A brief account of recent trips is given below. Use the links in the account for the full report of a tramp or for all the 2018 trip reports, or older trip reports, use these links:
For recent trips see our Facebook page for photos of the tramps
18-19 August: Twelve Club members walked into our own KIwi Saddle Hut to stay the night. On Saturday the weather held out until the last of the party was nearly at the hut, at which stage it started to snow. With our 12, plus 4 others, the hut was very full but an enjoyable night was had. Sunday was brilliantly sunny but all decided to walk directly back to the truck so were back in town just after 2 o'clock.
25 July: The Wednesday group went to Lawrence Road off the Taihape Road. Here 5 of the group spent their time in Blowhard Bush whilst the other 5 carried on further to the Mackintosh carpark on Castle Rocks Road . Here they made the two hour trek into Mackintosh Hut. Lunch was had at the hut before they returned over the ever changing track; beech forest, clay pans, manuka scrub, tall kanuka, a solid down, a very rigid bridge (it’s a pity the 3 wire bridge has been removed) and a very definite up to the carpark.
As they drove back along Castle Rocks Road two dogs were spied.
These matched the photo in Mackintosh Hut of the dogs lost from Littles Clearing on July 1. The dogs were quite happy to have a sandwich and ride in the boot-locker to Havelock North and after a night at Rodger's house DOC & the HDC Pound staff picked them up early the next day.
July 22: On this sunny Sunday we drove to Makahu Saddle and walked in to Kaweka Flats Bivvy ( another great trip for those starting up tramping because of it's relatively flat terrain and lovely bush).. While the snow damage from the storm of 2016 is still evident, the track is clear, and we had no trouble walking in to the hut for our lunch. The return tramp was just as easy and we were back in the truck heading for home by 4 pm.
After the enjoyable trip we had across farmland and down the Maraetotara Stream from Kahuranaki to Mokapeka late Summer we decided to do another walk in the Maraetotara area. This time we left from Fred's farm on the Maraetotara plateau and walked eastwards towards the Pacific Ocean, crossing 2 farms, to arrive at the Waimarama Road about 3 hours later. There were great views up there and very interesting geology.
June 24: A small group walked into Mackintosh Hut for the day. This is a great tramp for newcomers to tramping, It takes about 2 hours to the hut and 2 hours for the return. The fine, calm day ensured all enjoyed the tramp.
June 1-3: Over Queen's Birthday we visited the Gisborne area. On the Saturday we tried to get to the Waitangi Falls but day-light hours were against us and we only got part way there. We spent 2 nights in the accommodation block at Eastwoodhill Arboretum and spent Sunday walking some of the many tracks there. With heavy rain over night and threats of worse to come we changed plans and headed back to Hawkes Bay, stopping for a short walk at the Wairoa river mouth instead.
May 26-28:This weekend was a tramp up the Waipawa River, over the Waipawa Saddle and down Waikamaka Stream to Waikamaka Hut. On Sunday they walked back up to the saddle but the atrocious weather convinced them to spend an extra night at our cosy hut. By Monday morning the weather had improved and they were back in town by mid afternoon.
May 13: The weather man said it would be fine by afternoon so we delayed our leaving time until 11 am and then headed to Waipatiki Beach. The morning rain had gone and the sky was blue as we started along the Coastal walkway towards Aropaonui Beach. Lunch was had at the first pebbly beach after which we continued on northwards. The Aropaonui River was reached just after 2 and then it was time to head back to our cars arriving back around 4. Before driving home we stopped and walked a short track in the Waipatiki Scenic Reserve to admire the nikau and Kahikatea there
Apr 15: Our walk was along the Manawatu Gorge Track. We started on the Upper Gorge Track, just over the now unused bridge on the HB side of the gorge, and climbed steadily to join the main track between Ballance Road and the Ashhurst end. We took in all of the side tracks to the view points, one to the southern windmills, one looking down onto the road and one out over the windmills to the north and arrived at the junction to the Big Slip look-out (which was closed) around lunchtime. We had lunch under the watchful eye of Whatonga (the metal scupture) before heading back to the eastern end. Our car was parked at the recently upgraded Ferry Reserve (well worth a look) so 2 of us went back down to it while the rest walked through to Ballance Road.
Mar 23: Visiting local Cape Kidnappers allowed us to have a nice lazy start at 10 am. Weather overcast but perfect temperature for the walk. Des set a great pace so that we made it to the picnic area before the climb to the gannets in record time and well before the masses on their 4 wheelers and tractor trailers. Most of us stopped for lunch before climbing the hill to see the gannets allowing a rain cloud to blow over so that by the time we climbed the hill to the gannets, it was beautifully sunny giving us great views of Hawkes Bay and of course, the gannets. A leisurely but very hot tramp back to Clifton. All in all a great day had by all.
Mar 3-4: This weekend we went to Barlows Hut the hard way - We left from the new carpark, which is at the top of the hill you used to drive down to get to Yeoman's Mill, and followed the new DOC track down to the rive. We then walked up a track on a spur on the true left of Dutch Creek to the road and on to the Parks Peak turnoff off Yeoman's Track. We left this track on the ridge top at the Barlows Hut sign intending to follow this route down to the hut. Unfortunately the markers disappeared about 2/3 of the way down so the last 300 metres of elevation down was accomplished by bush bashing down the very steep slope. Needless to say this took some time but we reached the hut before dark and had a cosy evening there. Sunday was another sunny day and we returned back to the carpark via the Makaroro River.