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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.

Hemo Gorge Walk               28 June 2020

2 van loads of intrepid trampers braved the weather to venture out to Rotorua for the Hemo Gorge walk.  Thunder clouds threatened to dampen our adventures but did not deliver heavy rain.

We started the tramp at the southern end of town (I had my compass so I knew that) at the car park at Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley.  An imposing Waharoa (gateway) stands at the entrance to the trail and the carving tells a story of two brothers.  The shared bike track followed a lovely stream, which would be great in summer for swimming, and we made our way to the new bike park area and then up hill for fabulous views over Rotorua and the Thermal Park.

Part way up the climb we were warned several times about the gnarly bit of slippery mud and the steep incline, but much to our surprise DOC had been in and placed wooden steps up the gnarly bit! I must say I was slightly disappointed by this.

The views from the top were spectacular! We then traversed downhill, splitting into two groups - the "stair going down" group and the "downhill racer" group. (No need to say who was there first, but it was the "downhill racer" group!) We then walked back to the bike park for lunch.  

A shower interrupted our seating, however it was quick to disperse and then we made our way back to the bus and an ice cream as we left Rotorua.

A lovely trip now, and a great swimming spot when winter releases us from her grip.

Susan Rogers

Peels Creek Maratoto              14 June 2020

What we lacked in numbers we made up with in enthusiasm and good cheer.  Six wanderers made up this group and after arriving at our destination we had a quick cuppa before setting off for the first of what would be numerous river crossings of varying difficulty, width and depth.  And it was a marvelous day which was ideal for those of us who were hesitant after missing three months of tramping due to the lockdown.  

Colin (dressed in red) led the way and ably assisted us, as required when a couple of the crossings were trickier and slipperier than the rest.  The track meandered along and over the river and after a couple of hours steady walking we stopped for lunch and a ramble amongst the battery and other remnants from many mining years ago.  

Post lunch we headed back to the van, stopping to identify an original dam and other areas of interest.  An ice cream stop in Paeroa kept spirits up and we arrived back in Hamilton in good time.  Many thanks to Colin for leading the way!      

Scribe – One of the Old gals 

Waikino Waihi                31 May 2020

Sixteen souls coping with Level 2 restrictions headed off in two vans to Waikino Railway station for morning tea, where we waited for the 10:45 train.

It was a nice leisurely ride aboard the train to Waihi, but a photo taken on board the train suggests we may have had a masked train robber amoung us. From there we rambled along the Hauraki Rail trail back to Waikino. Lunch was had on the grass verge of the track, where storm clouds threatened to drown us but did not arrive.  

There were lots of family cyclists out which was nice to see. Ray noticed that nearly all of them had wide smiles on their faces. Wildlife spotted included  black swans, Canadian geese, ducks & Pukekos (lucky my husband was not there to shoot any of them). 

It was a lovely tramp following the river, with debates at times on the correct way to do CPR or how to survive being swept down stream. (Which way to face?)

We arrived at the Waikino carpark just before the rain began. Coffee for some and a walk through the Victoria Battery complex for the others. This was a lovely walk to take after lockdown, to stretch those muscles and unwind the mind.

Susan Rogers

Waiorongomai tramp             22 March 2020

Six of us set off up the Lower Level Loop track at a comfortable pace. Mosses and lichens looked shrivelled and dead and a number of waterfalls were totally absent - not even a glisten!

We had brief stops for historical tales, peering into mine tunnels, or minor detours to historic sites close by. We saw the 1-way tunnel made for pack horse use, and most of us took the longer route around it.

Following the track, we joined Butlers Incline at its base, where our energetic Grade 3-er set off to explore greater heights while we remained grounded, and admired the feats of engineering that went into the mining operation here. Even though mining failed, these tracks remain a lasting monument to the mining legends of the time!

Another tunnel had a carefully constructed arched brick entrance, now almost hidden beneath us in a bush filled cutting. Our companion caught up with us again as our eye was caught by movement. Two stick insects, 1 green, the other large and brown and being attacked by a wasp. Once released, they were photographed in their sticklike pose .

