Mackintosh to Lawrence, Kaweka FP, Saturday 10 August, 2019. Map: BJ37
Banner Pix: Trying to keep the boots dry, just before crossing the Donald River
Five trampers departed in two vehicles on a mild Saturday for the Taihape Road and Mackintosh Hut area. We did a car swap at the Lawrence Road car park and then shuttled back to the Mackintosh car park for an 8.30 start.
This is a nice route to Mackintosh Hut because the steep section is tackled first and is downhill. Then, once over the bridge, it’s a steep but relatively short (30-40 minute) uphill slog to the Mackintosh Plateau. I started a little too fast, trying to keep up with Julia Mackie, and had to take a few stops. Then I was passed by Di and newbie Fiona who raced by without any effort. Oh, the shame! Never mind, I’ll have to do more hill jogging to keep fit. The front runners got to Mackintosh in about 75 minutes with myself and Jenny about five or ten minutes later.We had a tea break in the usual place on the verandah, but there wasn’t much sun so it was a little chilly – but at least it wasn’t raining. (You should have come, Geoff!)
After morning tea, it was an easy ramble through the contorta, a few of which had been cut down. You have to wonder about the point of this, because there are huge numbers of contorta up there. Perhaps DoC is planning to cut more down? Once through the contorta, we had a steep descent to the Donald River with a final scamble to get to the bank and, after an easy river crossing, we had a leisurely lunch stop by the river at about noon.After lunch, it was a two- or three-minute walk downstream until we spied the track marker. The route through the trees is quite wide here, so the marker was easily spotted. There is a very steep initial scramble up the track and then it widens to a short but steep section – probably no more than about 15-20 minutes of uphill grunt, then relatively flat. From the top, it’s a nice gentle downhill walk to the Tutaekuri River and the Lawrence swing bridge. That bridge made me realise that I must have been here before, if not with the club then sometime in the distant past. It’s a lovely and popular spot.
Once over the bridge we made the steep 500m or so walk to the car park. By now, the sun was out and it was quite warm. We had a final shuttle ride to the Mackintosh car park where we said goodbye to Di and transferred back to Jenny’s vehicle for the trip home.
I’m sure the club has had many trips through here, but it was new to me. Nice to go somewhere different, with a lovely peaceful river.
Trampers: Julia Mackie, Fiona, Di, Jenny and reporter John R. Notably absent was trip organiser Geoff D.