Cascade Hut, Kaimanawa FP, Sat/Sun 16/17 November 2019. Map: BH36
Banner Pix: The cascades after which the hut is named. Two minutes walk from the hut.
Off we headed on the Taupo road early on Saturday morning and it wasn’t long before the wipers came on. A few of us, I am sure, were thinking coffee in Taupo might be a better option.
After getting to Clements Road, we had 17 km of very slow going on a metal road. A few trees overhung the road but thankfully they stayed put and did not block our return trip.
We all started off with coats on for a while but then the weather gods played nice and really it only tried to pretend-rain. John, being so keen to be out in the bush again, was encouraging us to breathe in the air… Not sure what he is used to, but he chose the moment we passed the smell of a dead deer.We had a swing bridge for our first river crossing. With the other crossings, we managed to keep our feet dry apart from the very last one only five minutes from the hut – so good and bad timing.
The track had a few good hill climbs including some vertical jobs but as the notice board said 4-6 hours, we did not hurry. Our main problem was that some of the bush was very open with tracks going all over the place and a lack of DoC markers. Joe Public had even flag-taped some sections, which helped, but our progress still slowed up a lot.Our lunch stop was not to a kaka’s liking and he let us know that we should not be there. The cuckoos were also out and about. One deer was spotted on a river flat near the hut, but there was not a lot of other sign.
We arrived at the hut and Mark had the billy on for us. Go Mark! We need to keep him on, as the hot drink was very much appreciated.
The hut was rather dark inside, needing new skylights and maybe another window. It had a new fire, although that was not needed.Four of us tented so there were two spare top bunk beds with head-banging rafters for good measure. Juliet had the other top bunk and just avoided head damage only to have a tree jump out and get her on the tramp out next day. Yes, the blood stopped after five minutes so thanks for your first aid lessons at the meeting, Di.
During the night, we were also aware of other dangers as most of us were awake or woken by the noise of a falling tree not far away.
There was lots of talk about gear and food. One person (who shall not be named) needs to be kept an eye on, having become very keen on baby food. Another is into “Onesies” and another into wearing a sleeping bag. Great company, and John found some good trees to hug.The rivers were beautiful and it was hard to imagine the cascade we saw on the way back out could be part of such a quiet little river. It was just magic and thankfully not yet a real tourist attraction.
We were back at the cars by early afternoon and headed straight home.
Trampers: Lynette Morgan, Fiona Chiverrell, Mark Jenkins, Barrie Ridler, Juliet Gillick, Fiona Bryant, organiser John Dobbs and reporter Robyn Smith