Smith Stream Hut, Ruahine FP, Saturday 8 February 2020
Banner Pix: Lunch outside Smith Stream Hut
Nine of us left Park Island at 7am heading for Sunrise Hut-66-Waipawa River. On arrival at the car park, we joined up with Phil and his friend Hale. As it was very windy and quite cool, we knew going past Sunrise Hut was not going to be an option so after a group discussion it was decided to do Smiths Stream. Clambering back into the van, we drove to the Waipawa River car park.We started at 8.45 and tramped on a well-marked track through undulating open land with regenerating scrub and forest. After crossing the Middle Stream, it was a steep climb to the top onto open grass. There was a cool wind at the top and Juliet was getting peckish, so we decided to find a sheltered spot for morning tea. Moving on, we reached the sign at the saddle, down from high point 1104 which advised it was 2hrs to go to Smith Stream Hut, so Rosemary decided to turn back as she thought it would be too much for her knee, and Ali joined her. The rest of us continued the climb down and into the stream for an hour, with Phil and Geoff directing us along the way. The water level was very low, which made it more manageable. Reaching the hut involved a climb up out of the stream and joining the track to the tops. It was down to the hut. We lunched there, basking in the sun which had finally come out, and then it was back on our merry way.
We arrived back at the van at 4.30, feeling a lot hotter than when we had started – but all agreed it had been a great day and a good choice.
Thanks to Juliet and Jenny for driving the van.
Trampers: Hale Driver, Phil Enticott, Geoff Donkin, Sue Nugent, Sue Gribble, Rosemary Jeffrey, Ali Hollington, Alison Greer, Juliet Gillick, Jenny Burns and reporter Fiona Chiverrell