Trip information, past trips and contacts for Wanderers Tramping Club

This page shows Club trip reports

Private Trips Reports

Click here to jump to a page that contains reports and photos for trips that were not part of the Club Program, particularly those trips that go far afield and take more than a weekend. These accounts can inspire members to do their own trips, or merely entertain them.

Summerhills Sunday 18 July 2021

On this Sunday morning 16 keen trampers met for the trip across to Papamoa for the Summerhills Park tramp. Despite the appalling weather the day before, it looked like we would get most of the day in before the rain which was forecast for the afternoon.

The Summerhills park was very well set up with toilets and large carpark areas. The path from the carpark was steep and there was a bit of puffing on the way up, but the track was nicely made and wide with several lookouts where we could catch our breath and see some magnificent views. It was cloudy this day but on a clear day you can see through to Whakatane. 

As we reached the top the wind hit us and it was pretty blustery. After each of us found a sheltered spot we regrouped, and those who were keen on some more exertion moved across the farmland to a bush area while the rest went back down to the carpark. 

Once in the bush we were out of the wind and it was an easy walk through it, coming out at another carpark on the other side of the farm. Here we read about the park and the family who had set it up as a recreation reserve for the public, with many walking and biking trails. The total area is much bigger than the walk we did, with 126 ha in total containning many biking tracks as well as a track for walking around the whole park.

As the rain had begun by this time we decided to head back to the vans, crossing farmland and even seeing some new lambs. We stopped for lunch near the summit where we enjoyed views of the coast back to Mt Maunganui and Tauranga. The wind was still blowing so we didn’t linger for very long, but by the time we were back at the vans the sun was out. 

We then headed for the Welcome Bay Hotpools for a dip. The pools were very smart, and we enjoyed a soak in the sun while we watched the clouds build again. After an ice cream we headed back to Hamilton in the rain thankful to get our walk in during the brief period of fine weather.

Thanks to Brenda for organising and to Dianne, Ron and Carol for driving.


Lakes Okareka & Tikitapu 4 July 2021

Two vans and a car left Hamilton at 7.30am and headed towards Rotorua.  First stop for morning tea was beside picturesque misty Lake Okareka, where we were briefed on the day ahead.  We all climbed aboard the vans again and drove a few minutes up the road to start the Okareka Walkway excursion.  It was quite chilly to start with but a brisk walk along the boardwalks soon had us warmed up.  It was a ‘take your time and enjoy at your own pace’ walk to the outlet and return.  The blue sky was reflecting beautifully on the water and the hills covered in bush and farmland made for stunning views.

Once all back, we boarded the vans and were off to Lake Tikitapu, where on arrival we all sat on the tiered grass bank and ate our lunch.  Was a great spot for a picnic and while we were here the duck bus/boat came and drove into the lake adding a bit of entertainment for us.  There were dozens of friendly fantails flitting about on the grass, almost like we weren’t even there.

Once fed and watered we started off around the lake on a very pleasant, established bush track.  It was relatively flat with a few small ups and downs. A short while in we turned left and went down towards the lake on a small side track to a hidden away beach.  We retraced back onto the main track and then further around we came across a carpark with a raised viewing area where both the Tikitapu/Blue and Rotokakahi/Green Lakes could be seen. 

From here we descended back down to the lake edge, pausing at a scenic, secluded sandy beach, and then headed back along the main track through the bush.  While on this part of the track we could see the floating wetland that acts as a barrier and wave mitigation between the recreational area and the ski zone on the lake. A very interesting concept that was built by the Rotorua Waterski Club.

The last part of the track was along a path on the road edge. Everyone enjoyed their ice creams and coffee from the campground shop before we headed off back to Hamilton.  This was a fantastic day out only enhanced by the stunning weather. Thanks to Dianne, Keith and Pam for their organising and the drivers who got us there and back safely. 


Pirongia 6 June 2021

Wilson Clearing/Bell Track – G2

Two vans of Wanderers, down in numbers due to the inclement weather, set off to the Limeworks Loop Road and the Kaniwaniwha Reserve Carpark.  Leaving the G1’s, eight of us G2’s headed off walking beside the Kaniwaniwha Stream on the Nikau Track.  After crossing a bridge, we turned off into the bush crossing the Blue Bill Stream to climb up very steeply.  It was a bit tricky because the satellite coverage on Grant’s phone app was fading out often, plus finding the tape and ribbons wasn’t easy.  We had to do a bit of bush bashing to find the track. 

