Hinerua Hut, Saturday/Sunday September 24/25 2011. Map BL36
The four of us walked with the day party to the hut, with pig-feeding starting an easy day. Once we reached the hut, Les (weekender), John and Geoff (day party) and I continued up past the bushline to check out the route to the tops. It looked straightforward, even though we could not see them. The ridge line up looked an easy ascent, albeit very exposed – as are most of the Ruahine tops. We struggled to stand up, but continued up 100 metres or so. Then we ducked out of the wind and sat in the sun for an early lunch, enjoying the views over the southern Hawke’s Bay farmland.
Once the day party had departed, another recce along the Smith Stream track was called for. As a huge amount of firewood had been collected, we started the Corker and settled down in the cosy hut. T-shirts were donned, and a toast to the Irish was made. Thanks to Paul’s daughter Lisa for her contribution to the ambience.
The forecast rain did not arrive until late evening, but the wind continued to blow. The stars still shone brightly in the night sky. There is something special about an evening hut atmosphere, with its candlelight and warmth.
On Sunday, we awoke to drizzle. The walk back to our vehicle was quick, and Les and I took the zig-zag path which is visible on the opposite side of the valley. It is a 4WD track too, and we saw a herd of deer which included several big stags. These are the farmed deer, for which the high fences were made. The track rejoins the main track near the house.
We had some high jinx with Paul’s vehicle, but fortunately had Les’s mechanical knowledge to get us out of the problem. By then, the drizzle had stopped and it was a dry but windy day. An easy and relaxed walk, and we went home with a good list of future walks.
Trampers: Ted Angove, Paul Exeter, Les O’Shea and Julia Mackie.