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«Winter Wonderland Quarterly Journal of the Wanganui Tramping Club (Inc) Tramper has a new Editor Our gratitude and ...»

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As we climbed higher, more hardened snow patches let us know it is still winter. The dotted lines of the ski tow were still showing on the snow -covered mountain. The enchanted walk down the steps lived up to its name and was also in very good, well maintained condition. The pace was so good that Andra had a tumble resulting in a sprained thumb. She was treated by Dr Mike with a small first aid kit. We were able to carry on to Waingongoro Hut for lunch (a nice hut, could have stayed for a week).

But with the weather settling in to the steady rain which had been predicted, we trudged back to Dawson Falls. The track was covered with small branches broken by the recent heavy snow storm.

With the rain getting heavier, an early end to a good day was a good idea, with a hot drink at Hawera. Passing a car accident by Ihaia Rd junction was a reality check. We realised how lucky we were to have enjoyed another day on the mountain and to make it home safely.

We were : Cherry, Esther, Andra, Val, Sue H, Rozy, Bruce, Barry H, Mike M, Dave, Juliet and of course, happy birthday tomorrow to George!

Rotokare ReserveSun 28 Aug 2016Scribe: Dorothy Symes

This trip was planned for Rotokare Reserve, but because of the distance to travel I wanted to add extra interest to the day. Audrey Thompson (one of 49 49 The Wanganui Tramper November 2016 - January 2017 our members who lives in Taranaki) put me in touch with Kara, a very active Forest and Bird member in the region. Audrey invited us to travel with them to a totara forest walkway in from Eltham on the way to Rotokare where we enjoyed magnificent scenery over high hills all the way to Mount Ruapehu.

What a sight, with Mt Taranaki behind us as we travelled on with our new Taranaki friends. At our destination we met the F&B people and walked with them on the 3 km track up to the hut.

The hut was just amazing: obviously built on to over time and looked after by this very passionate group of people. Very proud they were too, to show it off. The 360 degree views were a treat, just stunning with Ruapehu one way and Taranaki the other. The bright, sunny and calm day was „one out of the box‟. We were treated to scones and home-baking for morning tea, while listening to Kara. Then pleasant chat,

including our own club‟s achievements:

Waitahinga and Possum Lodge literature has since been sent on.

Reluctantly we made the move to Rotokare, with Audrey as well. She is a very active member and volunteer for the Rotokare Reserve and we learned more from her. Lunch was taken overlooking the water before the lake circuit.

Another good day enjoyed by nine.

Doris came too and was treated with a quad bike ride with Rex up to the F&B hut.

Leatherwood Wandering Sat-Sun 3-4 September 2016 Scribe: Dave Scoullar

The highlight - or maybe lowlight - of our traverse of the southern Ruahine to Kiritaki Hut was the leatherwood grovel. The Fab Five climbed the steep DoC track on the end of No 1 Line in an hour and a quarter and then came some three and a half hours along an undulating informal track through a swathe of leatherwood. In all we climbed 600m and then dropped 200m.

There were many windfalls to clamber over or under in windy conditions with low visibility but eventually we spotted the orange hut in the distance, emerging some 400m from our destination on a nice, smooth DoC track.

50 The Wanganui Tramper November 2016 - January 2017 We had the hut to ourselves and it was a windy night but things had settled down by the morning and the team set off at 7.40am and arrived back at the van right on noon, a bit on the damp side from drizzle over the 1011m highest point. An interesting trip which covered some new ground for all of us.

On trip: Dave Scoullar, Brigitte Hund, Ken Howie, Val Wackrow and Alan Taylor.

–  –  –

Manawatu Gorge Sun 4 Sep 2016 Scribe: Dorothy Symes A favourite for our members, the Manawatu Gorge, led by Barbara Francis who stepped in at short notice. There were 15 passengers and one van so a car was necessary. But not for a crossover - can‟t cram a vanload into a car at the other end! Not to be beaten, all were dropped off at the Ashhurst end while the drivers carried on to the Woodville end, setting off uphill to meet the main group. There, the drivers about-turned and descended to the van with the others.

Earlier, the drivers had discovered another walkway, about 20 minutes 51 51 The Wanganui Tramper November 2016 - January 2017 through bush and down to the caf we normally visit. Weather good with only an occasional slight drizzle and all enjoyed the day.

