Makahu Saddle Hut to Middle Hill, Saturday July 2 2011. Map: BJ37
A group of 25 keen trampers left Park Island car park and made their way in four vehicles to the Makahu Saddle car park. The forecast was for nice settled weather but a cold wind greeted us and we started our walk well layered up. We reached the Kaweka Flats Bivouac at 9.45. The weather hadn’t improved, which made for a short morning tea at the bivvy.
Not too far past the bivvy is the turn-off to the Iron Whare Hut. Most of the group decided to go and have a look. DoC has recently re-cut and marked the track and cleared the space around the hut which now looks quite attractive.The hut has been renovated keeping its original style. An information noticeboard inside tells the story of the hut. We had a good scout around, and after about 45 minutes we were back on the main track on our way to the Middle Hill Hut.
Most of us by then had decided to have lunch at the hut. I seemed to remember the hut not being too far past the turn-off to Iron Whare, but had forgotten about the steep descent down into the valley to cross a small side stream of the Makahu river. Once over the stream, there is a long, and in places quite steep, climb back up.
We stopped briefly at the turn-off to Ihaka Spur for a drink and a snack and arrived at Middle Hill for lunch. Murray Goss, who had not visited Iron Whare had reached the hut well before us. He had started the fire in the open fireplace which dried our clothes out a bit. Shortly after, while others arrived, others moved out and on, to make their way back to the car park while we stayed a little longer to finish lunch.
The way back to the car park was uneventful. After five minutes or so, we were all happy to see the vehicles coming down the road. Thanks to Paul, Ted, John Gray and Simon for volunteering to drive the cars around. Not the nicest weather, but still an enjoyable tramp.
Trampers: Colleen Perreau, Murray White, Rosemary Jeffery, Sue Martin, Alison Greer, Denise Payne, Sue Marshall, Matt Green, Sue Titter, Ted Angove, Paul Exeter, John Gray, Oswaldo Rojas, Simon Hill, Julia Mackie, Les O’Shea, Murray Goss, John Dobbs, James Burrell, Geoff Donkin, Ruth Shaw, Jude Paton, Colin McNatty, visitor, and reporter Marc Marchal