Mitre Flats Hut, Tararua Forest Park Sat 24 and Sun 25 Feb 2018
Whio photo courtesy of DoC website
Five of us set off early on a beautiful fine and misty morning and headed south for the Tararua Forest Park, making the essential coffee/loo stop along the way.
The track started off following a farm road before entering the forest park where we were treated to a selection of big old rimus, miros and many other varieties of native bush.
We followed the Waingawa River all the way to the hut, crossing about seven small streams and waterfalls along the way. The ground was quite rooty, so we went at a leisurely pace which everyone was quite happy with.
We got the lowdown on the status of the hut on our way along the track so weren’t surprised to find that it was full, with 15 of us there for the night. It was a great bunch of people who were all familiar with hut dwelling and one very well-behaved dog who was lucky not to get dog-napped by one of us (well, me actually).
On dusk, I heard what I thought sounded like a whio and sure enough managed to sight one. It obligingly hopped up on a rock for us all to have a look at before heading off on its journey down-river. One of our fellow hut dwellers said that he had been coming to the Tararuas for 20 years and this was the first time that he had seen a whio there.
On Sunday morning, a sixth member joined our party – a bright and breezy type called Gail Forcewinds who made her presence felt during our entire journey out. She was incredibly raucous and won’t be welcome again. In fact, there were times when the gusts were so strong we were concerned about trees ridding themselves of limbs at untimely moments; fortunately, that didn’t happen.The group had great synergy, supporting each other and staying together which, as a recent newbie to the club, was something that I really appreciated. There wasn’t any pressure to get to the destination in a certain timeframe, which meant we were able to enjoy the environment and the company.
Thanks to Sue, Marie, Tony and Bruce for a great tramping experience.
Trampers: Sue Martin, Tony Plymers, Marie Deroles, Bruce Hodgson and reporter Mandy Cunningham.
Bruce Hodgson says
Information from DoC is that Whio have not been seen in the Tararuas since the 1980s. It seems the recent battle to rid predators is reaping rewards.
Well done Mandy for being the first person to find what was thought to be an extinct animal in the Tararua ranges. I think your next trip should be Fiordland to find the moa.