Rangitikei Reserves Sat 17 Sep 2016 Scribe: Graeme Aitken

Those on the walk: Graeme Aitken (leader), Nikki Wink; Andra and Andy Beck; Beverley Sinclair. We left the clubrooms about 7.30am and arrived at McPherson‟s Reserve 8.15am. Shortly after finishing this, on to Sutherland Turakina Reserve. Just a small amount of mud but otherwise fairly dry considering recent rain. Both reserves had some windfall and there was a good amount of birdlife. Next, Bruce Reserve just south of Hunterville. At the entrance you could see where State Highway 1 was. During this time there was light rain but we were mostly sheltered. This is a small reserve which only took up to 30 minutes. Our last reserve was Pryce‟s Rahui Reserve, somewhere new for us. Have often seen the sign so thought it would be worth a look. This reserve had a wetlands with board walks.

There was a good size matai tree, the base and roots providing seating for our lunch break. All these reserves were in native bush and we were lucky with the weather considering what was forecast. Our icecream stop was Marton, back home before 3.

Mt Thompson Otaki Wed 21 Sept 2016 Scribe: Dorothy Symes Leaders Graham Sutcliffe and Dorothy Symes „Mount Thompson‟ is a tramp of 4½ to 5 hours, supposedly DoC-managed.

On the south side of the track were few markers but easy to follow, mostly four wheel drive with some places walkable only and very muddy. Easy enough to negotiate through very pretty native bush despite a few foreign botanical species there. To get to the start of this end of the track we turned left at Waitohu Road, the second turnoff north of Otaki. We continued east past Ringawhati Road, around to the right, then left into a quarry entrance.

Access through the quarry continues for a short distance over private farmland, requiring permission and any parking direction for the day. We were on a weekday when the quarry was working; it‟s important to consider these details when planning.

The trip was not too familiar as a club trip hadn‟t been taken there for some 52 The Wanganui Tramper November 2016 - January 2017 time. Roger Kealey had explored earlier in the year and was able to lead the group from the north entrance. Intrigued trampers, numbers filling two vans, was just perfect for the crossover we hoped for. We didn‟t quite meet for lunch - a little uncertainty about which grassy point was the spot for lunch.

So both groups were waiting and waiting and finally the northerners moved on, finding the southerners, all lunched up and basking in the sun. So here at the „cross over‟ a natter and some banter, then downwards for both groups on opposing sides of the „mount‟. As well to know there is no cell phone coverage up there.

So now, the southern group continued down on the northern side, and ten minutes to arrival at the other lunch spot - actually Mt Thompson - where we enjoyed magnificent views up and down the Kapiti Coast. We continued down through quite different landscapes, on forestry tracks where trees had been felled some time ago. A bit tricky, keep to the right track as there are quite a few turnoffs. Roger told us about the woody arrows at our crossover point. At day‟s end we crossed a very smart new bridge over the Waikawa Stream, where the van was waiting. The drive out was on the Manakau road to SH1 and home..

We had good weather, an enjoyable day for 23 club members.

53 53 The Wanganui Tramper November 2016 - January 2017 Taranaki Weekend Sat - Sun 1-2 October 2016 Scribe: Dave Scoullar A bit of tramping, a bit of culture, a bit of this and a bit of that -- the annual Taranaki Weekend was its usual eclectic self.

Day one the team headed to Stratford Mountain House and walked (almost) to Curtis Falls in gloomy weather. The track was sopping but it wasn't cold. Moving on to New Plymouth, we spent time at Tupare, a stately house and gardens complex before the customary meal and movies at the cinema complex.

Day two didn't look that flash when we joined five members of the New Plymouth Tramping Club. But we stuck to their game plan and began a tramp in Egmont National Park but were turned back by a river too high to cross. Returning to the van and with the weather improving rapidly, we did a circuit involving the Waiwhakaiho Track and Egmont Rd. On the way home we called at an art gallery in Stratford and heard the glockenspiel do its thing. At Nukumaru we admired Dalvanius' elaborate headstone to complete an enjoyable, many-faceted weekend.

On trip: Dave Scoullar, Ken Howie, Julie Kearse, Jacky Evans and Esther Williams.

Old Coach Road Sun 2 Oct 2016 Leaders: Royce Johnson and Diane Harries scribe

Undaunted by an awful weather forecast, the group of nine Wanganui and two Taumarunui members tackled the Old Coach Road from the north end, starting at 9 am.

