Auckland Baptist Tramping Club

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Base map: NZTopoOnline, extracted July 2005, Crown Copyright Reserved  

Eighteen people turned up to do a favourite of Peter and Val, the Mataitai Forest at the northern end of the Hunua Ranges. This was the third time the couple had led a Club trip in this area - the first time down came the rain and it wouldn’t stop; the second time was a glorious day; and third time lucky we had no rain at all.

We left The Bracken at 8am and met up with more people at The Woolshed in Clevedon before carrying on to the Mataitai Forest carpark on Ness Valley Rd.

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It was about 9:20am as we set out to climb the main track into Mataitai Forest - someone had estimated just over 200 steps to climb to the first track junction. Our elevenses stop was halfway along the track between the first and second junctions in a lovely little glade.
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About 15min beyond the second track junction we took a 5 minute side track to view the Boulder Brae Kauri tree, a large magnificent kauri well worth a hug. It was awesome - in Val's words reflectiing on that day's Word For Today devotions, Affectionate, Warm and Encouraging.
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Back on the main track once more, we carried on to the western end of the forest, coming to a fence line with a view across the paddocks to the main body of the Hunua Ranges.
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Our track carried on westwards, going back into bush with one or two gladey stretches.
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Our lunch stop about 12:15pm was just before the track left the ridge to drop down into the gully. We were able to look out to the Maraetai Forest and Duder Regional Park in the distance.
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As we enjoyed the quiet of this peaceful area, we could hear some music wafting towards us.
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Val shared devotions from an article she had read recently about Thoughts From Under a Heavy Pack. When one is out tramping, the indulgences of daily life slip away. Water becomes a longed after drink instead of lattes or cocacola; a person’s hunger gives a longing for basics such as spuds, rice and bread instead of chocolates or sweets; and strangers in a tramping hut become friends with one another instead of minding their own business. To sum up, signposts, water, bread and kindness are the essentials of life. In the Gospel of John Jesus says I am the Good Shepherd and I am the Bread of life. Those who follow Christ tend to tramp further with a lighter pack.
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It was a steep drop down to the campsite beside the stream. Once across the stream we followed a rougher track going upstream, passing a small waterfall before crossing the stream.
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A steep grunt followed, and we deserved a rest stop on the more level spur beyond, near a large puriri tree.
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Eventually we rejoined the main track and headed out of the Mataitai Forest to reach our cars by 3:15pm, finishing off a lovely day in the bush.

COST: $6-40.