Auckland Baptist Tramping Club

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The weekend of September 10-12 was to be a pack carrying overnight trip in the Kaimais, to prepare would be South Island trampers for their expeditions this summer. The original planned crossing from Lindemanns Rd. to Te Aroha domain was dropped  as the new Waitawheta Hut, and a new track going in, was not completed. The Tuahu track option was not satisfactory as the Waikato start of the track was closed due to logging operations. Hence we defaulted to Wairongomai Valley which physically is more demanding than the other two.


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Base map: NZTopoOnline, extracted October 2004, Crown Copyright Reserved  

The Wairongomai Valley fulfilled requirements in terms of carrying packs uphill and so getting people fit, even if it fell a bit short in terms of accommodation. The Mountain View Apostolic Church certainly was better than any tramping club or national park hut. Furthermore it was only two or three hundred metres from the Te Aroha hot pools (closer than Ketetahi hut is from the taboo Ketetahi springs on Mt Tongariro) and so perhaps we had an easy time of it. After an intense day we didnít wish to have an intense night as well. Nobody complained in this regard.

Twelve of us started out from the car park at about 9am from the end of the Wairongomai Rd at the remains of the old Firth and Clark battery and followed the old Piako County Tramline (previously used to transport mined ore down to the battery). The track crossed over Butlers Incline and then flattened out until the May Queen incline when it became steep in places. Remains of winding gear (used to haul the ore trolleys) were observable. After that the track rose quite steeply as it  went up the ridge to meet the main divide and the Mangakino pack track. We carried on until the track met the Mt Te Aroha Summit road  where we lunched and had devotions at about 1 pm.  

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From there we summited - where it was quite windy and cold and then descended directly down to Bald Spur and then to the domain, then back to the church where Val Osborne put on afternoon tea for us, and then to the pools for a soak. We ate well that night thanks to Padma and Val and 6 other willing hands. After tea Peter and Val returned to Auckland.
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Base map: NZTopoOnline, extracted October 2004, Crown Copyright Reserved  

8am saw us on the way to Karangahake with the intention of walking from the railway tunnel or thereabouts and up Karanghake. However a number of tracks were closed due to maintenance so we left from the car park up from the Karangahake hall. This again was a pack carrying exercise. It was a pleasant trip and at the top we had lunch and devotions led by Nelson. He chose the theme of wealth that had been gained from gold mining in the area  and compared it to the eternal wealth we have in Christ.

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We returned to the cars and then went our separate ways having had a good workout and fellowship with each other.

Thank you to all who helped make the trip a success, to Val who organised the food and Padma who with Val helped cook, to Nelson who arranged the accommodation and ensured that everyone was looked after, and Terry Furmage transported us from Te Aroha to the start of the track and, with Nelson, arranged our accommodation at the Mountain View  Apostolic Church. Thank you to everyone else who pitched in as needed.