We reached Fern Spur Incline where piles of sleepers provided a good seat while we ate lunch, and watched the rain clouds and sunshine below on the plain. Fern Spur Incline ended a few metres below in tangled gorse and bush, the restoration obviously in abayance.

As we began our descent down the Loop track, rain was unable to dampen our spirits as we headed into the canopy, and descended to the van waiting below.

We headed home through rain, with a short detour to a cafe and well deserved coffee, cake and chips!

Thanks to Dianne and Keith for organising and driving and informing us about this historic area.

It was relaxing to set out in the clean fresh air with friends, away from phone, TV and Internet, and to be able to forget Covid-19 for a few hours.

Jenny

 

 

Waiotahi/Karaka tracks          8 March 2020

Both walks had small select groups today; Keith and 4 girls were aiming for the Karaka track and Carol with 4 boys were off on the Waiotahi track. The weather was kind to us, not as hot as recent days but a good walking temperature.

First to be dropped off were the Waiotahi walkers, and morning tea was taken about half an hour into the walk. Then it was up and more up for about two hours, but the track was good and so we were able to keep up a good steady pace. It must have been okay because there was a constant stream of chatter amongst the group. We arrived at the junction in good time and turned right to head down the Karaka. From here on the track quality changed. there were tree roots, mud, and subsiding tracks where we had to walk quite close to the edge (plenty of trees though, not a steep drop off). We soon reached the rainbow rocks, the designated lunch spot. By now it had warmed up, so we admired the view, took some photographs and then found a spot for lunch, some in the sun, some in the shade. Where was the other group we wondered? After enjoying our lunch, we set off and the track was not in as good a state as the Waiotahi but it had the advantage of being downhill. We passed a couple of other walkers coming up and we enquired as to the location of the other group. Yes, they had been seen and no, they were not as far along as we expected. However, we did come across them and we were able to finish the walk together.

The Karaka walkers drove round to their start and had a leisurely morning tea before setting off. It was a gradual but constant uphill at a leisurely pace.  Firstly, following alongside the stream with a few pools that might tempt the water babies on the return journey. Then it turned into a more regular kind of tramping track with tree roots, muddy pot holes and an uneven surface. It was hoped that the rainbow rocks would be the lunch/turning round point but as the track had got a bit gnarly in places this was not to be. Lunch was taken and the return journey commenced, only to be sneaked up on by Carol, and the others.

On returning to the van we exchanged our boots for shoes and exchanged our thoughts on the day. A straightforward journey had us arriving back in Hamilton in good time.

Carol

Endeans Mill- Waimiha and Black Fern Lodge    9 February, 2020

Eighteen happy Wanderers set off on a beautiful sunny day for Endeans Timber Mill at Waimiha in the King Country on this grade 1 trip .  

Two local worthies met us at the mill site to show us through the ruins, once they had collected our entry fee. From the road the whole place appeared to be a wasteland as the state of dereliction could not be exaggerated.  However, in the local community hall we were shown a video taken of the mill when it was still operating, and this inspired a modicum of interest in seeing inside the main building, which had not completely fallen down. 

Inside this main building proved to be very interesting, as most if not all of the original machinery was still intact although in a dreadful state of repair.  The most interesting and delightful item was the original huge steam engine which powered the whole milling operation from the 1920s to the 1970s, when the plant was finally electrified. As for the rest of the ‘relics’ these would be best bulldozed into a heap and buried as deep as possible!  

After lunch at the hall it was off to Black Fern Lodge. This was a most refreshing and wonderful haven on the banks of the Ongarue River.  Here the owner, Mark, gave us an illuminating talk about the lodge and its visitors who came for various local activities. 

From the lodge a short walk along the riverbank brought us to a spot where we were able to feed bread that had been left by Mark to a number of voracious trout and a large eel.  Further on we came to a most magnificent waterfall which plunged into a huge pool.  This was the turning point of our trip, so we returned to the vans and headed home, arriving back in Hamilton at 5.45pm.

