Mackintosh car park – Mackintosh Hut – Lakes car park circuit, Kaweka FP, Wednesday 14 August 2019. Map: BJ37
Banner Pix: John with a stoat.
After a cool 7.30am departure from Park Island, 11 of us travelled to Mackintosh car park to start tramping at 8.55. The tramp was to have been from Lakes car park to Mackintosh, but we wanted to leave getting our feet wet until the end and not having to do the steep climb from the Tutaekuri up to the Mackintosh car park was another drawcard.
It’s a steep descent to the bridge across the Tutaekuri, followed by an ascent back up to the plateau. Once you are on the level, the track goes through mostly contorta, manuka and beech.We arrived at the hut in time for morning tea at 10.20. A ferret (or was it a stoat?) awaited us in the trap. I was the only one game to remove it and reset the trap. Hilary’s pruning saw and hat were located, and then all but one of us were away. Tony had decided to head back to Mackintosh car park and in doing so would later transfer the van to Lakes car park. Vic would be travelling back with him after doing a walk down to the bridge then back up.
Rain set in, so we donned coats and headed off through bush scrub and contorta. Coats came off and on as the sun came and went. A lunch spot was found under the shelter of some pines, but there was a cold wind so it was a quick stop. Gossie was determined to take the old track once we got down to a stream; but in ignoring advice from his cousin, he missed the start of the old route and stayed with us to the end of the tramp.A brief stop was had at the old Kaweka Hut site then we were back into it. A few stream crossings later and a very steep down then up, and we crossed the Tutaekuri to a 4-wheel track that takes you all the way to Lakes car park where Tony and Vic awaited with the van.
Once inside, we sang a happy birthday to Jenny and headed back to Napier, hoping the weather would be better there. But it wasn’t.
Thanks to the trip organiser and driver, Marie D.
Trampers: Jenny Burns, Tony Pluymers, Marie Deroles, Vic Bullock, Mary Campbell, John Burrell, Rosemary Jeffery, Murray Goss, Cherie Le Lievre, Sue Gibble and reporter John Bennett
Editor’s note: Stoats have a brown back and pale belly, and bushy tail with a black tip. They are 34–40 cm long including tail.