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.

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.


Luck at Last Mine Tramp, Whangamata,     Sunday 14th March 2021

On a perfect mild mid-February day 26 trampers, under Diane’s expert guidance, headed along the picturesque rocky, river- flanked track and old carriageway to explore well-preserved relics of this 1899-1901 promising gold operation. We were 7 kms north of Whangamata, and 3 kms down a forestry road.

The native trees and many hopeful seedlings were dwarfed by giant conifers, and the water below in the Wharekawa river kept up a gentle babble as it moved along its rocky course. The cicadas held the same note throughout.  An hour in, having passed the access to the saloon site, we reached the main historic archeological battery site of the crushing and extraction operation, with many “exhibits”: cyanide ponds; the pelton water wheel  that drove the whole operation; a row of 6 huge  Berdan bowls for grinding sand to a powder; and above the bluff a big, well preserved  brick construction with the furnace and tunnels to convey the heat. Gold fever archeological relics!

Here is where we stopped for lunch and viewing the interesting descriptions and photo boards before trekking on in search of the baker’s site. I am not sure it was found, but the beautiful rocky pool which was easily accessible was a welcome invitation to some.  Diane features in the story of the day! Still wearing  boots, bra and little more, Diane took the plunge with a splash, only to retreat rapidly after something bit her leg – it was an eel. Just as well she had her boots on.

At this area a little cairn had been piled with jasper rocks which sent some on a rock search.

Apparently, in 1896 the mine and the Wharekawa 294 acre lease were bought from the Abbot brothers by a London based company called Whangamata Proprietary Ltd. The council site says that flush with funds, the company lavished money that the site did not warrant. When the money ran out, the company reconstructed in 1899 as the Whangamata Gold  Corporation to raise more revenue from new shareholders.    At one stage there were 140 men on site, and the first crushing began in 1899. The company closed in  1901. I wonder what this bush settlement looked like. Did any women join the men?

A big thanks to Diane, Keith & Co for leading another super hike.                           



Hobsonville Art Trail Sunday 29th November, 2020

The weather had been fine and warm for the survey and it would have been lovely if that had been so on the Sunday. We could have enjoyed the sun, as well as the art work and cafes. But it was not to be - it was mostly rain coat weather. However, it was an interesting day, though completely different from the usual tramps. .

It was a fairly long van journey, so the leader had designed a fun quiz, for use on the way, with edible rewards for the right answers!

There is no point in listing all the pertinent art works and buildings that we saw, instead I will give a brief summary of our day. After the vans had been parked safely near the Information Centre; most of the group headed for the Catalina Cafe. The coffee was good and so were the eats.

Reluctantly, we left the warmth and headed out into the rain to Hobsonville Point, which at one stage had been an Air Force base. Now there are many modern houses, most with virtually no gardens in order to maximize the use of the space. We walked along the West and East Sunderland Bridges, which were built above the ground so that users could experience being in the treetops among the birdlife. We passed the very fine historic Mill House and headed along the coastal path towards the Farmers' market. It was a little early for eating lunch but some of us still managed it! There was a festive atmosphere with a band playing and people milling around, looking for goodies.

From there we continued our walk along the Boundary Road track until we reached what used to be the Rifle Range. Eventually we came back full circle, to the Information Centre. By then it was raining very heavily, so it was decided to complete our planned route in the vans.

Some of the most significant things we saw were the two Childrens' Parks, plus the Guardian and the Estuarine sculptures. The Hobsonville Point Park and Playground and Harrier Point Park were both very innovative and very child focused. The latter had a 10 metre high pied shag sculpture, which was also a slide. Some of our group had to test this out and there were a few screams of excitement – or maybe fear! The Guardian, on the Hobsonville Point Path, was very striking: partly because of its size, and also because of its symbolism. It resembles a huge eel trap (hinaki), and also suggests a female form. The Estuarine, in Launch Road, was very impressive. Designed by Louise Purvis and made of steel and red scoria it was inspired by Hobsonville Point's waterways.

