Te Wae Wae Station, Local, Wednesday 10 October 2018.
It has been many years since our club made a visit to Te Wae Wae station, so everyone was looking forward to this trip.
The morning was beautiful and clear with a crisp breeze and temperatures were expected to reach 20 in the Bay. Fifteen trampers in two vans set off from Church Road car park at 7.45. After picking up Ted and Denise, we were on our way.
The drive to Te Wae Wae, along the Napier Wairoa Road then inland from Kotemaori, along Willowflat Road, was close on two hours so by the time we arrived it was good to get out and stretch our legs.
Arriving at Te Wae Wae, we were met by the station owner Ian Brickell and his wife Carolyn, who treated us to some freshly made (and yummy) cinnamon pinwheel scones. What a grand way to start the day.
We were eager to start our much-anticipated walk. Ian took the lead, starting the trek on his trusty quad bike with Vic as passenger on the carrier, looking very comfortable and happy. Vic was then left to his own devices to explore, discovering many plants he had not seen before. The rest of us followed Ian, who certainly kept us all working to keep up to his set pace.It was an easy walk up the farm road surrounded by thick native bush. Ian side-tracked several times to show us many large and magnificent matai, rimu and beech trees and much regenerated growth. He has a QEII Covenant on the bushland to protect in perpetuity against removal or milling of these trees and surrounding bush.
Ian pointed out a giant rimu tree where many many years ago, a 16-year-old boy, who was possum hunting in the area as part of a pest eradication programme, set a trap. This young man never dreamt that he would one day own a farm of any size. He was none other than Ian Brickell.
Ian was keen to take us to the ‘Top’ where we would be guaranteed magnificent views of the surrounding area; so, like the keen trampers that we are, we followed our leader through thick, lush bush, being encouraged the entire way… “not far now, it’s just a little further up”.
We were not disappointed. We emerged from the bush onto a very large rock ridge. The height was quite unnerving but the panoramic views out towards Maungaharuru Range and Bell Rock, Te Kooti’s Lookout, down onto the Te Hoe River and the surrounding area was intoxicating. After a few group photos, it was time to make our way down, and what a ‘down’ it proved. Several times, our trusty leader led us ‘up the gum tree’ so to speak but he nevertheless assured us that he was never lost, just geographically challenged sometimes “and if you just keep heading down, you will eventually reach the bottom no matter which route you take”.On finally ending our descent, we walked across paddocks to admire Ian’s newly built 13-bunk ‘Honeymoon Hut’ complete with electricity provided by solar panels and a large cast iron wood burning stove. The original Totara Slab Honeymoon Hut still stands but is not used now.
Much to our delight, Ian had driven his pick-up truck down to the hut before we arrived so we would not have to walk all the way back up to the starting point. This would have added another hour or two to our end-of-day tramp. Ian transported us back, packs and bodies sprawled across the back deck hanging on for dear life, most of the way; we still had to hoof it up the last little rise back to our starting point.While sitting on the back of the ute, we were able to admire the beautiful Morgan horses that he breeds and his Welsh black cattle.
Back at the van, we were once again greeted by Ian’s wife Carolyn. We couldn’t thank our hosts enough for their old-fashioned hospitality and kindness, then duly said our goodbyes and loaded back into the vans for the long journey home.
What a wonderful day out and what kind-hearted people our hosts Ian and Carolyn Brickell are. It was certainly worth the long drive, just to experience the views, bush and hospitality.
Trampers: Bruce Hodgson, Marie Deroles, Dorothy Sole, Denise Bavidge, Denise Payne, Sue Marshall, Sue Martin, John Burrell, John Holschier, Vic Bullock, Ted Angove, Tony Pluymers, Dave Hills, Hannah Munro, Rosemary Hunter, Marie Deroles, and reporter Lynette Morgan