Trip information, past trips and contacts for Wanderers Tramping Club

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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.

TECT Park, Tauranga, Sunday, 25 September 2022

It was the start of Daylight Savings and luckily with good information received from Colin Standing, everyone turned out at the correct time, and no one was left behind.  There were approximately 20 people keen on today’s Grade 1 tramp at TECT Park, about 26 km from Tauranga along Pye’s Pa Road, SH 36 Tauranga to Rotorua.

We were well informed by Colin of how the day would proceed, with only a few gaps in the historical information!  The weather forecast had promised a sunny day, and apart from a cool and breezy morning tea spot, this proved to be true.  The walking was relatively easy with some little steep ups and downs.  The Park Maps that can be picked up at the carpark were well done and easily followed and signposted (though of course we had our leader Colin to show us the way!).  We walked about 12 kms today (according to Diane) at a total of 4 or so hours.  There were other longer trails on the map and maybe these can be ‘reconnoitered’ and walked another day.  If there was a downside to the walk, perhaps the noise of traffic and motorbikes in the distance, but otherwise a lovely day’s walk out in a forest-like park. 

Tect Park provides scope for popular outdoor activities such as an Adrenaline Forest for those that love hanging off trees, and mud trails for MTB riders, tracks for horse-riding, and finally for those of us that enjoy a walk in the forest – lovely easy tracks to follow.  Some of these tracks can be shared by horses and walkers, or walkers and bikers, and walkers, bikers and horses! For everyone on today’s walk – this was a new area to venture.  Points of interest for me today were the 60-meter tunnel, the names of the tracks (Te Rerenga, Sequoia, Lucitanica, Raho’s Rollercoaster) and Peterson’s Camp and the huge, long table and seats.

There were also a couple of mysteries today, 1) Why was such a big tunnel hand-built under the road and not just a culvert?  (Colin noted in his information email that it was to divert a stream from going underneath SH 36) And 2) What does ‘TECT’ actually stands for.  Grant was potentially able to answer the first one – he noted the tunnel was chiseled out of ignimbrite rock so perhaps the usual council culvert was not the solution.  And the best answer gathered for ‘TECT’ was Tauranga Ecological Conservation Trails (but we really had no idea). 

Thank you to Colin, Margaret and John who provided an opportunity to explore an area not explored before by the club.  Cheers to our drivers of the vans who got us all home safely (one van took the scenic route!).  It was lovely to have a catch-up with members of the club and the realization that the writer is getting older!


Kathy Old


Waipapa Dam August 14th

2 Vans of us started out on a very frosty morning, glad to be in the van warm and cosy.

The views across the countryside were stunning in the early morning frost, where some has melted but some still very white. The scenery from Arapuni Road through to the dam was especially spectacular with the early sun, amazing rock formations, little lambs, and some very white and cold looking spots. We really are blessed in NZ.

The Grade Ones stayed at the dam in a nice sunny spot for morning tea, while the Twos headed off for the cold of the bush. The first part of the track was in lovely bush alongside a very clear stream with a few little waterfalls. We then ascended about 60 steps up and away from the water and then on towards the pine forests. Here the track widened and was quite solid. There were a few climbs to get us warmed up, and also some exposed areas to get some sun. So it was a bit, cold, warm, cold, warm. Then we found a nice sunny spot for our timed ten minute morning tea. Off again, with much the same terrain to the swing bridge. The swing bridge was 80m long and 40m above the river below. It was certainly something to see and the scenery from it was gorgeous. Unfortunately it is shut off at the other end, so the track stops there. We also had the fortune of a picnic table to eat our lunch. The track would be quite good for a bike ride too if you didn’t mind lifting your bike up the steps.

As we set off home, it seemed like there were more hills going home than there should have been. We obviously didn’t notice those downhills on the way there. However after a couple of short rest stops, we found a sign saying 4kms to go. Yahoo.

Considering that some those walking were unsure of whether they could manage 20kms, and the fact that Aaron was under the weather a bit, they did extremely well to finish the walk in fine stride.

It was a good walk that left most of us thinking we would be heading straight for a hot bath. Of course Tony had to tell us that he and Rose (who were heading back to Taupo) would be straight into the hot tub with a wine in hand and a view over the lake. Thanks Tony!! And thanks to you and Ron for arranging the walk. It was really good.

Thanks again to our drivers for a safe and sedate drive which allows us to just rest.





Mount Maunganui, 31 July 2022

A van and a car load of us headed off to the BOP in drizzly weather, hoping that it may improve once over the hill. The plan was changed from going up or around the Mount, (due to the track around being reported to be closed), so instead we were heading to walk the Daisy Hardwick track around the harbour.

At the beginning of the trip there was some carry on in the back seat due to Angus having his legs exposed, however that settled down.

Thankfully, all the op shops were closed near our toilet stop, or we may well be over there still.

