Without our HTC Club meeting due to Covid restrictions, contact was made by emails and we had more than a full van complement to head south to the Te Ao Tūpare Hut (A-Frame Hut) tramp. Additional trampers’ travelled with Derek from Havelock North and from Dannevirke.
Our starting point at West Tamaki Road,was already full with cars. Parking nearby, we had our tramp overview meeting with the opportunity of an A and B group to ascend the 700m up a steep track to Takapari Road, a 4WD track on top of the Ruahine Range.
Even before we started, the wind was blowing and circling strongly about us. It did lessen on occasions whilst in amongst the bush. That wasn’t our only challenge, the track was quite slippery underfoot with high step ups required on many occasions. (High, for short legged people!)
With regular breaks and catch up’s we all made our way to the wind exposed Te Ao Tūpare Hut / A-Frame hut. The bushland surrounding the ridge line with the abundance of leatherwoods was aptly referred to in its Māori namesake. It had its distinctive roofline, new with the old corrugated iron and building materials still observable. The A-Frame had colourful Māori koru motif alongside a new DOC sign highlighting the name, meaning (The realm of the Leatherwood trees) and work that has been done. The interior was simple but freshly painted with 2 refreshed bunk beds.
We all sat and enjoyed our lunch indoors due to the high winds. The decision was made to return the way we ascended due to the windy weather. Prior to descending a few tramped briefly along the 4WD track to enjoy the clear views over the district. Quite impressive scenery!
Heading down cautiously, some still actively connected with the track- by slipping. Not a deterrent as we all safely made our way back to the van, changing into our clean, comfortable van travelling attire. Abiding by the wearing of masks to kindly care for our fellow travellers we made our way back to HTC van headquarters. A really, enjoyable day of tramping for everyone with everyone.
Party: Paula K, Anne D, Murry A, Derek B, David M, Vivian X, Joan R, Janice L, Simon W, Susan L, Des S, Jude H, Nic W, Anthea C