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Karangahake – Grade 2     4 November 2018

Seven of us gathered at the carpark at Karangahake on a cool and rather blustery Spring morning. We had to find our way around the safety fencing at the approaches to the new swing bridge nearing completion, to access the old bridge across the river. We then left the main Karangahake walkway and headed up the Scotsman Gully track which follows a little stream up to join the County Road. Our route took us up the track which one follows to go to the summit. However we kept on a lower level, having morning tea at a spot out of the wind and where there was a view down the valley, before dropping down through the bush to get on to an old disused road. This was clearly a benched road, at times wide and open, at other times almost hidden under regrowth and fallen trees, or fallen away altogether. 

We walked a good way round the mountain on this road before encountering a large fallen tree which was the sign to leave the road and start climbing up through open bush in order to avoid having to cross into private farmland. We soon came back out on the County Road where we had lunch. From there it was a straightforward walk back down to the point where we had left this road in the morning, and Scotsman Gully. 

I had been up - and down - Karangahake in the past but never right round like this, so was grateful for the opportunity. The old benched road brings to mind the huge activity related to mining that was in this area in the past, the various mine drives we passed further reminders.

Highlights for me were the lovely rewarewa flowers and a bellbird feeding on same, the  regenerating bush we walked through and the strong SW wind that we encountered at times before walking into an area of serene stillness. Thanks to Brenda and Lorna for leading this tramp.

Fiona Green

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