Carrying on up we came across a clearing, and then walked out towards the paddocks with bush on one side and a good view looking out over the farms.  Heading on down through the bush we eventually came to Wilsons Clearing where we had lunch.  It rained a bit in the afternoon, which made the track slippery and more difficult underfoot.  Coming out on to the Bell Track was easier because it was well marked.  We had to be more careful because it was mostly downhill which made slower progress down towards the swing bridge.

A few of us went to look at the tall kahikatea, then it was onwards to the cave.  Five of us took our packs off and entered.  It was narrow in places and wet underfoot but we all got through, climbing up a ladder to get out at the other end.  We then made our way back along the track and returned to the van.

No ice creams on the way back – just straight home due to the miserable weather.

Thanks to the drivers Carol and Grant and Grand for the interesting tramp. 


Pirongia 6 June 2021

Bell Track – G1

After a very early morning tea in the carpark seven of us set off in high spirits for a good day in the bush.  As we got close to the forest we were overtaken on the track by two people with seven very excited but well behaved dogs. 

Once on the Bell Track we headed for the caves which we inspected but did not enter. We then continued on to the giant kahikatea tree.  A short distance from this giant tree we encountered a large bog hole which took up the full width of the track.  As it was deemed unnegotiable the decision was made to turn back at this point.  We returned to the Nikau Loop track and completed the full circuit of this lovely area of tall forest.  We came across many interesting fungi on rotting trees and it was here that Alison discovered a rare and possibly unrecorded plant which was promptly named Alisonium in her honor.

Despite the forecast of bad weather we completed our tramp just before the rain arrived and we returned home dry. 

Many thanks to Dianne and Alison for a most enjoyable day out. 

Roger Mc

Hakarimata 9th May 2021

There were 9 members aboard the van for this close-to-home trip, and two visitors were going to join us at the Ngaruawahia car park. Then the fun began. The bulletin described one trip, but an email had been circulated describing three options. Who would go where? We all went up the track that led to the old quarry. Not many of us knew about it, and nature has been reclaiming it, but it was an interesting and quite scenic location.

From there two returned to the base of the hill, taking in the walk to the historic dam and its environs. They then drove around to the Waingaro Road car park and walked in from there. They went up the track a little way and then retraced their steps to the picnic area and to the cascades. As the weather was not the best, they enjoyed their lunch in the comfort of the van.

Two others returned to the base of the hill and then went up the steps, as the original write up suggested. They were greeted at the top by the remainder of the group.

The remainder of the group had continued a little further along the quarry track and then dived off to the left into the bush. It was uphill of course, but a true tramping track, coming out at the lookout. Only a few went up to enjoy the misty view. After lunch this group went off to meet those coming up the stairs.

Unfortunately, one member had twisted an ankle on the way up so the descent was a bit painful, but he managed it and was thankful to see the van come into sight. DOC have been working on this southern track putting in lots of steps and a gravel path. It has lost a bit of its wilderness feel but the track is now more accessible to a wider range of people venturing into the bush.

Thanks to Grant and Ron for incorporating the quarry track into our day which was shorter than usual but a very nice day out.


Old Reservoir Road. Sunday 25th April 2021

Getting up early Anzac day is something most of us will have done, but while I couldn't go to the local dawn service I listened to the broadcast on National Radio of the service held at the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park as I ate my breakfast.

On arrival at the carpark I was greeted like a long lost wanderer – maybe I am, last time I was out with the club was Aug 2019.

The day was a bit cool to start, with heavy dew on the grass, but we soon warmed up as it was a steady climb most of the morning. The track goes past the old Paeroa water reservoir (1929-1959), on what was the original coach road to Waitekauri. Morning tea was in or around a door-less tin shed?hut that Grant said was something to do with the local scout group. We didn't see the small lake that is somewhere nearby.

