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
Moorcocks to Ngamoko 26-27 September
One party did a major tramp from Moorcocks Saddle, up to Longview Hut and then south along the very windy tops to Leon Kinvig for Saturday night around 5.30 PM. On Sunday they climbed back on the range and along to the Apiti Track which they followed to the Ngamoko Road end, getting there about 3.30 pm’
The other party had a much easier time . Saturday they walked from Moorcocks over to Awatere Hut and then down the Awatere Stream for an hour or so. Lunch was had on a sunny stream bank before returning back to the truck to drive round to Norsewood for the night. While the other party dined out on dehy they did it tough and dined at the Crown Hotel ( a good meal) . Sunday dawned damp and windy so before travelling to the Apiti Track carpark at Ngamoko, where our other party was headed, they stayed dry and checked out Ormondville.
Golden Crown 13 September
This was a trip to the tops above Mangleton Road, inland from Maraekakaho. We started the day by going up Golden Crown ridge , then most headed southwards along the very windy tops to descend down Sentry Box ridge . Three returned back down Golden Crown and then drove along to pick up the others who were already at the road side.
Bell Bird Bush & Lake Opouahi 30 August
While our weekend party was walking out from Waikamaka Hut four of us ventured up to the Pohokura Road, past Lake Tutira , and spent time in Bellbird Bush Reserve. The bush here is somewhat chewed out by deer and goats but there are some mighty beech trees and very interesting tomos. We finished our day off with a quick trip around Lake Opouahi
Waikamaka Hut 29-30 August
A party of 6 tramped into Waikamaka Hut in the last weekend of August. They started in good weather but once they had crossed onto the western side they battled high winds, rain and sleet and the hut was buffetted by the winds overnight. Sunday was a better day as they retraced their footsteps back to the cars at North Block Road
Kaweka Flats Biv and Iron Whare August 16 We left from Makahu Saddle and headed north along the base of the Kaweka Range to Kaweka Flats Bivvy. arriving there for morning tea. We had cleared the traps along the way with a total of 6 rats and 1 stoat removed. From Kaweka Flats it was about another 45 minutes to Iron Whare, an old musterers hut where our large group had lunch. A great day out for all
Poutaki Hut August 2 Poutaki Hut is nestled in a grassy basin near the top of the Wakarara Range and is accessible from Leatherwood Road in the Panpac Gwavas Forest. Yesterday, with the necessary permit and key, we were able to drive through the forest to Leatherwood Road. It was thus it was only a 90 – 120 minute climb up to the hut. It was a shorter tramp than most as one of our party had hurt her arm and needed to go to A&E to have it checked out. So after a bit of an explore and an early lunch all returned back to the truck and were back in town by 3.
Tutira July 18&19 This was a mid-winter social trip.. We stayed at the Guthrie Smith Centre, which was an excellent place to be on the very wet Saturday. On Saturday some walked most of the tracks in the arbouretum surrounding the centre while the rest of the group stayed dry inside the centre, reading, resting, singing and socializing. A group of fantails followed the walkers for at least 30 minutes flicking around their feet catching what ever insects they disturbed. Sunday was a mainly fine day and one group went over to Lake Tutira and walked the Galbraith/Kahikanui Loop Track while the others walked around the arboretum. On the return to town we stopped in at White Pine Bush and walked the tracks there.
Mackintosh Hut & aound. July 5 On a fine but cold morning 3 walked in to Mackintosh Hut and continued on around the loop, past the bottom of Rogue Ridge to Lakes Road where the others planned to pick them up. Five just walked in to Mackintosh Hut for lunch and then retraced their steps back to the truck. It was very pleasant on the hut verandah as the in and outters ate their lunch. They obviously spent too long enjoying this sun because by the time they got back to the truck the loopers were waiting there having done the whole circuit in 5½hours.
Dannevirke Area 20 June Rather than a cold wet weekend at Kiwi Saddle we did a tiki tour on the Saturday. The first part of the morning was spent planting native trees and walking around a 20 acre property at Ormondville. The damp weather of the previous week meant there were quite a few fungi to be seen there as well as a few early bulbs and the trees (just about everything except Pinus radiata) that have been progressively planted with trees since 1988. After lunch at a park opposite the old Ormondville post-office we visited the Ormondville Railway station (it has a category 2 listing with the NZ Historic Places Trust) and one of the volunteers there gave us a guided tour around it
We then drove to the Mangatoro Scenic Reserve which is just down the Ngapaeruru Road, 11 km from Dannevirke along the Weber Road. This is a 8 hectare reserve that contains some good sized kahikatea as well as matai , totara and rimu. On our return home we dropped in at Anzac Park which is just past Norsewood on SH 2 and walked the tracks there as well. A different day to most but at least we got out and stayed dry.
Tamaki River June 7 This Sunday 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)
Middle Hill 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.