What a great mid-week trip ! 8 Club members went to Haurangi Hut in the Remutaka Forest Park. Wednesday - we met in Wainuiomata, drinking coffee in the car-park while we all arrived. Drove in convoy to Catchpool road-end, got our packs and boots on and departed at 1230pm. Along the Orongorongo track through beautiful bush with the sun shining through the beech trees. There was fungi, orchids, kiekie, nikau and fantails. We stopped along the way to check out the views, read the signs, had some pictures at Middle bridge. Arrived at the Orongorongo river - which still had some late afternoon sunshine streaming in. We continued along the Big Bend track adjacent to the river until we reached Haurangi Hut. Kindling was chopped, packs unpacked, hot drinks or soup with cheese and crackers while we got the fire lit and dinner prepped. For dessert we had an impressive Christmas pudding and custard ! Cards by candle light before climbing into our bunks.

Thursday - Our group split into 2. Group 1 walked upstream via the track and river bed until stopped by the depth of the river crossing, after lunch at Haurangi hut, they explored downstream to check the route out for Friday. Group 2 headed across the river and up the side creek to the Mt Matthews track, climbing to South Saddle for impressive views of the coast. We all met back at the hut for afternoon tea, soup, biscuits, nuts, crackers and cheese. After some early evening card games, dinner was cooked with choc brownie and biscuits for pudding.

Friday - Star and planet watching, breakfast, packing and cleaned the hut before heading downstream via the river bed until the campsite near Turere where we re-joined the Big Bend track, stopping at Turere lodge for views and snacks. We continued back along the Orongorongo track to the car-park. There were lots of day-walkers and overnight trampers heading in. We celebrated our trip with hot pies, muffins and coffee / hot chocolate at Wainuiomata before travelling home.

20You and 19 others

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