road. The van had been expected to be there but was not, so we made our way along the road for about 1.5km to the junction of South and West roads where the vans had been left. We waited very leisurely for the other group to return to the vans (they had the keys).

All and all, it was a very pleasant and somewhat low key tramp that was not difficult - just perfect for the first tramp after lockdown. The casual atmosphere continued as we stopped for an ice cream at Tirau on the way home. Thank you to the leaders, Grant, Dianne and Keith for a lovely relaxing day out. 

Adrienne
 

Whakamarama 26 September 2021

Despite the gloomy weather forecast, ten keen Grade 2+ trampers, led by Colin and Grant, set off to the Kaimai-Mamaku Forest Park for a supposedly six hour walk. The plan was to do a loop, starting on the Leyland O’Brien Tramway Track, leaving the track to take a scantily marked route to Salvation Hut, then upstream to a nearby waterfall (location to be determined) and back to the van via the Ngamarama track.

The tramp started with raincoats, ponchos, overtrousers, and umbrella (for a sleepy yawning Aaron), but the happy trampers still set off with such enthusiasm that ten minutes later we found ourselves back at the van having discovered we had walked the short loop track and we all missed the right turn at the junction to the Leyland O’Brien Tramway Track.

The second time was a little more successful and we were so enjoying the beautiful native bush we again missed the trail on the right that would take us across the stream and onto the route to Salvation Hut. Not to be dismayed, we turned back, found the trail, waded through the stream, climbed up the rise and the trail seemed to end.

Our leaders felt that maybe this wasn’t the correct spot to cross the stream, so we retraced our steps through the stream to get back to the Leyland O’Brien Tramway Track and carried on walking further in the hope of finding where to cross the stream. Without sufficient markings, nor any signage, we were at least able to enjoy the historical significance of the area noticing remains of the tram line and a set of bogie wheels on the side of the track. Colin and his GPS were an enigma to the rest of us and he also appeared to be a little perplexed by it all, but on seeing the bogie wheels, he optimistically declared “Where there’s a wheel, there’s a way!” Continuing on and not being able to find the trail to cross the stream, our fearless leaders thought that perhaps that where we had originally crossed the stream was perhaps the right place to cross, so we doubled back and crossed that stream for the third time that morning. The clever ones at the back of the group who were smug about not getting their feet wet the first time, soon lost their dry feet as this was indeed correct. Our leaders were able to find the trail and carry on.

We had no difficulty locating Salvation Hut but were thankful we weren’t relying on it to accommodate us. It is a private hut built by a father & his two teenage sons in either the late 1960's or the 1980’s (websites disagree) which sadly has not been maintained but we all agreed should be renovated as it would have made a wonderful coffee station on a cold wet September day. A recent Hutbagger review shared that the hut “Is in a pretty sorry state. Would rather sleep on the ground outside...” Needless to say, this was not the place to shelter indoors for a lunch stop. Instead, we stopped at a nearby clearing and the weather gods gave us a hint of sunshine by which to enjoy our sandwiches. We realised at this point, we had only done 1/3 of the loop so it was going to be a short lunch break and a long day.

Off we headed to find the waterfall with no name, through what is known as the Long Swamp which lived up to its name; swampy, boggy and very wet underfoot. Little did we know this was tame compared to what was to come. The trail seemed to end at the river, so the logical thinking was that we needed to walk upstream to find the waterfall. Half of us set off whilst the other half rested on the bank, happy to watch the others get wet. However, two of us turned back when the water got above our knees and left our two fearless leaders with newbie William to carry on.

These three eventually arrived back having abandoned hope of finding the waterfall and assumed we would be able to find a trail running parallel with the stream which should get us there. After a couple of forks in the trail, both of which were dead-ends, and no markers, it was back to the river and the realisation the river was the trail and it was deeper than expected due to the torrential rain. It was at this point our intrepid leaders were renamed Wallace and Gromit – they were taking us on a day filled with unexpected twists and turns for which there was always a solution. So, everyone gingerly made their way upstream trying to dodge the most slippery of the rocks. Eventually we found the trail leading up from the river to take us over the ridge. Not to be outdone by that waterfall, our intrepid leaders didn’t take the trail but carried on upstream to see how much further it was to the waterfall, and soon discovered that on their first recce, they had only just missed the waterfall as it was just around the corner.

Wallace (Grant) eagerly made his way back to the trampers waiting on the riverbank and encouraged us to carry on that extra 50 metres upstream to see this little piece of paradise. “You’ve come this far, are already wet, and it’s just another 50 metres”. He was of course correct. It was a magnificent little Garden of Eden – mossy banks, ferns, clear water and what would have been a fabulous swimming hole had it been a little warmer. Definitely worth the effort.