Many thanks to Val and Keith for a really lovely and successful day in the King Country

Roger McG

Mount Pureora         9 February 2020

Seven trampers in a van plus two in a car set off from Hamilton shortly after 7.30am. The first goal was to get to the centre of the North Island, which required a long drive down a bumpy, pot holed, gravel track. We arrived around 10am, had a quick morning tea, then walked 5 minutes to the "Centre of the North Island", which was a rather short monument with a ‘true story’ about how it was located with a cardboard map and a pin!

We next drove back in the van down the gravel track to the start of the Mount Pureora summit walk. It was nice and cool in the bush until we started walking up the steps! The bush was beautiful - there was some bird song but not much. It was a gradual climb to the summit, and did I mention there were a lot of steps! Also lots of boardwalks which really did make the ascent easier. After just over an hour we emerged above the bush line, almost at the summit, and were teased with a glimpse of the view to come. At the summit we were rewarded with stunning 360 degree views! For me the most impressive view was Lake Taupo. 

We lunched at the summit. On the descent there was some discussion over the total number of steps so we counted them, in silence. Subject to an independent adjudicator the number of steps is between 1021 and 1073!

Next we went on a short bush walk to view a 2-tonne log crawler tractor which was left in the forest in the same spot it had broken down.

Our final visit of the day was to two majestic totara trees. The second Pouakani totara tree is the world’s tallest ever recorded totara tree at over 35 metres tall, and is approximately 1850 years old. It was fenced off to protect it.

We arrived back in Hamilton shortly before 5pm.

Thank you to Colin and Carol for driving. It was an immensely enjoyable day! 

Emma

McLaren Falls Park Christmas Trip                       8 December 2019

A happy group of Wanderers loaded their gear into the three awaiting vans and headed towards the Kaimais, hoping the predicted thunderstorms would not eventuate.

Arriving at the McLaren Falls, we walked on to the bridge to view a great expanse of rock with very little water running downstream.  Driving on into the park we passed the dam as a siren sounded to signal the release of water, so we returned the bridge, where after a short wait we were rewarded by the sight and sound of approaching water.  In no time it turned into a torrent which roared over the bare rocks with the white water cascading down into the river below. 

We enjoyed a cuppa and some delicious Christmas cake before leaving the Information Centre shelter in the vans heading for Top Flat. 

From here we split into groups and had a couple of hours to wander the various tracks around the lake or up to the waterfall. The day was pleasantly warm with a light drizzle from time to time. It was a lovely area to explore, so many trees with their fresh green foliage. Maybe we could come back in Autumn to see the colours reflected in the lake?

Everywhere we looked there were birds. All around the lake edges were geese with their goslings, also large numbers of Canada geese, with black swans, coots and ducks on the lake.  Tuis danced among the flax flowers as they sipped the nectar. Some of us were intrigued with a collection of foul smelling red fungus sprouting from the ground under a large tree.

Eventually we all arrived back at the Information Centre and after a quick spruce up, continued on to the Kaimai Café for our Christmas treat. Just in time! We had only stepped inside when the heavens opened and the rain thundered down. What perfect timing. 

A delicious meal was enjoyed by all, accompanied by plenty of talk and laughter as we shared our stories.

The rain had long gone before it was time to depart for home and we had a good trip back thanks to our drivers.A very big thank you to Dianne and her team for a wonderful day.

Barbara

 

Salvation Hut. 24 November 2019

Click Here to view the trip report for this tramp

Tarawera Falls 10th November 2019

The Tarawera Falls trip was memorable for two reasons:

  • It was a long journey in two vans to get there and home again – 6 hrs total.
  • It rained steadily for the whole tramp and I’m sure most people and their packs were sodden - I certainly was!

However, the beauty of the bush track and the spectacular Tarawera falls could not be disputed, and the rain added to the mystical nature of the walk.  After photographing the falls we followed the river through the bush, passing the swimming hole where I had previously swum, but unfortunately the weather was not conducive to swimming.  The wind blew the rain into our faces as we crossed a bridge and reached our destination – the Tarawera Outlet and DOC camp.   It was here we found a shelter where we attempted to keep dry as we ate our lunch.

We retraced our steps to return to the vans. On the way back we saw where the river disappears before emerging at the Falls.  After changing into dry clothes we headed home via Kawerau.

 

Mary

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