Southern Ruahine Crossing, Ruahine FP, Saturday 30 January 2021. Map: BM35
Banner Photo: A panoramic picture of the views
Kelvin kindly dropped us off at the end of Opawe Road, Pohangina Valley at 10am, having dropped a few others off first to explore the Manawatu Gorge walk.
We followed the tall white posts, climbing up steeply over the farmland, dodging thistles and cow poop. The wind was quite cold, but the hill climb warmed us quickly. Then another stile took us into the Ruahine forest, a bit less steep and more sheltered for a while with lovely mature bush, then back into open farmland. Weather was overcast but there were lovely views north under the clouds.The track changed again in the next forested area, it being very steep with quite a lot of clambering up towards the tops. Maharahara is the highest point at 1095m, followed closely by Matanginui at 1075m. Opawe Road is at 300m, so we’d done a good climb and decided it was time to shelter in the leatherwood, have lunch and enjoy the bit of sunshine. Lovely views from the tops; we could see Kiritaki Hut from the tops. We also spotted the message left by the weekend party who were heading to Kiritaki Hut. It had been written on some orange flagging tape, and tied to a stump in the middle of the track at the turn-off.
We then started the gradual walk down. The track was not steep, but the tall tussock and grasses made it tricky to see the uneven path. The track is a bit overgrown but not too bad (could do with some maintenance) and it got better as we descended.The final track down to the Mangapuaka Stream got steeper (as it always does), the whole descent from the tops taking about 1 ½ hours. Not much water in the stream but the rocks were very slippery for a while, the water then disappearing completely. There were no markers down the hill or in the stream, but it was obvious where to go.
After only about 20 minutes, we were back at the van at around 4pm. A lovely mix of farmland, bush, views, a good climb and even a stream at the end to get our feet wet! Another very enjoyable day out with the club.
Trampers: Rosemary, Di, Jo, Chris, Geoff, Viv and Sue