There are two more features that are worth a mention. The Tree Cosy in Launch road which was reminiscent of similar trees seen during Lock Down. Also walking through the mangroves was an unusual experience

It was a very good excursion, everyone had a great day. We even stopped for ice creams in Pokeno!

A big thank you to our leader, who had put in a great deal of effort into the preparation, and for sharing this delightful, relatively unknown part of Auckland. And of course to our drivers.

Margaret Standing

Te Tuhi           Sunday 1 November 2020

10 trampers signed on for this tramp. The day started overcast/possibility of a shower.

Arriving at the Te Tuhi Road end about 08:25, the group was ready and off at 08:45. The track started on the farm road and after a few electric fence crossings and styles, entered lush farmland that was undulating and steepish in parts with lots of interesting bolders along the way. The track then entered the bush across a stream, with no need to accept the held of the rope assistance. Then the big slog up the hill. Although hot work crossing the farmland, the temperature dropped as the wind increased, as we climbed higher. There was a chance for an impressive view across the Hauraki Plains into the distance. Once over the top the going was much easier and we reached the North South junction after about 21/2 hours. A short break and on along the sometimes muddy North South Track to reach the hut for a well earned lunch.

Not your usual hut this one, concrete suspended floor and some sort of concrete wall structure. 12 bunks and lots of room outside under a covered veranda. Back on the track again at about 12:45 to retrace our steps.

About 71/4  hours tramping including lunch etc. All agreed a good workout found a few unwary joints and muscles.

A great day out thanks to Ray and Grant.


Wairere Falls - Sunday 1 November 2020

9 trampers left Hamilton at 7.30am and headed to Wairere Falls under a moody sky. 

After morning tea in the car park we set off at a very leisurely pace, enjoying the birdsong and bush. We soon encountered lots of huge moss-covered boulders, tree roots and rocks and we took our time to safely navigate these obstacles. We crossed over wooden bridges and climbed up wooden stairs to reach the lookout, giving us views of the falls which were unusually impressive as there had been lots of rain on the previous day. We noticed that at the top of the falls the water seemed to be blowing upwards!

We then made our way up the second half of the track to the summit and the top of the waterfall. We lunched in the sunshine next to the river and away from the edge of the waterfall.

After lunch a few of us put on our rain coats and made our way over rocks and through muddy puddles to the viewing platform. We had a brief moment to take some photos when the wind blew the waterfall away from the platform, then suddenly the wind changed direction and blew the water onto the platform and we got absolutely drenched!  Well worth it for the view! We carefully navigated our way down the mountain so we all arrived safely back at the van. Thank you to Dianne for leading this wonderful hike.


Te Whare Okioki - A relatively easy walk            1 Nov 2020.

‚ÄčI had heard stories about the new Te Whare Okioki, and wanted to see it for myself. I had heard it was about 3 hours walk from several entry points to the Kaimais, so proposed going in up the Te Tuhi track, about an hour’s drive from Hamilton. I knew the first hour or so up that track was steep, but once you got to the top the rest of the way was relatively flat. I also knew from experience that the flat areas in the part of the Kaimais can be very boggy.

Grant and I did a survey a couple of weeks before the assigned date for this Grade 3 Club trip, and found that the track was relatively dry. We made good time, found that the hut was indeed worth visiting, and had perfect weather.

On Sunday, we met at the vans, with 10 of us ready for our challenge, with the rest going in another van to Wairere Falls, a relatively easy tramp, that still climbs 300m. We were a disparate mob, but I felt we would all be up to the walk. The 7:30 start gave us a bit of extra time if we needed it. As we approached the hills we were a bit disappointed to see the thick clouds on the tops, although the lower slopes were relatively clear. A lack of wind made it less likely the tops would clear.

