Kaweka Flats / Iron Whare

5 February

With the weather on Sunday promising to be fine, a trip into Makahu Saddle and onto Kaweka Flats biv and Iron Whare was offered. There were thirteen who took this up. It was great to have three new people out with us as well as Dale and Barbara who we hadn’t seen for a while.

After much summer rain, the drive up Whittle Road to Makahu Saddle was very greasy with numerous potholes which were certainly a testament to Simon’s driving skills.

Arriving at the Saddle the weather was mild and overcast with little visibility of the peaks above. However we did not have the mountain range in our sights. We were to tramp below the Kaweka Range in a north-nor east direction. This took us through lush forest and over several streams. The first two are named on the topo map; Pinnacle stream (a couple of km from Pinnacle Spur and not rising there) and Makahu River rising in Dick Spur. Eventually all these streams converge with the Makahu Stream. The fourth and final stream before the short steep climb up to the start of the Kaweka Flats has a pleasant walk down the true right. A red admiral butterfly was spotted although we didn’t see any Ongaonga plant which is its host plant. 

Before we reached the second stream the faster party had left the amblers and gone on to tramp into the Iron Whare. The Iron Whare is the oldest hut in the Kaweka Range dating back to the 1870s when shepherds used to graze sheep on the ranges. The bright orange two man Kaweka Flats biv is situated in a grassy clearing among manuka. It was pleasant to have a snack here and admire the Kaweka Range above of which Peter pointed out landmarks.

After a short rest we continued on towards Iron Whare. This is a somewhat flatter section of the track and here there was area of surface water to be skirted. One of the joys of this was the dragon fly which for a brief moment settled on a couple of us. The taller beech trees on the track were to be our stopping spot where we had lunch and returned the way we had come.

Although the day started out overcast it was soon a blue sky sunny day. 

Party: Simon W, Nic W, Barbara H, Dale B, Jude H, Jenny B, Robyn W, Des S, Marwati K,, Andrianus N, Anne D , Glenda H and Peter B

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