Putara Road

13 – 14 January 2024

Having dropped the others off just south of Mount Bruce,  Glenda, Susan, Anne and Peter headed  to Paul’s place near the end of Putara Road. We had no problem driving the van into Paul’s old cottage where we were staying but it might well be beyond the van if it was wet.  The cottage is old but serviceable with water and electricity.

After settling in Paul took us on Tuatara side-by-side to the back of his farm and we climbed up a spur to where he is planning to build a new hut.  This site had a great view and really nice bush and  is near the Tararua Park boundary.  We went a bit further up the spur into the Park for a look, had our lunch  and then headed back down.

In the afternoon we explored a wonderful patch of kahikatea forest near the cottage, it has amazing areas of big tangled roots surrounding the kahikatea and is  well worth a look. We then went for another drive in the Tuatara to look at another part of the property and had a look at the ponds Paul’s son had dug near their homestead.

After tea we took off with Paul again in the Tuatara to go further along  the road to explore down Rawnsley  Stream in search of short jawed Kokopu, a rare native galaxid (fish).  We walked up a farm track and dropped into the stream where we waited for it to get darker.  The ladies saw a Kokopu and then returned back along the track  to the Tuatara rather than risk injury walking down a stony creek in the dark. After it was completely dark,  the two dicky birds (Peter and Paul) set off downstream seeing lots of eels but no Kokopu for ages. Eventually they started seeing them , one in nearly every pool, often with an eel for company.  The Kokopu are quite big, about 23 cm long or thereabouts. A couple of hours later (and sighting 22 Kokopu)  the dicky birds emerged out next to the road and joined the others who were sheltering from the extremely windy conditions in the Tuatara.

During the night it continued to blow its tits off but had calmed down morning.  We took the van and Paul to the end of  the road to park in the carpark. We then walked up the road a bit, crossed the Mangatainoka River  and into the far end of Paul’s property beside the Ngamaia Stream. This walk was up a pretty, flat valley with some really interesting bush at the top end, another spot that Paul wants a hut at. Unfortunately we were a bit late for the rata flowering but there was one in this valley in full bloom.

It was then time to pick up the others so we dropped Paul back home and drove to the ANZAC Bridge for lunch before heading in to Kiriwhakapapa arriving there a short time before the other party did.   A great weekend,  many thanks to Paul for his hospitality.

Party: Peter B, Anne , Susan L & Glenda H plus host Paul D

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