Mangamate Falls, Saturday/Sunday, December 19-20 2009
Trampers: Paul Exeter, Ted Angove, Simon Hill and Julia Mackie
On a warm sunny day, Paul, Ted and Julia arrived at the Plateau car park in the Whirinaki Forest Park. Ted and Julia had decided to do the walk through to the River Road, Minginui road-end, and Paul would drive his car around and meet us coming out. The track was dry and clear of any tree falls left over from the few winters ago when we came in for a winter solstice trip to Central Whirinaki Hut (the Whirinaki six night out in the bush). We had morning tea in Central Whirinaki Hut, and then onwards. What a lovely bush walk along the Whirinaki river. The track is high above the river, and goes away from it for a short while before coming back.
We found the Vern’s Camp has a new shelter (see picture). This was once an old track cutters’ camp, and a good spot for an overnight camp on a circuit walk, we thought, as it was possible to put a sleeping mat on these benches. On to the Whirinaki Waterfall loop track is an option, and a good view of the falls from an opposite bank is possible in five minutes from the bridge over the river. However, getting a good photo is still difficult. The main track continues, crossing the Mangamate and then Morerangi Streams, before reaching the Te Whaiti-Nui-A-Toi Canyon.
You shortly reach the River Road-end, passing through giant podocarp trees. Paul was waiting for us. He had done a short walk to the waterfall, but his Achilles tendon was playing up, so he decided not to go further and returned to the car.
We drove to the Mangamate Waterfall campground and Simon soon arrived. After picking a camp site, we pitched the tent (for Julia) and fly between the two vehicles, away from the newly built shelter. A wash underneath the waterfall was a must on the hot day.
On Sunday, the weather turned unkind, with rain. We explored the DoC recreation camp, which has cabins and a communal shelter for cooking – definitely a good option for another trip. We also walked the H Tree Track which is reached via Minginui Road, off Ruatahuna Road past Murupara on State Highway 38. Access is via Fort Road, off Old Te Whaiti Road. The main feature of this loop track is an unusually shaped rimu tree. The loop track runs through grand podocarp forest where birdlife includes rare species, North Island kaka, red and yellow crowned kakariki, robin and kereru.” It takes 45 minutes and well worth the time.
Simon decided to walk the Arohaki Lagoon track, and Paul, Ted and Julia headed for home. A good end to the year’s tramping.