Mangatewainui Circuit, via Apiti Track,
Ruahine Forest Park, Saturday May 18 2013
Showers were forecast, so everyone came prepared. We turned off at Norsewood into Ngamoko Road and set off on foot from the DoC car park. The overnight group who were tramping onto Leon Kinvig Hut kindly helped us shift the car to the farmstead, saving us an hour’s walk on our return.
Once through the farmland, we continued up a gentle gradient through beautiful lush and wet bush. The varying ferns and moss were shining on either side of the track. As we got higher and the track a little steeper, the bush looked even more stunning with the reddish leaves shining in the sun.
After 3 ½ hours, we arrived at the Makaretu Hut sign which provided an ideal spot for lunch. The sun appeared frequently and it was fairly humid and so still, no wind at all. Perhaps that’s because we weren’t up very high – only 880 metres.
We proceeded downhill, slipping and sliding at times, making our way carefully for another hour manoeuvring around slips and through mud, finally arriving at the Mangatewainui River. There, the track is slipping away in some parts. This was the situation two years ago, so it urgently needs attention.
Everywhere was fungi in a range of shapes, sizes and seen in colours of red, brown, cream, black, yellow and white. The cameras were clicking furiously. Adam was enjoying being back in New Zealand bush.
Although the river water was shallow, it was often in shadow which made it difficult at times to know where to place your feet. Another 1 ½ hours saw us reach the farmland which was most welcomed as most of us had cold toes and were sick of slippery stones. A couple of kms across a well-established and healthy -looking farm, we arrived at the van at 4.15.
The trip took a little longer than usual but was enjoyed by all. When we arrived back in the Bay, we discovered that they had rain all afternoon and we didn’t even get the coats out of the bags. We had obviously been in the best window of weather.
Trampers: Colin McNatty, Geoff Donkin, Adam Smith, Sue Marshall, Jude Paton, Colleen Pereau and Sue Martin