Hinerua Hut, Ruahine FP, Saturday 22 August 2020
Banner Pix: Heading up the Tukituki River and up Hinerua Ridge
There was no van, due to Covid restrictions, so some cars left Napier and joined others at Maraekakaho – 17 trampers in all, five of whom were staying overnight and 12 on the day trip.
We drove to the end of Mill Road, having gained permission from the farmer. Lots of leaves budding on the willows and wee lambs skipping in the paddocks were just gorgeous.
The air was quite cool when we arrived; the Bay forecast was 22C but it definitely was not for us!
With boots on, we left just before 9am, over the fence across the paddock holding some grand black cattle. Down to the Moorcock Stream, and then we headed about 20 minutes downstream and crossed to the Tukituki River. The river was quite fast-flowing, not warm, and well over our knees! Most crossed over solo but a few had an extra hand, especially helping our new, less-experienced members who we’re delighted to welcome.
From there, it was a very steep, muddy climb, a clamber and lots of pulling up for about 10 minutes. Then a barbed wire fence which was just at the wrong height! Two members gave others a helping hand and no-one was damaged. We came out into farmland again, and very steep. It can’t be easy to farm such slopes; hats off to the farmer.We entered the forest park, stopping for morning tea before starting the two-hour trek to the hut. A fabulous track, very well maintained, mostly up, lots of moss in places looking like a scene out of Lord of the Rings, other places more open. With 17 of us, we arranged to meet at the junction signposted to the airstrip, to ensure we were all together. It was then a short walk to the hut for lunch. At 1050m and with snow in sight, the air was quite chilly, so lunch took about 20 minutes as we started to get cold.
We left our five friends (Julia, Lynette, Matt, Fiona and Mark) at the hut for their overnight and headed back.
On the way, two of us spotted a cross for an old friend, Jim Stove, who passed away on this track several years ago.
At the river, we crossed four at a time. This was somewhere between educational and hilarious. When all were safely over, we decided to practise some bush skills and river crossing, especially for our new members.
Then it was out of the Tukituki River, back through to the Moorcock Stream, up the steep hill again, and across to the cars.
We finished at 3.30pm after a good six-hour tramp. Lovely and warm in the sunshine and lots of happy faces. A great day out had by all.
Trampers: Su Nugent, Marie Deroles, Shona Tupe, Sue Martin, Sue Gribble, Margaret Palmer, Amber Cooper, Gordon Tapp, Colin Jones, Roeland Pootjes, Bryan Powlesland and reporter Di Reid.