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Hapuakohe North Walkway 13 February 2022

In the teeth of a major storm, two vans left Hamilton and headed towards SH27, with Grant leading the way.  Tree branches and debris were all over the road, the van was buffeted by high winds, and it was raining.

We turned off SH27 and up the North Road to find trees and branches had come down across the road.  Someone had kindly cut a tree in half and pushed it to the side of the road so traffic could get through.  No one had mentioned the official announcement that had said: ‘Stay at home and off the roads because of  Cyclone Dobi’.

At the end of the road both vans parked up beside a fence out of the way of the pine trees, but we had to walk through them to get into the bush. We decided that having morning tea under the pine trees wasn’t such a good idea because it was very windy - branches were coming down and the trees swaying - a bit of a dangerous situation to be in. Once in the bush the weather didn’t seem to be too bad, although you could hear cracking of branches and every now and then a gust of wind would blow.

About an hour or so into the bush Grant had a phone call to say the other group were turning back and going to Pukemokemoke. We agreed to do the same and meet them there. While walking out the weather was deteriorating, the wind was blustery and every time it blew you could hardly walk, it was so strong. 

After arriving at Pukemokemoke we had lunch and started off on our walk, meeting the other group walking back towards the carpark as they were coming out. Eight of us climbed to the summit, but two stayed behind and walked back to the van.  It was still foggy at the lookout, but it wasn’t raining by the time we got there.

Driving back to Hamilton there was a police roadblock in place at Whitikahu beside the garage. They had a detour set up alongside the pumps and back out onto the road to avoid a branch that had landed on the wires and brought them down on the road.

After a stop at Gordonton for ice cream we headed back into town.

Thanks to the leaders and many thanks to the drivers who had to handle very difficult road conditions.




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