Haurangi Hut Overnighter 16-17 January 2021
Participants: Margaret (Leader), Denise, Rita, Glenys and Janet
Four of us travelled over from the Wairarapa, meeting one from Wellington at the road end. On leaving Sunny Grove in Wainuiomata we followed an old vehicle track for a short distance before crossing a stream and this is where the hill began. Once we got to the junction with the track coming in from the end of Hine Road we had our first stop (to look for a geocache). Then onwards and steadily upwards along the well benched track through the lovely bush. It took us about 1½ hours to reach the junction with the McKerrow track, finding a few geocaches along the way. Although mainly in bush there were a few viewing spots towards the top of this section with great views out to Wainuiomata. The track then sidles around to the ridge between the Turere Stream and Whakanui Creek where we stopped for lunch.
Then it was a slow decline along the ridge before dropping more steeply once past high point 497. After a brief stop at the river we dropped the packs and headed up the river to have a look at Baine-Iti hut which some of the group had not visited before. This is the oldest hut in the valley and the only open hut. It was built as a ranger station in 1929/30 by Jack Baine and replaced an earlier hut he built on the site in 1918.
Then it was back along river to collect the packs for the short walk to Haurangi Hut.
It was great having a sole occupancy hut to ourselves with all the cooking equipment, crockery and cutlery provided. We experimented with a new recipe for a self-saucing ginger sponge pudding for dessert which everyone agreed was very successful.
Some of the group headed out to listen for kiwi once it got dark. Although they didn’t hear kiwi they did see some glow worms and enjoyed viewing the starry sky from the riverbed.
In the morning we decided to head back the same way as the forecast was for rain in the afternoon. We could have headed downriver and then up the McKerrow Track to form a loop but this would have been a couple of hours longer. Our timing was perfect as it started to rain just as we reached the cars.
After a brief stop for coffee and ice cream we headed home. It was a very enjoyable weekend. There was enough hill to provide a good workout but not too steep.