Gold Creek Hut, Ruahine FP, Saturday 8 August 2020, Map: BK36
Banner Pix: The very early lunch break inside Gold Creek Hut
The walk to Gold Creek Hut and back has lacked popularity in our club in recent years – too short for some, no views and a difficult, steep scramble to start.
However, a fresh approach and attitude has put that perception to rest.
Michael and Lorraine, as always, happily allowed us to access the forest park through their farm. On arrival, Lorraine rode down from the farm house with her dogs to greet and chat with us. Julia and Bruce, having previously sought advice from older club members, plotted a route across the farm to find the Gold Creek Ridge track at a higher level, thus avoiding the gnarly, off-putting initial scrambling climb from the Gold Creek-Makaroro River confluence.
The air temperature was in the single digits with a breeze and spots of rain, making for a cool tramp. The track was easy to find and tracked through healthy secondary native bush as we ascended the Gold Creek Ridge Track. This gave way to mature podocarp and beech. Sadly, as always now in the Ruahines, no bird life. Oh, we did come across a dead morepork on the track.
The descent from the ridge to the creek and hut is steep. This, and the ascent back up, was a welcome work-out for most that made the trip a tramp, with that sense of having done some worthwhile exercise.
The tramp was always going to be completed in a few short hours, with plenty of daylight hours left. A relaxed attitude of no need to hurry was adopted by most in the group. The lunch break at the hut was short because of the cold and the need to keep moving. But heading back down the ridge just before we reached the farm, John found a lovely grassy flat area perched above the Makaroro River valley, with its own microclimate. Sheltered from the cold breeze and bathed in sunshine, we sat there warm, chatting and enjoying a view of the Makaroro for an extended period and in no hurry to move on. This is an aspect of tramping often glossed over and not enjoyed enough.
We were not done with the social aspect of the day. We were in a mood to support the Tiko pub on our way home. This was the second visit in two weeks. Some new club members might be thinking it’s routine behaviour.
We had a wonderful day. Thank you to Johnny D for driving the van.
Trampers: Helen Hurring, Lynette Morgan, Julia Mackie, Sue Gribble, John Dobbs, John Russell, Elly Glovers, Di Reid, Matthew Nisbett, Gaye Gasser, Matthew Ebbett, John Bennett and reporter Bruce Hodgson