Middle Hill, Whetu, Makino Hut, Kaweka FP, Wednesday 8 December 2021. Map: BJ37
Banner montage: What we saw, L to R, Spotted Orchid, fungi, Celmesia (Mountain Daisy)
It was a beautiful day and very hot, although we had a little rain on the windscreen on the way in. The team comprised of five; three went to Makino Hut and two carried on past the Kaweka Biv turn-off.
The track hasn’t changed and there are still big hills to get up. The two who went on past the hut said it was a very beautiful track, but there was a lot of tree fall.
The manukas were in flower and looked very pretty. From up the track, we could see a lot of beehives – a great position for them. We also saw a couple of bushes of pink briar roses.
Mary had a morepork fly in front of her and settle on a branch while she photographed it. She also saw an unusual fungi and a flowering orchid, all before the hut. We had a PLB each and when a helicopter flew over, Jo thought one of us had called it. It didn’t stop, so her fears were allayed.
We also saw pretty pink butterflies with grey on them. I think these butterflies may be a Kaweka species as I have not seen them anywhere else.Everyone had a good tramp and arrived back at the car just as it started to rain.
Our car journeys were also memorable. On the way in, the exploding rabbit population was incredible. They darted across the road in front of us, ran along beside us and then dived into the grass. The numbers have certainly increased ten-fold. Sue’s careful driving meant they all escaped for a happy day, when their hearts stopped pounding.
On the way back, we had a lot of yellow-headed birds flying in front of the car and across in front of us. Once again, they got away to live another day. Then we rounded a corner and there was a sheep nicely tucked up on the road, having a rest.
The ford was low and easily accessed. Thanks to Sue for great driving, from your passengers and the wildlife.
Trampers: Sue Gribble, Mary Campbell, Johanne Karlsson, Gordon Tapp and story-teller Dorothy Sole (with input from everyone)