Tangoio, White Pine and Tutira walkways, Wednesday July 2 2014
Mid-winter has seen the Wednesday group exploring our local walks and this week it was the Tutira area. The sun was rising out of the sea as we drove towards Bay View and as we didn’t have far to drive it was a little chilly and dark when we arrived at the Tangoio Walkway.
There have been huge improvements since I was here 20-odd years ago, starting with a new bridge at the car park over the Te Ngaru Stream. The track has been upgraded and is well maintained; except for a few muddy patches, it’s wide and well-marked, and a family favourite. The path leads you beside the river, crossing once then onto the first of two waterfalls.Te Ana Falls on the Kareaara Stream had a good flow of water although a little discoloured after overnight rain. Climbing on a well graded track, the next point is the lookout which overlooks the Cascade Falls. Not as much water flowing over these falls but nice just the same. The track then heads north through regenerating bush following the contours of the valley. Nikau palms are becoming a feature; we passed hundreds of young seedlings and tree ferns, mahoe, titoki are all well established. Further on, there was a magnificent stand of redwoods before we exited onto the main road opposite White Pine Bush.
We had morning tea in the car park then a quick wander round White Pine Bush where Hilary gave us a lesson on the difference between matai and kahikatea trees. There are some magnificent specimens in the reserve, dating back 800 years. Titoki, tawa, kawakawa, tree ferns and fuchsia all flourish here, making the canopy dense – and underneath cold, as no sunlight penetrated.
A short drive up the road is Lake Tutira and the longest of our walks, the Tutira Walkway. Parking at the camping area (noting the Heretaunga Tramping Club truck was also parked there) we back-tracked round the lake to pick up the yellow-poled route, crossing farmland and climbing the four-wheel bike track up onto Table Mountain Ridge. We had lunch in a hollow tucked down out of the cold westerly wind, then continued on along the open tops. The views down to the lake and out over Hawke Bay were fantastic, but the southerly storm that was hammering the rest of the country was just on the Western ranges and looked ominous.
Still bathed in sunshine, we continued on, passing the group of Heretaunga trampers coming from the other direction. A group photo at the trig, the high point of Table Mountain 494m, then it was the steep downhill followed by a long trek through the pine forest and back to the car park.
Just as we were finishing getting changed and having coffee, the threatened storm cloud was upon us, sending everyone scurrying into vehicles – a wet end to a most enjoyable day.
Trampers: Colleen Perreau, Peter Slagter, Paul Exeter, Vic Bullock, Tony Pluymers, Robyn Smith, John Marshall, Murray White, Keith James, Hilary Heath-Caldwell, Ken Ross, John Burrell, Steve Woulfe, Wai Anderson and reporter Alison Greer