Poutaki/Sunrise Hut, Ruahine FP, Wednesday 27 September 2023
Banner Photo: Out of the wind and snow inside Sunrise Hut
After a wet night, we set off from Park Island to head towards the start of the track to Poutaki Hut. As we began to cross the Makaroro River, it became clear this wasn’t an option. The river was high, discoloured and fast-flowing.
Sunrise was our best alternative. We travelled across a bailey bridge, as the original is still very much blocked off and will be for some time. Crews continue to work on the surrounding roads and we were lucky enough to time them on a break. We could drive right up to the beginning of the track, as the ford is now clear. The road also had fresh gravel, making it easier for the 4wds to ascend.
We headed up the track, which all are familiar with. The temperature dropped, the wind picked up and the rain started. The track has been cleared and there is only the occasional reminder of cyclone damage. The first few reached the hut at 10.45 am. While in the hut, snow flurries arrived. The wind was intense – we certainly couldn’t go any further.
A brisk walk down got us back to the cars at 1 pm. It was great to be out of the wind and watch the lambs enjoying life without a care in the world. After passing the road crew, who were once again on a timely break, we stopped for a drink at the Tikokino pub and were home by 3.15 pm.
Trampers: Marie Deroles, Juliet Gillick, Di Reid, Ted Angove, Denise Bavidge, Alison Greer, Mark Jenkins and reporter Cherie Le Lievre. Pictures by Marie