Auckland Baptist Tramping Club

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After the comfort of mattresses and spacious accommodation at the Baptist Church at Dargaville we set off to Aranga Beach. At 9.15am we were off. Laurie G and Margaret T accompanied us for half an hour and then returned to look after the vehicles and were our drivers for the weekend. Up and off we set to the top of the bluff.  The weather was pretty blustery, but we did have good views.

Devotions were shared in fascinating places. Saturday morning's devotion led by Nelson was at a World War II lookout on the 461 metre summit of the Maunganui Bluff. Nelson shared from Matthew about watching and praying for the coming again of Christ. No man knows the time. We were possibly right at the site where people watched for possible landings by the enemy. Other thoughts were brought forward being the seed sown (the word of God), our path (walk and guidance), the trig (our goal and measure for others), the green leaf (abundant provision), the sky lark (expressing joy).

We continued over the bluff with cloud coming in, very windy conditions and then rain but that did not dampen our spirits. Laurie K's hairy legs were our barometer. He confirmed, it they were moving, it was windy, if covered with droplets, raining, if broken it was snowing. Fortunately, it wasn't snowing and we still had our barometer in tact.

We arrived at Waikara Beach at 2pm and continued along the picturesque beach with layers and layers of breakers coming in. At about 5pm we arrived at the Waipoua River inlet and made camp for the night. The wind died down, and we filled out stomachs. It was a beautiful evening and saw fish jumping out of the peaceful inlet.

During the evening the wind got and did it blow. We were awaken by shouts that a tent had been damaged and we had to pack up and get going at 5.45am Sunday morning. The men's tent was slightly damaged and they decided it must have been windier than the girls tent (with Leo and Laurie K as occupants of the girls tent). But, the girls had looked after their tent during the night. Val and Bev had got up twice to check and push in the tent pegs. After a muesli bar we were off again along the beach by 6.45a.m.

By 8.00 am we arrived at the Kawerua Hotel and were looking forward to a lovely cooked hotel breakfast. Unfortunately, the hotel was deserted, about thirty years ago, so we made do with porridge and crackers and made up our lunch. This hotel was situated about 50 metres from the beach, no doors, glass and holes in the walls and floor but a beautiful spot. Many interesting signs, 'wet tar', advertisements for postal workers and their wages, 1969 newspapers adorned the wall.  A welcome respite.  

Simon produced a hymn book and there were many hearty songs and singers. Then Bev brought her message about Jesus feeding the 5,000 with five loaves and fishes and the attitudes of Phillip (who said it couldn't be done, Peter (who looked at the possibilities and what was available) and the little boy (who gave everything he had).

Off on another beach walk, some rock climbing and pine forest walk arriving at our destination at 11.30. We finally crossed the Kaikai Beach and were met by Laurie and Margaret, our drivers, with a whole big basket of amazing blueberry muffins. A great walk and a great weekend was had by all.  

We ended up having more refreshments at the Dargaville Baptist Church before setting off home.  Thank you drivers, helpers and companionship over the weekend.

COST: $59-50 (travel $40 using hired van; food $12; kohas - Dargaville Baptist $5;
Nelsonís friends looking after drivers $2-50)