100303 Clements Road-Tahurua Road
Clements Road – Tahurua Road, Wednesday March 3 2010
Trampers: Kelvin Shaw, Paul Exeter, Vic Bullock, John Marshall, Geraldine Oliver, Gary Bowler, Jean Van Den Hout, Vic Bullock and Keith Morretta
Low cloud and occasional drizzle greeted the group of nine as we began ascending into the wonderful beech forest of the Kaimanawas, from the Clements Mill Road car park. But only Kelvin and Keith were keen to walk through to Poronui Station, on Tahurua Road.
The rest preferred a leisurely walk over the beech leaves and forest remnants, returning to Clements Mill Road. By lunchtime, the clouds had blown away and the sun shone for the remainder of the day.
For Kelvin and Keith, after an hour ascending through the beech canopy, we passed Te Iringa. Another hour along the ridge, we also passed mountain cabbage trees with their huge dog-like tongues hanging down catching the morning moisture, the area abundant with ferns and bracken.
After a couple of hours, the track descended to the Tiki Tiki Stream. A further 30-minute walk led us to a swing bridge, where the Tiki Tiki Stream converged into the Kaipo River. A quick lunch stop and we pressed on along the river track to Oamaru Hut. This 90-minute walk along the Kaipo River was banked with beech, horipito and kanuka trees. The clear water, moss-covered rocks and the trees are just waiting to be captured on canvas.
We had another quick refresher stop at the 12-bunk Oamaru Hut, before we started our last trail to Poronui. This well-marked trail was the only public access through Poronui’s private lands, where the track runs adjacent to the Taharua River. After a long walk, we arrived at the Poronui settlement and its private gates, where our transport was waiting. It had been a long walk, but a lovely experience.