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Atiwhakatu Hut

Monday 25 November 2019

Participants: Chris, Laura, Viv, Paul, Nick & Margaret
Trip report: Chris

As the walk up to Atiwhakatu Hut is a route that is very familiar to many of us, we thought we
could report on points of difference that we noticed on the way. Firstly, it was a less usual kind of
trip into the Tararuas, because it was a warm, sunny, T-shirt day, with just a gentle breeze to keep
us cool.
The sun bounced off the flaxes and ferns and a lot of the vegetation was noticeably sending out
new shoots and growth. Juvenile rimu and lancewood seemed to be loving their growing
conditions and were plentiful. The Piupiu (Crown Fern) is in a spring growth phase when lighter
coloured new fronds emerge from the centre.
Then we found this flax look-a-like, which a bit of research tells us is kōwharawhara, or perching
(because it’s often an epiphyte) astelia. We saw both the stunning yellowish and maroon flowers,
which are called tākahakaha, and are supposed to be sweetly scented. (but they weren’t for us.)
Finally, we all individually noticed that the long, ‘1-person at a time’, swing bridge has got very
‘swingy’, so that it’s important to keep balanced and moving or the bridge takes a slightly,
disconcerting sideways lean.
Other than that, it was a very enjoyable day out for our group of six trampers, who didn’t have to
go to work on a Monday.