We had morning tea before setting off. The weather was pretty kind to us, only one squall at the end of our walk. It was cold in the wind, but okay in the sheltered areas or in the sun. It was a pretty 11 km walk, all quite easy.  There was some interesting info on the Mangrove areas. We tended to break into smaller groups, depending on how fast people wanted to walk, and then catch up at various spots. I got a whiff of coffee from the Mobil station towards the end, so that spurred me on to the finish.

We had lunch in the sun before heading off to the pools. There was a little issue with finding the exact location of Fernland Spa, so we stopped and got the high tech equipment out, and off we set again, only to find it was about 30m around the corner. Much hilarity!!. What a lovely hot pool spot!! It is such a lovely setting, and very nice and clean. The temperature was just perfect. Most of had a soak, while some just relaxed. Then a quick ice cream and off home.

What a lovely day out. Nice treat to have a soak and to be driven home. I may have nodded off.  

Thanks team, may not have been strenuous, but definitely enjoyable.

Glenys Morrow


Waitetuna Grade 1. 17 July 2022

There were just 6 trampers who turned up for this trip, and, to be honest, it was pleasant walking with such a small group for a change. Our leader led us successfully on the David Thorn Loop Track and then on to the Mangakirkiri Loop Track. Walking on the first Loop we could see for miles, with extensive views all around - it was awe inspiring. However, we had to watch where we were putting our feet as the the ground was steep and slippery in places. Fortunately, no one fell and we reached the end of this track without mishap.

The second track was slightly shorter in length but we found it a little more difficult. The 'ups' seemed to be more up and the 'downs' more down! Again it was important to be careful not to lose our footing. However, the group was cohesive and supportive, and those who had a tendency to fall were helped when necessary. The scenery was very different from the previous track; instead of expansive views there was beautiful bush and so many different kinds of fauna and flora. Some of the trees were huge and majestic. Also, we heard a few bird songs as we walked, and there was a brief, sighting of a Kereru (Wood Pigeon). We had expected to return to the starting place before the grade 2s, but it turned out that they arrived back before us. This didn't matter though, as the 2s travelled in a private car and our group in a rented van. As usual we stopped on the way home, for ice cream.

Many thanks to Tony and Rose for surveying this tramp and for Dianne, our leader and driver on the day. My personal gratitude to all those on this trip who worked cooperatively together to make the day a success.

Margaret Standing

Te Uku Windfarm 3 July 2022

A van and a car with 17 trampers aboard left Hamilton and headed towards Raglan on a cold damp morning, stopping at the Bridal Veil Falls carpark for a toilet stop, and then onto the quarry carpark, the start of the trail. Here we split into 2 groups, a G1 & G2.

There were 7 in the G2 group who took off at a cracking pace so they could get to the top for lunch and back to the vehicles so the G1s would not have to wait very long. The first part of the walk was on the gravel service road, then half way up we went through a gate onto a farm track and paddocks to the furtherest spot we were allowed to go, standing amongst the whishing generator blades like The Man From La Mancha. It started showering and the wind got up so we headed back to a more sheltered spot for lunch tucked under a overhanging bank, at least out of the wind. Twenty minutes later we were off back down to the carpark to join the G1s for the drive back to Hamilton.

Thank you Tony and Rose for a well organised tramp.

Don Quixote.

Night Walk - Hamilton Lake Saturday 11 June

On a day of torrential downpours, the Pukekos thought their territory was safe from humans.  They were most upset when just on dusk, cars appeared at Innes Common.  The BBQ area was taken over and they were chased away. Food? This may not be so bad after all.

About 20 Wanderers attired in parkas, over trousers, hats, scarves and umbrellas, braved the conditions to find Keith preparing the BBQ. Hot soup and sausages would be very welcome on a day like this.

We took off on our walk around the lake in an anticlockwise direction, following the boardwalk beyond the Yacht Club. The rain had eased to a light drizzle and it was not long before it stopped completely.

The lake looked beautiful in the evening light with ducks resting on the water. Coots, Canada Geese, a baby dove and numerous Pukeko were to be seen. White waterlily flowers poked their heads above the surface. As the daylight faded we were treated to twinkling lights around the lake shore. Waikato Hospital stood out across the lake with an impressive display.

Arriving back to the BBQ area we found Keith stirring the caldron. We gathered around in a circle, some on camp chairs and some standing.  It was so good to have a hot mug of soup, followed by sausages, fruit salad and Pam’s delicious Caramel Slice.

Thank you to Keith, Dianne and Pam for a wonderful evening.


Black Hill& Union Battery Reserve Sunday 24 April

After morning tea at Gilmore Reserve 19 trampers set off from this starting point to walk around Black Hill.  The track followed the edge of the Ohinemuri River where a number of our group broke off to climb Black Hill while the remaining members completed the full circuit of the hill.  We all met back at Gilmore Reserve where we enjoyed lunch in the hot sun.

After lunch we walked to Morgan Park through the bamboo grove to the waiting vans which took us to the Union Battery and cyanide tanks.

