Makahu Saddle through to Middle Hill Hut, September 25 2010
Trampers: Julia Mackie, Helen Jackson, John Marshall, Colin McNatty, John Russell, Murray Goss, Marc Marchal, Matt Green and John Gray
The van left Napier at 7am with nine trampers, heading for the Makahu Saddle car park. The weather forecast was only average and the recent strong winds decided us against going to ‘the tops’, as originally planned. So it was decided to walk the lower, more sheltered track to Middle Hill Hut. Murray and John M took the van around to the Hot Springs Road.
At about 8.30am, seven trampers left the car park and headed off. At Kaweka Flats Bivvy, we chatted to a couple of kiwi volunteers, who were out to hopefully locate two kiwis, known to be in the area. The Kawekas were still clear at this time, but only just, so it looked like our decision to stay down on the lower track was the correct one.
The first big gorge was covered without incident and the threatening rain was still holding off so, fortunately, coats were not needed. We continued on through some nice beech trees and arrived at Middle Hill Hut at about 12.30, for a well-earned lunch. Murray was there with a hunter and he had a billy on for the troops!
As we left the hut, light rain started, but coats were only needed for a short time. The group made good time on the downhill track and we arrived at the van about 2.30pm.
At the car park, somebody noticed that our NTC ‘itramp’ magnetic signs had come off the side of the van, so on our way home we were on a mission to find them. We did find two of them, lying on the side of the road. Well spotted !
We were back to Park Island by about 4.30 pm after an enjoyable day out.
Postscript: RD4 rural delivery man Scotty later found the third sign and delivered it to us, for which we thank him.