Kaweka Circuit. Kaweka Forest Park.
Wednesday, 30 January 2013
We arrived at the Kaweka Road (Makahu Saddle carpark), with sun, blue skies and no wind, and split into three groups. One ascended Makahu Spur, while John M and Vic B followed at their leisurely pace observing the flowers and birdlife of the Kawekas. Meanwhile, Ray took his two overseas visitors along the Kaweka Flats for the day.
The Kaweka circuit’s hike was to ascend the Kaweka J, then continue to descend along Mad Dog Hill, Studholme Saddle, Mackintosh Spur, and then steeply into the Donald River. After crossing the Donald River, ascend to the Matauria Ridge, pass by the Ngahere Hut, and back to the car park. This was a stunning but not easy walk with an estimated total rise and fall of 1500m during the eight-hour duration.
At Kaweka J, the skies remained blue, the temperatures very warm, with great vistas of all the surrounding hills and mountains. Flowers were abundant up the slopes of the Kawekas, with daisies, euphrasias, parahebes and hebes, eidelweiss and many more painting the mountainside track.
The wonderful circuit eventually did take its toll on several members as we progressed onto the Mackintosh Spur and ascended from the very steep banks of the Donald River. The hills, very warm conditions, high fluid loss and tiredness also caused some very weary trampers to suffer cramp.
But despite many feeling very tired and exhausted, there will be 13 trampers who’ll remember the wonderful scenes and challenging efforts of the Kaweka circuit for a very long time.
Trampers: Kelvin Shaw, Vic Bullock, Dorothy Sole, Elly Govers, Paul Exeter, John Marshall, John Burrell, Peter Slagter, Sue Martin, Isobel Holdaway, Alison Greer, Ray Slavin, Ali Hollington, Jennie Porter, and Keith Moretta. Visiting trampers, Tony Plummers, Mark Wolfsbauer, Ray’s friends Richard and his wife.