My plan was to get us over the fields and up the worst of the climb to have morning tea about 10am at a clearing with a view over the valley below. The timing was good, but by the time we arrived there the wind was so strong we had to search for shelter in the bush further up. Not a nice picnic spot but I know some people need to recharge their stomachs about 10am. About 15 minutes further on we reached the top. Progress became faster, except that the “relatively dry” track of our survey had become quite wet and slippery. Some of us came home needing to clean more than just our boots!

The stream crossings were easy – water just deep enough to wash our boots. 11am saw us at the North-South track, with an hour to go to the hut. Perfect timing. More sliding and boot washing, and a few hills to surmount. But relatively small ones. The cloud had lifted, and gaps with sunshine appeared occasionally. Relatively fine, but not the glorious weather of the survey.

The hut structure was intriguing. Concrete panels, but very light ones. A concrete slab floor, but sitting on a very few steel piles. We had lunch on the very large covered terrace, to shelter from the wind.

I had stiffened up during lunch, but pushed on. The pace seemed to be slower than before, but we made good time back to the junction. Colin wondered whether to reduce his clothing layers, but I said there is a lot of downhill coming up, to which he pointed out that we were about to climb a hill. I soon realised what he meant. As I pushed my way up slippery slopes I wondered how I could have ever thought that this part of the Kaimais was “flat”!

The graph of altitude versus time shows the reality. The slopes on the tops are just as steep as the ascent after the farm. They just don’t last as long. But when you are already tired, 30m of vertical steepness requires energy you don’t want to spend. Relatively flat, but still not just a walk in the park.

A pause on the way down at the view point refreshed us a little and we arrived at the van about 4pm, stiff, perhaps sore, but with a shared feeling of accomplishment.

Ray Hoare


Around Town Walking Trail, Pukekohe Sunday 18 October 2020

The trail started at the railway station, passing along Harris Street through Bledisloe Park for a lazy morning tea in Samuel Miller Reserve.

Continuing on through quiet roads with many fine new properties, the trail headed towards Pukekohe Hill but diverted to miss the steepish push to the top. We passed market garden paddocks with some original homesteads and Nehru Hall (a meeting place for the many Indian market gardeners).

The trail changed in character through large areas of not so pretty urban new housing development and then followed the very pleasant Whangapouri Creek for some distance, before stopping for lunch amongst the trees adjacent to Paerata Road and the welcome convenience of New World.

After lunch the trail continued through Ernie's Reserve and native bush to the top of Cape Hill with panoramic views. The trail concluded through urban streets back to the vans and the mandatory stop at Pokeno for you know what.

A great days walk to somewhere new, thanks to the leaders.


Waikato Heads         20 September 2020

6 eager trampers set off on a chilly morning for the sand dunes of Port Waikato.  A brief period of rain didn't dampen our spirits and we enjoyed the scenic portion of the new Taupiri Expressway that we had previously walked during its formation.

Our first stop at Port Waikato was for morning tea in the beautiful gardens at Colbourne Reserve which are maintained by the residents.  Then off to Sunset Beach where recent erosion is evident.  At Maraetai Bay we divided into two groups of those who wanted to go as far as possible to where the Waikato River and ocean meet in a flurry of waves and those who preferred to view it from a distance.  Lunch was a welcome stop in the sand dunes which sheltered us from the full force of the persistent wind. Our return to the vans along the shore line was a race with the incoming tide as we attempted to keep footwear dry.  Some succeeded by scrambling up the sand banks and others were caught by a sudden surge.

Pokeno was the icecream and sausage stop and then Tony arranged another series of stops of historic highlights featuring totem poles high on a ridge overlooking the Taupiri Expressway, Huntly Twin Towers and surrounding country side.  We also explored sites in the vicinity of Taupiri Mountain where a farm is now a reserve and totem poles, barricades and carvings have been erected where pa sites formerly existed.  Well worth a visit but not advertised to the general public.

Many thanks to those involved in giving us such an informative a
nd enjoyable day.

Joan Pavreal  

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