Auckland Baptist Tramping Club

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The Friday evening journey to Rotorua via State Highway 27 (Matamata) went very smoothly, with smooth packing & getaway in the three vans (2 hired by Peter & Val: Phillip D made his own van available), & a good journey seeing us at Rotorua Baptist Church by 10pm.


We had another efficient journey to the track head near Minginui, leaving Rotorua at 7:30am, with the vehicles being looked after by the Minginui backpackers lodge.

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The tramp started at 9:45am and after 30 minutes we turned off the main Whirinaki track & headed towards the Te Moerangi hut. The first part of the trip was uphill but fairly good going, climbing about 500m at varying gradients on a good track, in luxuriant podocarp forest with plenty of bird life including Keas to encourage us on our way.

The second half of the day was a considerably more arduous downhill stream bash, with waterfalls to negotiate and plenty of shallow stream crossings. This slowed us down a lot, and it was a tired but happy group which arrived just after 4pm at the 9 bunk Moerangi hut, situated on an attractive terrace overlooking the river. 9 people were able to stay in the hut with the remainder under fly. The weather was overcast but rain free throughout the day.

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A relaxing & pleasant evening with thoughtful Devotions from Peter, making us realise all the more Godís wonderful creation.
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The Lonely Planet Trampers Guide describes the walk to Te Wairoa Hut as an easy 3 hour walk, and I can only assume the authors expect that elephants or other large mammals are the main readers of their handbook. As our party consisted of 0 elephants & 23 human beings the 8km trip down the river took most of our party 7hrs, with countless stream crossings (someone estimated these at 80), some of these almost waist deep in fast running water, a rope assisted descent of a steep gully, and several large fallen trees which took a lot of effort to negotiate.

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The weather had deteriorated to persistent & sometimes heavy rain, and the party gained very worthwhile experience of stream crossing techniques. There were quite a few tumbles, the worst being to June, who was unlucky enough fall with her arm against a rock whilst negotiating a drop from the bank into the stream. However Ruth & Rima did a good job of ministering first aid, whilst Wayne heroically carried Juneís pack as well as his own for the rest of the day. What an introduction to ABTC!, this was teamwork and consideration for others in our best traditions. Although June made a good recovery overnight & was tramping strongly on Monday, she subsequently discovered that she had broken her arm.

We eventually arrived at our hut, with most people under fly again. One member had an incident with a primus stove: however this attempt to burn down the Te Wairoa hut was thwarted by Philip Dís lightening reactions. Otherwise the evening went off well, with the rain easing so that we could put the flies etc. up in comparative dry.

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The track was much better and the 3 and a bit hour walk to the road end was on an easy gently undulating track, and with no rain & even some breaks in the cloud, made a relaxing change from the previous days. Apart from a brief discussion with some hunters who were standing in the stream waving guns around, the walk was pretty well without incident.

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Lunch, transport pick up, all organised like clockwork and the journey home with some delay on SH2 (between the end of State Highway 27 and Pokeno) saw us back at The Bracken just after 7pm.

A big thank you to Peter & Val for organising this fairly tough, but very successful and enjoyable weekend.

COST: $80 (travel, accommodation, food)