Central Whirinaki Hut, Whirinaki FP, Saturday 24 August, 2019. Map: BG38
Photos: Shona Tupe
Nine trampers left in two cars from Park Island. We had a few showers on the way and the temperature was 5C when we arrived at Plateau car park, where we met up with the weekenders. They were heading to Upper Te Hoe for the night, dropping Julia off for her to take the longer route via Upper Whirinaki.
We had an easy stroll down the scenic track, a first for a couple in our group, until we got beside the river and our conservation work began. John Bennett opened the traps while I pulled the rats out, about eight in all, some disintegrated slightly with one only leaving a skin behind. Not sure if something else had eaten the trapped victim. Most of the traps were double ones and some only had one rat while the other trap was still set. John very carefully re-set the traps.
We heard a lot of birdsong – kaka, cheeky tomtits and the whoosh of the wood pigeons flying through the trees. We were also lucky to see a pair of blue ducks at The Caves and another one on the banks of the river by the hut.
After a leisurely one-hour lunch, we headed back up the track at 1pm, arriving at the car park just after 3pm. The weather was perfect so it was most enjoyable, along with great company and plenty of banter.
Thanks to Alison for skilful driving, missing most of the potholes and huge ruts in the road, the worst being at the beginning of the road with a couple of streams to cross.
Trampers: Richard Daniels, John Russell, John Bennett, Shona Tupe, Sue Gribble, Pauline and Isobel Loughran, Alison Greer and reporter Rosemary Jeffery