Central Te Hoe River from private land through the Mokaha Forest, Sat-Sun, November 15-16 2008. Map: T23
Trampers: Paul Exeter, Ted Angove, Simon Hill, Murray Goss, Murray White, Sue Marshall and Julia Mackie (reporter)
The weekend party of seven left the day team after lunching on the riverbank. We were all looking forward to new vistas. With no clear track, we weaved in and out of the river, reaching a gorge. Murray White and Paul used the side bank, gradually getting deeper and then finally up to their top chests (even tall Murray’s). We all made it through but not without a little drama, when I started drifting back downstream. (Paul leapt into the river to save me.)
After 5½ hours, we saw the swing bridge that meant that we had gone 300 metres too far. The exit from the river to the hut was not clearly marked, although some had noticed the track. We made it there and backtracked. We sat out in the sun, and rested our weary minds and bodies. It’s amazing how tiring river tramping can be.
In the early evening, we were surprised by a helicopter which landed and dropped off a passenger and some avgas. The hunter came over to let us know that it was going to pick up a deer which had been shot earlier. On the chopper’s return, two deer were slung below it. It topped up with fuel and took off with the hunter. The load must have been heavy; it only just missed the trees.
None of us were looking forward to the return down-river the next morning. More onga onga, slippery river stones and boulders, and the gorge. But it proved a breeze, except for the cold water. With long daylight hours and a very warm night, it had been a great summer tramp.
Day trip – Te Hoe River – Maungataniwha, November 15.
Day trampers: Nolene Blair, Bridget Seque, Carol Finch, Murray McIndoe, Les O’Shea, Alex Thomason, Gordon Tapp, John Dobbs, Ray Slavin, Colin McNatty, John Russell, John Marshall and John Gray (reporter)
Five vehicles left Pan Pac, heading for the HB Palaeontologist camp on the Te Hoe River, Maungataniwha. The drive in was long, first through farmland, then huge forested areas, then into wonderful native forests.
It was fine and warm as 13 left Charlie Janes camp and started upstream. The Te Hoe was clear and not cold, but the many crossings were made more difficult by slippery rocks. We picked our way slowly upstream, without any real tracks. Everyone seemed to have a different view of where to cross the river, so we were well spread out! We all had lunch in a nice warm spot, before farewelling the weekend group as our day party set off for the return journey. Travelling downstream was easier, so we made good time back to Charlie’s camp. Charlie gave us a look around and showed us his airstrip, and he told some tales from the past. He’s a real character!
The group made its way slowly back to the Palaeontologist camp for another chat, before heading home after a great day.