Mackintosh Hut, Kaweka FP, Saturday 30 June 2018 – Winter Solstice. Map BJ37
Photos: Julia and Peter
This was scheduled as a day outing and an easy weekend tramp for beginners.Day Tramp reporter John Bennett writes: Julia, Pete and I left Park Island at 7am as passengers in Hilary’s car on a cold crisp day – with patches of ice on the road beyond Sherenden. At the frosty, ice-puddled Lakes Car Park, we were joined by Simon, Alison, Juliet and Sue who were intending to stay overnight.
Julia joined them to tramp the low-level track to Mackintosh Hut, leaving Hilary, Pete and myself to take the direct route from the Mackintosh car park.For us, it was down to the bridge over the Tutaekuri River and up an icy track with lots of beech leaf fall and mountain astelia (Astelia nervosa) torn up by pigs looking for roots. We reached the hut, and Hilary got the fire going (we’d found a pot containing ice inside the hut) whilst Pete and I cut firewood supplies.
We had morning tea by the fire. The Solstice theme was football, so Hilary hung out flags on the beams under the canopy to represent those teams still in the World Cup.
Julia arrived 45 minutes later and the other four came out of the bush, chattering and laughing. Pete blew his referee’s whistle to quieten them down.We had a nice shared lunch with hot soup and cheerios. Our day-trip quartet left the hut at 1.30, leaving the overnighters behind.
Overall, a very good day.
Trampers: Peter, Hilary, Julia and reporter John B.
The Mackintosh overnighters – Simon Hill reports
We drove up Taihape Road to an icy Lakes car park. A day party member kindly drove our vehicle to the other car park. Then we took the track up to Mackintosh Hut via a freezing cold and fast-flowing river, and a very cold and sometimes slippery track through contorta pine.The sun was out, but it never fell on us. The group arrived at the hut at 12.30 to find it well decorated with World Cup football flags. As this was the theme of the Winter Solstice, the day party had dressed up appropriately, lit the fire and prepared a beautiful shared lunch with a Christmas touch. This was so unexpected, but it certainly beat our packed sandwiches. We all sat down to Julia’s delicious homemade pumpkin soup and buns, mini egg sandwiches, fruitcake, rocky road and a bag full of mandarins.
Once the day party left for home, we cut more firewood and sat in the sun on the deck. When the sun disappeared, it was time to share nibbles. There was so much variety, nobody cooked dinner!
At about 6pm, a young couple from Napier arrived and joined in with the festivities. The evening sky was clear with a full moon and the Matariki stars shining down on us. Everyone slept well, including a lie-in!
After breakfast and a quick tidying of the hut, we headed off in fine weather and drove back home, arriving before midday
Trampers: Alison, Juliet, Sue, and reporter Simon.