Hinerua Hut, Wednesday May 25 2011. Map: BL36
Blustery winds and cloud greeted 11 members at the Oakley farm airstrip, a very long and winding drive off Hinerua Road.
A steep ascent was made along the farm road, starting from the old fertiliser holder, then passing the resident house, and finally we exited the farm through deer gates into the Ruahine Forest.
The group steadily ambled through the undulating track, covered in mountain beech, cabbage and cedar trees, with a base of ferns, bracken, horopito, totara, putaputaweta and much more. There was little bird life, but tuis chorused occasionally.
We arrived at the Hinerua Hut for morning tea after a short walk from the Hinerua – Tukituki stream junction. After a good break, many took the one-hour steep track to Tussock Hill. Winds blasted us after leaving the protection of the beech forest, and some returned shortly because of it.
The remaining five carried on a short distance to the top of Tussock Hill to views of the surrounding tracks and rivers: Tarn Bivvy, the Tukituki River and its Khyber Pass, Black Ridge and parts of Sawtooth Ridge. In the distance, Kahuranaki, Mt Erin and Te Mata Peak to the east, with the Wakararas and the Three Johns to the north.
Returning from Tussock Hill, we had lunch at Hinerua Hut. After that, we quickly retraced our morning tramp back to the airstrip and the van, with more views of the Waipawa in the winter sun, and then we headed home.
Trampers: Kelvin Shaw, John Marshall, Alison Greer, Rosemary Jeffery, Peter Slagter, Vic Bullock, Robyn Smith, Paul Exeter, Simon Hill, Ken Ross and Keith Moretta.