The Hogget, Wednesday October 23, 2013 Map: BJ37
The early morning rain meant a few people pulled out of our trip. But this was fine, as we were able to fill all the seats in the one vehicle. Kelvin was behind the wheel and so we all settled into our comfy seats, most put on their seatbelts and off we went. Our trip took us up the Taihape road, over the ‘Gentle Annie’ to Timahanga Station, the property of Jenny and Jack Roberts.
With their permission, we drove through the station to a park near the old homestead site. We didn’t see any sign of the old homestead. Is it behind tall trees? I wondered, as I tramped along, or has it sunk into the ground, or even been carted off by a Wizard of Oz-type whirlwind? The area does have a history of ferocious wind. But today was calm.
The track starts out as a farm road, and then crosses a small stream; getting across without wet feet being the first challenge. The path continues on what looks like another old, overgrown farm track and nice and easy to tramp. The track is edged by large old natives (rimu, and beech) and a bit of old bush lawyer to keep us on our toes. It was raining by this time and an assortment of coats came out. Matching Oringis for the couple (Dave and Diane), a bit of a jacket for Ken, and proper tramping coats for everyone else. I never saw John Marshall’s as he already had it off when we returned to the van.
Slowly we climbed, not too steep, just steady through lowering vegetation. A quick morning tea break and more upward motion through the wet scrub. We walked at a good pace and eventually emerged onto the tops. Alison very kindly led the way and brushed all the water off the wet plants for us folk at the back. There was no wind up top, just floating mist with tiny glimpses of shadowy ridgelines.
We reached the sandy Hogget area in time for an early lunch and slowly the scenery emerged along with a few scattered sunbeams and Mt Ruapehu.
We retraced our route, and saw that once where there was only mist, now stood a shiny new hut… a private hunting hut… with a bit of bush bash we made our way up to it and took a quick peak inside. It was so cute, with a little stove and bunk beds. Then we carried on down, missed the path slightly, bush-bashed and crawled under scrub, to get further over and meet up with the proper path.
Robyn led us down the correct path and back to the van. We arrived back about 3.30pm. Time to take off the wet boots and have a cuppa tea.
A great day out, and thanks so much to Jenny and Jack Roberts for continuing to allow us access to this wonderful area.
Trampers: John Marshall, Ken Ross, Peter Slagter, Kelvin Shaw, John Burrell, Diane and David Hills, Tony Pluymers, Dorothy Sole, Robyn Smith, Alison Greer and reporter Hilary Heath-Caldwell