Te Puia, Kaweka FP,Saturday 14 August 2021
Banner Photo: The Mohaka River along the Te Puia track
It was a chilly morning at Park Island where 16 of us keen trampers met and set off in two cars and a van. It was a beautiful sunny morning with increasing areas of frost the further we got from Napier, especially when we reached the unsealed road. Thankfully the Makahu ford was low and the bridges were white with frost.We dropped John Dobbs and Campbell off at the start of the Makino loop at about 8.40am. Campbell hadn’t done it before and John was keen to see the new layout at the Mangatainoka hot pools, so it was a fairly long distance for them.
At about 9am, the rest of us set off with four of the group just going to the hut and back, three not certain what they would do and the rest of us going onto the hot pools.So we set off in glorious sunshine with birds singing away, including tomtits, warblers and kereru – always a bonus, but I’ve never heard one sing! The dappled sunlight through the trees was lovely and the roar of the Mohaka River made for a gorgeous setting. Excellent track, easy walking with three or four climbs, which seemed more noticeable on the way back, and those fabulous rocks with the beautiful scenic views up and down the river. I was in the group that went on to the hot pools. We got to the hut at about 11am and decided to push on to the pools, and have lunch when we got back to the hut. The 40 minutes to the pools always seems quite far, a work-out within itself. Lots of photos taken of the beautiful roaring river; we related it to the Olympics slalom! None of the pools was full so we turned around and on our return met John and Campbell by the bridge close to the hut. They were going on to the pools. It had taken them quite a while to do that part of the loop (we guessed Campbell had been given a ‘proper tour’ by John). We thought maybe Campbell was keen to go with us but he soldiered on with John. Lovely sun at the hut for our lunch, the other group having already left for a nice walk back. We left the hut at 1pm and I swear the steps are steeper than they were before (knee niggling).
Our group got back to the car park at about 3pm, and one car had already left with three in it. The others decided to walk to the hot pools just down the road, while Mary, Shona and I waited by the van for John and Campbell.
Margaret saved us all again with her large bar of chocolate and hot tea. Thank you so much Margaret; it must be my turn next time.
Those gone to the hot pools returned, the second car left and John and Campbell returned soon after 4pm having had a HUGE day.
We started at about 4.20pm arriving at Park Island at 5.40pm where people scattered rapidly to hot baths, to cook dinners and maybe a rewarding glass of wine. It had been a beautiful day.
Trampers: Shona Tupe, Fiona Bryant, Mary Campbell, Sarah Patterson, John Dobbs, Johanne and Claudia Karlsson, Dorothy Sole, John Bennett, Margaret Palmer, Campbell Living, Rosemary Jeffery, John Russell and reporter Di Reid