History of the cobbled coach road and the train track was given on interpretation panels.

Beautiful podocarp forest, mountain cabbage trees and tree ferns shaded most of the trail.

The weather improved gradually all day with sunshades and t-shirts during lunch at noon on the viaduct. Walked back via gully track and out to Marshall's Road end by 1:45pm.

Thanks to Peter Panton from Taumarunui for helping with the vehicle swap


54 The Wanganui Tramper November 2016 - January 2017 Mangawhio Lakes Wed 5 October 2016 Scribe: Dave Scoullar Of the 25 who turned out for the trek to Mangawhio Lakes, seven were children aged 5 to 15 -- is this a record for a Wednesday? It certainly underlines the opportunity to recruit the next generation of trampers by running children-friendly tramps during the school holidays.

The trip itself was pretty routine -- along the newly-refurbished road to the lakes, up the track to the crest and back down again through the production forest. Ending a good day out with only brief showers, with a compulsory ice cream at Waitotara.

Marton Sash and Door Tramways Sat 8 Oct 2016 Scribe: Dorothy Symes

We met Peter Panton and three members from the Taumarunui Tramping Club at Station Caf, National Park, our group of seven becoming eleven. The plan was to explore the round trip on these trails, which are also designated cycle trails.

At TTC‟s advice we drove about 2km through a wire gate, parked on a grassy area, and started walking through an old mill site and quarry.

The extra info TTC provided was useful and most interesting.

Soon we were heading up what was pretty much the only hill, where we could look back at our start point. From the top we continued through native bush, eventually coming to a Y section in the track. We took the right arm and continued down the western side of the loop to the metal road off Erua Road at the end. This part of the track is most interesting, with evidence of sleepers from the logging tracks that in former times transported the logs. The walk itself is very pleasant, with several interpretation notices conveying the logging history, which included a significant tragedy. Among numerous points of industry were remnants of machinery just off the track, possibly the means of moving the logs for milling.

Getting to Cuff Road, we took a left and walked approximately 2km down to Erua Road, then a km or so before veering off a well marked 55 55 The Wanganui Tramper November 2016 - January 2017 downhill on logging tracks. This followed Waimarino Stream, with views to the south over swamplands and National Park.

At the bridge near SH1 we had our lunch before locating the track back into the loop. No one had done this section before, so it was „a bit of an explore‟. Most pleasant, flat all the way as we followed the main trunk railway through tall pine forest and an old dilapidated hut. A further 2 km to our vehicles, where we changed and made for the caf for a lovely hot drink and cookie.

The walk itself is 17 km, easy going and taking just on five hours. An overcast day, so no magnificent mountain views. Nevertheless a great day was the verdict as we farewelled our Taumarunui chums.

On the tramp: Peter Panton and three TTC members, Andra, Brigitte, Jill, Marilyn, Reti, Linda and Dorothy (leader).

York Road, Taranaki Wed 12 Oct 2016 Scribe: Sandra Rogers Twenty-four headed for York Road at the foot of Mt Taranaki, a pleasant and easy three-hour walk through bush, with a river and streams. This area was the quarry producing metal for the railway and roads in the area.

Good information boards and relics to view along the way.

What was the weather like? – well… It rained and rained and rained.

The average fall was well maintained.

And when the tracks were simply bogs, It started raining cats and dogs.

After a drought of half an hour, We had a most refreshing shower.

And then; most curious thing of all, A gentle rain began to fall.

Next hour, but one was fairly dry, Save for one deluge from the sky.

That wetted the party to the skin, And then at last the rain set in. (Anon.) On the trip were Sandra R (leader), Andra B, Barry H, Bruce T, Cherry C, Di H, Dorothy S, Earle T, George N, Graham E, Jacky E, Jeanette P, Jill R, John S, Kevin R, Margret M, Ray W, Royce J, Sandy G, Shari T, Sue H, Sue M, Suzanne R, Margaret C.

–  –  –

We‟ve used the bike trailer a couple of times and more away-trips are in the pipeline. Mike Cole made some modifications to the trailer, resulting in much smoother handling. We‟re very grateful, thank you Mike!

Doug from the Bike Shed saw us and offered to provide a bike maintenance workshop.

Expected maybe 10; fortunately enough supper for the 23 who came along. Mysterious techterms were explained, tips and demos – especially useful for those who, last time on a bike, it was Dad who oiled the chain and What would she do without him?

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