From this reserve we crossed the road and completed a circuit of the crater of the Martha Mine.  Here the weather changed remarkedly to a vicious cold squall with freezing rain and high winds.

We stopped along the rim of the crater to view the enormous slip which had forced the closure of the pit for mining.  We all made our way down to the vans (except for one member who got lost) which were waiting for us at the designated place below the Cornish Pump House.  After an enjoyable day we stopped in Paeroa on the way home for ice creams and arrived back in Hamilton at 3.50pm. Special thanks to our drivers Keith and Dianne, Ron and Alison.



Blue Lake, 15 June 2022

On Sunday 19th June, 15 trampers headed out in vans to Rotorua. The weather provided the occasional drizzle and a very cold wind coming off Blue Lake, but thankfully no heavy rain.

We had morning tea, with a small briefing about where we were going and what to take etc. Then we headed off (with Pam as our leader) past the top 10 camp, into Okareka road, where there is a track in the bush made by locals to get from Blue Lake to Lake Tikitapu scenic reserve, avoiding a very busy road with hardly any shoulder. We had a nice wander through bush, and met a few locals along the way.

The vans collected us and took all back to the Blue Lake for the next walk, led by Dianne. We tramped along part of the Whakarewarewa forest loop track which is also shared by cyclists.  With Dianne’s whistle and others watching out we managed to stay safe from being tangled up with cyclists! Some interesting flora to see, plus at one stage we were on the old coach road - the cobble stones clearly visible.

Lunch was had at Te Pūtake o tawa car park, with coffee and hot chips for some (from a couple of small business there). This is a busy car park, (plus toilets & showers) as it’s a starting point for many users of the tracks. It has many carved art works on display with informational plaques to read. Then we regrouped and walked back along the track to Blue Lake.

The last hike, led by Keith, was to view the Okareka mistletoe restoration project. This 20-minute walk is not far up the road, on the right, from Blue Lake. A pukatea (Laurelia novae zelandiae) tree was pointed out to us. This amazing tree had survived the 1886 Tarawera eruption, with significant damage that is visible today. The walk has many interesting plaques telling the names, origins and some other facts of the trees. We didn’t find the mistletoe which is native to New Zealand and quite rare, but it was a very interesting day out for all and I’m sure we all came away with more knowledge about the area and its flora.

Thank you to all the organisers of this trip. I have been to Blue Lake many times but didn’t know about Pam’s walk or Keith’s nature walk so now will be able to share this knowledge with others, for them to enjoy as I have.        


Mount Eliza Mine Track Sunday 22nd May

One full van left Hamilton with Keith behind the wheel. After arriving in Katikati, we turned right onto the winding, narrow road marked Thompsons Track. The views were impressive as we drove upwards, leaving the avocado orchards behind us, the road turning to gravel for the last few kms. The last property an off-grid home, (but with mailbox), just as we reached the quiet and somewhat muddy carpark. Dianne had told us what we were to expect –the “fun zone”- wetness and mud, especially as the previous week had been rainy and stormy pretty much everywhere. But we were all up for it; after morning tea, of course.

Just before 10 we headed straight into quite thick bush, a few little streams to cross, a few little bridges and a gradual incline. Plenty to concentrate on as we walked: overhanging branches, roots, ferns, and wet leaves making it slippery underfoot. Regular stops, keeping the group together.

Our first small river crossing was below a nice waterfall. Yes, Dianne you were right, poles needed. But all Wanderers crossed safely, ready for a climb on the other side. The sun was welcome as we travelled upwards, the fantails greeting us, so agile as we squeezed under some big tree trunks across the path. Some interesting fungi to stop and look at, adding to the autumn feeling. It wasn’t cold but most of us were keeping our layers on. And a fair few of us had wet feet!

 A fellow walker, with dog, coming down the path looked surprised to encounter anyone else, let alone a group of twelve! She was the only other person we saw on this tramp. The second river to ford, maybe a bit wider and a bit deeper, but hey, we were wet already. More of the up after that, and more fallen trees to get under, packs off for at times and a bit of a scramble.

Our path met Thompsons Track and we were ready for lunch. According to the yellow and green, it should take 40 minutes to reach this point! A bit longer for us…  Rain threatened but kept away as we enjoyed our sandwiches.

I learnt a little of the history of Thompsons Track, (Wanderers know a lot of stuff), a paper road, used for moving stock across the Kaimai Ranges, but originally dating back to pre-European times. Now, enjoyed by the off roaders, in their 4x4’s, as well as us. Sticky orange clay, puddles, and deep ruts (that’ll be the off roaders) made it quite challenging/fun in places. I got muddy, muddier than most, it seemed. I must have zigged when I should have zagged.

And then we were back at the carpark, at 2 o’clock. Our leader seemed relieved and perhaps even surprised that everyone was intact … the First Aid kit wasn’t needed! Thanks, Dianne for making sure we came prepared.  Another memorable tramp.




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.


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