Longview Hut track and across to the Daphne Hut track, Wednesday 30 August 2023
Banner Photo: L to R, Juliet, Alison, Andrea and Christine
With the Waiohiki Bridge back in operation and Highway 50 open again, we didn’t have to leave Napier until around 7.30 on this particularly gorgeous day. Alison kindly took us in her car – enough room for all five of us comfortably.
The further away from Napier, the heavier the frost, adding to the beauty of the countryside. The unsealed section of road to the Longview car park was mostly in good condition (except for one particularly soft patch in the shade of some big trees that hid a pretty deep pothole). By the time we arrived there shortly after 9am, the temperature outside wasn’t really cold.
It was a fairly comfortable climb up the Longview track. There were still some patches of thick ice here and there. In places, tall grass had been cut and left on the track, risking it a bit slippery. At the top there was barely a breeze and the sky was perfectly clear, with the snow further up glistening. We stopped for a quick drink and to take off a layer.
Early on, we could see a guy alone wearing an orange backpack quite away ahead of us. When we reached the top we could see that he had gone off past Longview Hut. He came back along the ridge while we were having lunch and stopped for a chat. He was one of four working for Mauri Oho, a Central Hawke’s Bay environmental organisation funded by the Jobs for Nature programme to maintain the traplines through this part of the Ruahines.
The track across the ridge wasn’t always clear but the combination of Juliet’s topo app, Alison’s memory of the track, and the frequent placement of traps kept us in the right direction. We stopped for lunch along the ridge facing the snow-covered peaks and then set off to the Daphne Hut junction.
The sudden change from open grassland and into the forest was a surprise for me. The track through the trees down to the Daphne car park was slippery in places and I was wearing quite a bit of mud by the time we got down to the creek at the bottom of the track.
The track that the markers from the stream to the car park would have taken us through was very boggy so we were grateful that Ted was there to direct us to drier ground. He had moved the car to Daphne car park so we didn’t have to walk back up the road. We arrived there about 2.15.
Also at the car park was the Mauri Oho group. They had all come off different traplines and told me that they had found fairly equal numbers of rats and stoats.
This was a really lovely day.
Trampers: Juliet Gillick, Alison Greer, Ted Angove, Andrea Hannah and reporter Christine Briasco