About 1130 we came out onto open farm land with views towards the Firth of Thames. We stopped there to learn about the native passion-fruit vine (kohia or passiflora tetrandra) and its fruit, which some sampled.

Then across the boundary fence and into the bush – once we found the correct spot. From now on it was ‘find the tags”, which varied in colour and age. The afternoon weather cooled down a bit and we had two brief showers. Some nice, easy bush walking was followed by a steep and slippery downhill - there were a few slides taken by several of us. One trekking pole even broke.

Near the bottom of the hill six of the 9 headed off to find the old coalmine, not really knowing what to expect. We came across some coal slag, and some man altered landscape. The coal was discovered in 1875 – there were two seams overlaying each other about 50 ft apart. The coal was delivered to Paeroa in wagons pulled by bullocks.

It was along this bullock track that we walked out, after we found the beginning of it. Much of it has succumbed to the damp undergrowth and a few slips, so not always easy walking. We had brief company of two dogs and their pig hunter – but no pig.

Thanks leaders Grant and Ron, and everyone else for the company.


Strawberry Trees 23 May 2021

I led this group of 20 people on a loop track that I had done many times before, hoping this time to see the legendary drunk tuis feasting on fermented dogwood fruit at the site of a long disappeared mining village. Carol confirmed to us all at the start of our trip that she had seen this sight before.

We soon straggled into different groups, filtered by our energy levels up the initial farm track. However I diverted from the bulldozed track after the first steep bit, on to the old track that is steadily being reclaimed by gorse but which is a much better grade and more interesting. I had secateurs, which served the dual function of clearing our way, and slowing our progress to hold back the energetic ones so we remained more as one group. The only problem with this route was where the old track joins the new one, because at this point we had to scramble up a loose mixture of dirt and tree fragments. Entertaining, for some!

Back in the open, with a little sun and good views, it was a suitable place for morning tea.

Up a short hill section again, and we left the farm track on to what had once been the main road over the hills. Wide, almost flat for hours, with points of interest and with some wallows created by vehicles. One tree, a pukatea (?) had a very odd shape, as if it had been trimmed like a poodle. The track went through a short tunnel, where boulders waited to trip those without some kind of light.  We followed a plastic water pipe till it disappeared into an old mine. A side track went to the left, and appeared to be very well used, causing us to speculate on where it went and why it would be used.

A convoy of about 6 four wheel drive vehicles caught up with us, and exchanged a bit of banter. We had what we thought was the last word when our feet proved to be much more adept than their wheels when they were stopped by a set of deep water-filled trenches dug by their predecessors.

After about an hour we reached the turnoff to the Maoriland Battery site, where some of us left to see what was there, while the rest went slowly on to the lunch stop. The group that went down to the battery site missed seeing the ripe fruit that Grant found somewhere about here.

It is almost 100m vertical distance down to the stream bed, on a track that had been cut by bulldozer to pull out the well-preserved best bits of the machinery. Much further than most of us expected. There is not a lot left of the battery – some castings, lots of steel bars, and some beams. Three of us crossed the stream and found the remains of a stove and oven made of lots of bricks. Just below this in the dense bush are the steel bands that once held together the staves of the 4m diameter cyanide tanks.

Up out of the stream and back on the track the next point of interest was the “Weta Cave”, a short, dry adit with a fine population of cave wetas.

By this time we were ready for lunch, but I persuaded the team to follow me to see a large pine tree on an indirect route to the lunch spot. Some scepticism about large trees was dissipated when they saw it. Lots of holly and some ivy was in this spot, too. A few minutes later we caught up with the rest of the party at the dogwood patch, huddled up trying to keep warm, having finished their lunch and ready to go.

There were no drunk tuis, and very few fruit. We gobbled our lunch and the whole party got on the move again.

Up a short slope, then a sharp turn to the right, and we were heading mostly downhill again. An old pine forest had large orange toadstools (Amanita muscaria, or Fly Agaric) to entertain the photographers. Then out into open gorse hills.

Our survey had shown up that an old walking track still existed, to bypass the rather steep and slippery bulldozed track down the hill. We took this route, some finding it a bit challenging, but there was no hurry and we all made it. We split into two parties after we regrouped at the top of the hill, because some were keen to visit the site of the Jubilee mine battery. I led the relaxed group directly to the vehicles.

