Auckland Baptist Tramping Club

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We left The Bracken soon after 6:15pm and travelled to Whangarei in two cars and one van, stopping at Wellsford for munchies. We were welcomed at Whangarei by Martin and Jenny, whose home would be our home for the next two nights. The menfolk bedded down on the floor of the lounge using stretchers, bedrolls or lilos; the ladies had the other bedrooms in the house.


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

7am - no blanket grab - up well before it gets light! We were away by 8am for the Pukenui Walkway west of Kamo for our tramp across the hills back to Whangarei. Martin came with us to the start point, then took the van back to his home. The Pukenui Walkway started with a walk across farmland criss-crossed by stone fences going back to very early days.

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Once in the bush, we followed the edge of the farm land before continuing along a well-formed track. Later we paused beside the Mangere Stream before taking a side track that climbed up to the main ridge.
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The ridge-top track followed along the main ridge of the Whangarei Western Hills, a more rough undulating route with one or two steep sections. We found a sunny spot in the bush shortly before 1pm to have our lunch.
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Soon afterwards we came to a clearing with a power pylon and a view of part of Whangarei city; beyond this we entered pine forest.
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We followed a vehicle track through the forest, taking a side track up to a trig. Unfortunately there was not much of a view.
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As we continued along the vehicle track, we began to descend and after a short while we had more views of Whangarei city.
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We came to the top of a quarry, and it was here we realised we had taken a wrong turning and instead of coming out at Russell Rd near Martin’s home, we could come out on Maunu Rd west of the city centre. Fortunately we were able to phone Jenny and she came to collect some of us, including Phillip who then returned in his van to bring the rest of us back to the house.

Roger turned our thoughts towards one of the verses in the Love Chapter of the Bible, 1 Corinthians 13:12 where now we see and understand only a little about God as a reflection in a mirror, and someday we will see Him face to face. Our hope as Christians is that we will one day be in heaven with Jesus. We do not know to believe, we believe to know, and that is what faith is all about. Each one of us must determine our “one day” (destiny). Faith does not require us to know all things; we need to be faithful even when we do not understand.

In the evening we dined out at the Kamo Hotel. We had a delicious selection from a set menu whose choices included roast lamb, satay chicken and various steaks, and a range of icecream, fruit crumble and mudcake desserts, not forgetting the custard of course!
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We were back at the house in time for the All Blacks to thrash the Pacific Islands


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

Forget the remaining shordney - once again, we had to rise and shine well before the sun could shine! And so the sun shone - it was one of those lovely cold crisp cloudless winter days, just the right weather for a climb up Mt Parahaki and on to the AH Reed Reserve and Whangarei Falls.

Our boots went on at the house, and we were away soon after 8am. It was a 15min roadbash from the house to Mair Park; on the way we could hear the music from a pipe organ in a church waft out towards us.

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We stopped briefly at the Mair Park monument where Martin told us how the park was named after a pioneer who had sailed up the Whangarei Harbour before exploring the nearby Hatea River on foot.
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A steady half-hour climb up the well-formed and metalled Drummond Track brought us to the viewing platform on Parahaki summit and a panoramic view from Kamo through the Hatea valley and Western Hills to Whangarei city central to Whangarei Harbour and Marsden Point; the Tangihua Ranges could be seen on the skyline.
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We went down the Parahaki Memorial Drive the short distance to the pine forest area to the east; on the way we could hear the music from a mouth organ on a president waft out towards us.
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We followed a vehicle track through the pine forest, dropping down to finish as a foot track coming out at Whareora Rd opposite AH Reed Memorial Kauri Park.
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From the entrance to the kauri park, we took the new Hatea River Walkway, an easy level half-hour walk along the riverbanks through pasture, some of which had been recently planted by volunteer gangs to eventually revert to native bush.
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This finished with a pleasant riverside bush walk; we could see the Whangarei Falls ahead, a really magnificent cascade of water.
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We went up to the top of the falls, then crossed the river to go down the other side.
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When we returned to the AH Reed Memorial Kauri Park we had a look at the Canopy Track, a long viewing bridge where we had a view of the kauri forest above the ponga and other similar vegetation, a view not normally seen by bush walkers.
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The Canopy Track finished back at Whareora Rd; we had a kilometre or so of roadbashing to the start of the Hatea Walk, a lovely half-hour riverside walk boardwalked in places finishing back at Mair Park.
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It was 1pm as we had a short rest at Mair Park before the final 15min roadbash back to the house where our lunch was waiting for us.
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Phillip turned our thoughts towards the Bible verse Philippians 3:12-14 where we need to forget our failures and misgivings of the past and look forward to what lies ahead. He quoted some passages from Sacred Journey by Mike Riddell to illustrate how we need to sometimes leave our routines, boundaries, etc. to venture into the unknown and experience God’s leading. God allows us to have unexpected interruptions in our daily lives as part of His leading, we need to get out of our “rut”; just as in our tramping we leave the hut behind and venture into the unknown

Bags packed, hoover and broom through the house, and we were away by 2:45pm headed for Auckland and home. At Warkworth we stopped for yummy ice-creams, with even the birds enjoying some of our morsels.
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After a slow crawl through Waiwera and Hatfields, we were back at The Bracken about 6pm. The sun had already set on the second of two lovely fine days making all the difference for a pleasant weekend of exercise, fun and fellowship.

COST: $45 (travel $25; food $10; accommodation $10); hotel dinner $25-$40 depending on choices taken from the set menu.