Photos & brief accounts of recent trips is given below.
Use the links below for full reports and to access more photos
For those people with a password the old Pohokura archive is here
For more recent trips see our Facebook page for brief reports and photos of the tramps
Sunday the 7th we ventured into the ranges west of Dannevirke to the Tamaki River East road end. It was cold, not rising above 4 °C all day, with a brisk wind as well, so the decision was made to endure the two river crossings and wet feet to walk into Stanfield Hut via Holmes Ridge rather than going to A Frame hut and being more exposed to the weather. Lunch was had at the hut and as we set off back to the truck a sleety skiff passed over us, but in spite of the weather, it was good to get out into the back country again for the day.
(the first tramp since mid March due to COVID 19 restrictions)
Makino Hut 25 May The Makino carpark was full so the day’s focus was quickly changed from Makino Hut to Middle Hill Hut. We left the carpark by the twin bridges just on 9 AM and made our way along the valley to the bridge over the Mangatutunui Stream. From there it is a steep climb for about 2 km through manuka & kanuka to the plateau, the far end of which sits Middle Hill Hut. Deer sign was very evident, flax leaves had been strewn on the ground after they had fed on them, but the hunter we passed had been unsuccessful. The last of us reached the hut by mid day and had lunch while the others checked out the beech forest near the hut. As the return trip was mainly down hill we were back at the cars around 3. It had been good to get out into the bush after lock-down and Middle Hill was a great alternative to Makino Hut as 5 of the 9 trampers had never been there before.
Barlows Hut 14-15 March With permission obtained from the landowners we were able to walk through their farm and access the river a few hundred metres below Gold Creek. The farmer kindly took Des on a farm bike to show him they route so that he could direct the others. A Duke of Edinbourgh group was camped by the hut but there was plenty of room in the hut. Sunday was a return trip down stream and an early return back to town.
Ohane Stream 1 March The 1st of March saw us in the Ohane Stream which is not far from Tarawera on the Napier Taupo Road. This stream has some hot springs entering it a few kilometres up from the car park so this was the focus for the day. It was easy travelling up river (provided you don’t mind wet feet) and we enjoyed the lush bush surrounding it and the calls of the Robin and Tui. After the tramp there was a detour for ice cream at the Tarawera cafe before returning home.
15-16 Feb – Kaimanawas Via Clement Mill Road A group spent last weekend in the Kaimanawa Forest around the Clements Mill Road end. Cascade Hut was visited by some (6 -7 hour walk from road end) while the others did a series of short walks (including checking out the Kaimanawa “Wall”) on the Saturday then camped at Clements Clearing camp. On the Sunday they walked part way to Cascade Hut. A good variety of birds were seen, including numerous Kaka in full voice and very friendly robins.
2 Feb – Tutaekuri Gorge and Donald River For a very hot Sunday we had chosen a watery trip in the Tutaekuri River above the Lawrence swing-bridge. In the cooler morning 1 group crossed the swing-bridge and walked towards Lotkow to access the Donald River from the track to Mackintosh about 60 minutes later. We walked down the Donald with numerous swims and had our lunch beside a particularly nice pool before heading up the Tutaekuri for a little way. We had hoped to meet our other party who were coming down the Tutaekuri River from the Mackintosh bridge but they took longer than expected so we returned without them. Unfortunately we had left our cars at the top of the hill so it was a hot 15 minutes climb up from Lawrence shelter to reach them around 2.45 PM. The second party arrived back about 90 minutes later after a great wet clamber down the Tutaekuri and cursed us for leaving their car at the top of the hill too.
19 Jan – Ahuriri Estuary With a drizzly morning and only 3 trampers we decided rather than driving to Lake Tutira to get wet we would meet in Napier and walk around the Ahuriri Section of the Water Ride and get wet. We started at Park Island and followed the limestone pathway that travels below the Poraite Hills to reach the estuary. The pathway then heads downstream to the Embankment bridge which we crossed and walked along the SW edge of the Westshore Pond. We then turned back and took a shorter route back to Park Island along-side Prebensen Drive. A good morning’s workout (13 km) with a number of interesting birds to view from the two hides on the pathway and yes we did get a little damp at times.
11-12 Jan – On and by the Northern Tararua Range This last weekend was spent on both sides of the northern Tararua range. On Saturday we travelled to Naenae Road, east of Pahiatua, and followed a recently formed track up onto the top of the range. From there two walked along to the turn-off to Aruwaru Trig before returning while the rest were content to make the high point Pukenaenae their turn-around point. Sunday, we travelled to Palmerston North, and starting part way along Turitea walkway, we made our way to Linton using the recently completed walkway that follows the Manawatu River (with a detour to walk over the He Ara Kotahi bridge) After lunch we walked along the Tawa walk in the Manawatu gorge, some did the loop while others went as far as the White Horse rapids lookout and returned.
8 Dec – Awatere, Happy Daze and Makaretu Huts. We were scheduled for a day tramp to Top Gorge Hut, Ruahines but high winds and rain changed plans to Awatere, Makaretu and Happy Daze Huts. We contended with high winds and rain along the tops ( the wind gusts were recorded at 119kph ) then the remainder of the day was calm and warm along the Makaretu river.The river level was low which made for slippery conditions and river rock hopping.We checked out the derelict Black Stag Hut which still stands close to the river . The old bedding contents still remain
24 Nov – Okoeke Stream. The Okoeke Stream on the Taupo Road was a great place to be this Sunday as the many river crossings kept us nice and cool. The 34 metre waterfall is one of the best in Hawkes Bay and we walked up the stream from the Taupo Road to reach it. The bush is lush and, while the noise of the river was such that we did not hear many birds, we were lucky enough to spy a blue duck on the way up and a black shag was enjoying the pool under the waterfall.
9 Nov – The Cairn Trip. Unfortunately the weather put paid to our plans to remake the Cairn this weekend. When the building party got to the tops it was cold and wet with gale force winds and Sunday’s weather was forecast to be worse. So they held the Cairn Service on Saturday and high-tailed it back down to Makahu Saddle.. Fortunately a phone call to Pam at her Puketitiri Palace meant she had time to dip the strawberries in chocolate for the post- Cairn trip feast.
Labour Weekend – Waikato Reserves
The Saturday and Sunday was spent in the Pirongia Forest with trips to the Kaniwhania Caves and to the Tirohanga high point. On the last day we went to another Waikato cone, Karepuku, and walked the track to the summit before returning home.
13 Oct – Makairo Track.
A combined walking and cycling track east of Mangatainoka was our destination mid October. This was once a road linking back country Pahiatua with Coonoor and it gently climbs 350 metres over 9 kilometres to a saddle where we had our lunch in the sun . We enjoyed the clematis and many flowering shrubs as we made our way along. After lunch were return back the way we had come.