Not long after getting back to a farm road again we had a problem. One of us slipped on the loose road metal, and twisted her knee. It seemed to be just a bruise at first, but it quickly became apparent that she was unable to walk the 1500m or so back to the van. The farm track was in good condition for vehicles, so I took off with a key and a gate-opening companion to attempt to bring a van up to where she was resting. On the way down I was looking at the grade of the road and feared that bringing up a 2 wheel drive could be difficult on the steep bits!

We got to the van in quick time, and were just about to open the farm gate when the 4-wheel drive convoy of earlier in the day drove up, with our patient smiling in the front vehicle. I was very relieved to not have to find out if our van and my driving was up to the challenge of the farm road, even though I was also forced to admit that 4-wheel drives had their uses.

Half an hour later the Jubilee mine group arrived, having achieved their objective.

Another very good day out.

Ray Hoare

Broken Hills G2 11 April 2021

A full van of 12 set off from Hamilton with a forecast of rain ahead, but luckily when we reached Tairua the sky was clear.

We set off up a pretty steep hill in good spirits, and with the humidity at about 105% we were soon feeling the heat, with some of us leaking as much liquid out as we could take in. The climb was a bit of effort but rewarded with great views, even at the lookout, despite some low hanging cloud around.

Once we got the climb over with it was a pleasant trek through the bush and amazingly, once we turned on to the track towards Collins Drive, the temperature was quite different and a relief from the humidity. A bit slippery in places, we reached the tunnel to walk through to the other side. We found glow worms and some large cave wetas; amazing to get up so close to them. The tunnels were so cool compared to the outside temperature - a really interesting thing to experience.

Once through the tunnel we met the other group coming up, but we proceeded down the third branch track, stopping to check out various mining sites and shafts. We stopped for lunch in a sunny spot with pleasant views, then carried on to the water race track and back to the carpark.

We had made good time so took the chance to check out the Broken Hills and Golden Hill batteries, again marvelling at the cool air coming out of the various tunnels, which was so much colder than the outside air and really nice to pause at.  We then headed home with a stop in Paeroa for ice creams and coffee.

A very interesting and informative trip, thanks to the organisers and drivers of the day.


Broken Hills G1+ 11 April 2021

There were 9 keen trampers for this trip. Rain had been forecast but we were fortunate, it was a beautiful autumn day, very hot and humid at times. After the usual morning tea, we set off with enthusiasm up the Water Race Track. It wasn't an easy climb but we walked slowly and steadily and it was no problem. From there we headed, partly up and down steps, with a few tricky parts that needed extra care. We climbed up to Collins drive and looked at the entrance to the very, long tunnel, then walked around it to the other side where we ate lunch. Afterwards, torches at the ready, we walked through the tunnel which was a good experience, then just for fun, walked back again. From there we headed back, via a different track, back to the car park. On the way most of the group explored the huge cavity which was cut into the hillside, to view a huge stope.

It was a good day, challenging at times but manageable with good company. Special thanks to the leaders, Dianne, Pam and Keith for all their efforts; and to the rest of the group for contributing to a pleasant, day out.


Kauaeranga Valley - G1.5          28 February 2021

We set off with a full van of Wanderers on a beautiful day and made our way to the valley  via the Swamp Road.  At the DOC information centre, we viewed a film on the history of kauri milling in the valley during the late 19th/early 20th century.  This made us appreciate the location of our tramp as it showed us the hardship which the inhabitants were faced with extracting the huge kauri logs.

After seeing the film, we went to inspect a large replica of a kauri dam of the sort employed in the valley by the original loggers. From here we made our way up the valley to Jasper Creek, Track 76 to Edwards Look Out, which gave us magnificent views of the valley to the ‘Pinnacles’ in the distance. We then went on to Murray’s Boardwalk.

On returning from this farthest point, we stopped at ‘Hoffmans Pool’ where four daring Wanderers stripped off and went for a swim while the rest of us dangled our feet in the water and shouted words of encouragement.

After an ice cream stop at Turua we returned home at 6.40pm after a truly enjoyable day.  Thanks to our wonderful leaders Dianne and Keith.


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