After this pleasant interlude, it was back downstream to the trail that climbed up and over the ridge. The trail subsequently met the Ngamarama Track which was very well marked and easy to follow but that was when the true Kaimai mud began. It was ankle deep, flowed into the boots of those without gaiters and there was no escaping it in the cuttings where the only way to get one’s foot out of the mud was to drive the other foot in for leverage. And when the mud wasn’t quite as deep it was slip, slip, slippery. Some of us had reasonable mud skiing skills, others didn’t fare quite as well. Stone hopping was avoided in the next few streams as we all tried to find deep water in which to rinse off the boots, which fortunately coincided with an improvement in the grading of the track and some welcome gravel and steps. This obviously meant the van wasn’t too far away and after 8 hours 15 minutes we all found ourselves a rock to sit on and gladly removed the wet mud-caked clothing and boots.

A big thanks to Wallace and Gromit for A Grand Day Out. A long day but there was a lot of fun and laughs were had by all – Colin, Grant, Aaron, Ron, Tony & Rose, Carol, Glenys, Lynette and newcomer William.

Lynette

Waiomu Grove Walk Thames: Grade 1 +                  1 August 21

There were 11 trampers who arrived in the van at the Waiomu Reserve around the Firth of Thanes for a delicious shared morning tea – complete with table cloth! A while later there were 11 happy trampers, after they had all eaten well and enjoyed the sea views. Returning to the van, they were driven to the start of the planned walk. 
 
Although it was a little cold it was a beautiful day as we waded through the ford crossing, mostly without getting really wet feet. It was the only river crossing, as bridges had been built over all the other traverses on this trail. 
 
Next, we walked the main forest track to the location of a stand of mature kauri, one in particular which stands majestically tall and straight, where we sat and had lunch. The earlier part of the tramp in particular was very scenic, with spectacular bush, a clear, sparkling river and sunshine transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary. It was sheer pleasure just to walk and enjoy the day and the congenial company. 
 
Then came the Plus bit of the tramp! There were wooden steps to climb, up to the ridge, to view the magnificent kauri. Actually it wasn't too bad, as we had plenty of time to climb at our own pace. Sitting by the huge kauri was a good spot to have lunch. Some of the more energetic of the group enjoyed walking further up the hill and caught up with the main group within half an hour. The journey down was no problem, with a few options of side trips for the hardy, and we got back to the van in good time. 
 
There was an opportunity to change, if necessary, and to take off our boots. Then back in the van once more to head for home. As usual, we stopped for treats on the way, and there were 10 happy trampers (one person didn't indulge) eating large ice-creams!
 
Thanks go to those who did the survey: Keith, Dianne and Pam, and for the leaders on the day. And a special thanks to Dianne who did all of the driving. It was a very pleasant day out in the bush, away from the noise and busyness of Hamilton. 
 
Margaret Standing

Summerhills Sunday 18 July 2021

On this Sunday morning 16 keen trampers met for the trip across to Papamoa for the Summerhills Park tramp. Despite the appalling weather the day before, it looked like we would get most of the day in before the rain which was forecast for the afternoon.

The Summerhills park was very well set up with toilets and large carpark areas. The path from the carpark was steep and there was a bit of puffing on the way up, but the track was nicely made and wide with several lookouts where we could catch our breath and see some magnificent views. It was cloudy this day but on a clear day you can see through to Whakatane. 

As we reached the top the wind hit us and it was pretty blustery. After each of us found a sheltered spot we regrouped, and those who were keen on some more exertion moved across the farmland to a bush area while the rest went back down to the carpark. 

Once in the bush we were out of the wind and it was an easy walk through it, coming out at another carpark on the other side of the farm. Here we read about the park and the family who had set it up as a recreation reserve for the public, with many walking and biking trails. The total area is much bigger than the walk we did, with 126 ha in total containning many biking tracks as well as a track for walking around the whole park.

As the rain had begun by this time we decided to head back to the vans, crossing farmland and even seeing some new lambs. We stopped for lunch near the summit where we enjoyed views of the coast back to Mt Maunganui and Tauranga. The wind was still blowing so we didn’t linger for very long, but by the time we were back at the vans the sun was out. 

We then headed for the Welcome Bay Hotpools for a dip. The pools were very smart, and we enjoyed a soak in the sun while we watched the clouds build again. After an ice cream we headed back to Hamilton in the rain thankful to get our walk in during the brief period of fine weather.

Thanks to Brenda for organising and to Dianne, Ron and Carol for driving.

Catherine 

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