Totara Flats Hut

6 – 7 May

On the weekend of 6 – 7 May we drove down to Holdsworth to walk into Totara Flats Hut for the night via the Gentle Annie Track .  The weather was overcast but we were very lucky with no rain at all. 

Parking near Holdsworth Lodge, we crossed the bridge and continued up the track toward Donnelly Flat.   At the first major junction Nic, Simon and Jude decided to head towardsw Atiwhakatu Hut and take the River Ridge track up to the Mountain House Shelter.  It was not as steep as we thought it was going to be.  The rest of the group continued on to climb the Gentle Annie track.  Both groups ran into a large group of girls from Napier Girls High School who were doing the 3 day loop walk over the weekend.   Apparently around 50 Napier Girls were there split into 3 groups. 

Our two groups met up about 3 quarters of the way through to Totara Flats hut on the Totara Creek Track.  This was a initially a steady descent through classic Tararua tree roots and you did have to concentrate walking. Then a few up and downs and a very steep final descent until you crossed the first creek.  After that it was about another 20- 30 min flat walk alongside the creek, one more (very long) bridge crossing and then we happily arrived at the hut.  I recall it was about 4 1/2 hours to get there. 

Totara Flats Hut is a 26 bed hut and bright and roomy. A covered veranda, large enough for shelter if needed wraps around the sunny sides. The common area is large with several tables, and two kitchen areas encircle a fireplace.  

On Sunday seven walked out to the Waiohine Gorge Road end.  We passed through Little Totara Flats.  Really pretty views looking down on to Totara Flats.  We then walked through quite dense bush.  The track was challenging in some places being quite muddy and steep.  There were some lovely lookouts along the valley with two swing bridges to cross, the first at Makaka Creek, which is just before the junction going up to Cone Hut.  The second is at Clem Creek. 

Murray and Robyn walked back up the Gentle Annie Track to drive the van around to pick us up at the Waiohine Gorge Road end.  We were so happy to see that van as it was getting decidedly colder and we had been waiting for close to 2 hours or so. 

A really great weekend tramp to go on.

Murry A, Robyn W, Derek B, Jude H, Nic W,, Susan L, Anne D, Simon W and Glenda. H

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