Makino Hut – Te Puia Lodge,
Kaaweka Forest Park,
Wednesday, August 28 2013
The forecast for Longview was for strong winds and rain. The group decided to head north to Te Puia Springs, for calmer conditions.
We arrived at the Makahu road carpark, with moderate winds and low cloud over the distant hills of the Kawekas and Ahimanawa Range.
Alison, Colin, Robyn, Peter, John B and Keith headed towards Makino Hut, from the Makahu Road car park, while the other six drove on to Mangatutu car park and began their Mohaka River walk. John M and Vic had a leisurely shorter walk for the day, while Hillary, Paul, Kelvin and Tony headed to Te Puia Lodge.
The steep Makino ridge is never the best way to begin the day’s walk, but we were quickly among low scrub, bracken and manuka that had colonised the ridge. After an hour, we entered beech forest where we passed Makino Bivouac, and shortly arrived at the Te Puia Springs/Makino Hut intersection.
Views of the Mohaka River and surrounding hills in various shades of grey and overcast skies were stunning. We began our descent and arrived at Te Puia Lodge, where Hillary, Kelvin, Paul and Tony were finishing their lunch.
Sun, wind, drizzle alternated throughout the morning’s walk, and temperatures dropped with an increase in cloud and wind, the winds gusting from early afternoon.
A leisurely return trip to the car park allowed time for the group to view the natural arch where the stream has carved a cave-like hole in the pumice, and a bivvy somewhere amongst the now manuka-populated river flats.
Trampers: Kelvin Shaw, John Marshall, Robyn Smith, Alison Greer, Hillary Heath-Caldwell, Vic Bullock, Peter Slagter, John Burrell, Paul Exeter, Colin McNatty, Tony Pluymers and reporter Keith Moretta