The club truck, transporting 16 trampers, plus two trampers in private cars left Havelock North at 7am driving to the Gwava forest on a day that looked promising weather wise. Thanks to a network of people we obtained a key to the forest gate and, leaving the cars at the gate, we took the truck right to the beginning of the Poutaki hut track at the end of Leatherwood Road.
Once the 18 trampers were ready to start it was about 9 am which gave us plenty of time for the 4 hour return tramp. The track began with a steep, slippery descent to a small stream and this is where one person unfortunately slipped and injured her shoulder. Three people took her back to the truck where she was made comfortable as possible with Glenda staying with her.
From the small stream the track climbed steeply up a rocky spur until we reached the ridge. There were many view points along the way where Peter explained our position in view of the Ruahine range which stretched out in front of us. The favourable weather also allowed great views down to farms and valley’s below. Generally the track was in fair condition as we walked through and past many pine trees and several patches of pig rooting. Flora and fauna were spotted or heard – the Bellbird, Tui, Robin and Peter noticed a wild orchid growing on a bank facing north.
Soon we reached the repeater tower and then it was a short descent to the hut which is situated in a grassy area. The first group lunched here about 10.45 am followed shortly after by the remaining group. We had 5 new people with us and they mixed in with the established members and were happy they all reached the hut. All 16 trampers had returned back to the truck by 1.15 pm and soon after we were on our way home to get our patient checked out at A & E.
Party- Jude H, Graeme H, Thomas O, Susan L, Brent H, Anne C, Anne D, Paula K, Deby M, Simon W, Glenda H, Peter B, Glynn H, Derek B, Murry A, Des S, Kim S, Janice L.