Six trampers headed north through Matakana to begin the Conical Peak Loop Track on Govan Wilson Road.
The weather was fine and clear and after the first kilometre up a gravel forestry road the bush track
was cooler and refreshing as we began the descent over the next five kilometres to the Waiwhiu Stream
where the native bush ends and the pine forest begins. There were a few steep sections and one large
tree fall to clamber around so our lunch break beside the stream crossing was a pleasant relief from
the roots and mud on the track. |
Murray identified some Rewarewa leaves he had picked up and reflected
on the number of seedling trees that could be seen alongside the track – it was an encouraging sign to
know that despite the previous forestry activity that had removed most of kauri (we passed through two
small stands during the morning) the native forest was regenerating – particularly the Rewarewa trees.
This was an example of how God restores our own brokenness and also reminds us of the work to be done
to prepare for the ”new heaven and new earth” we look forward to as we learn more about our Christian
hope and God’s promises of salvation.
After our lunch break we set off along another forestry
road and noted the devastation of slash left after the clear felling of the pine plantation. Instead
of turning left to head towards the Dome Valley we took the next road on the right, crossed the stream
and kept our eyes open for a four wheel drive track that would take us back towards our starting point.
Our GPS app helped us locate it accurately and we soon found ourselves ascended steeply along a grass
covered track through less dense regenerating forest. This continued for approximately 5 km until we
joined the Te Araroa Trail again and finally descended back to the parked cars.
It was a total of
13km over a period of 5:15 hours – a very pleasant tramp with a good variety of busy and terrain, plenty
of birdsong and a delightful lunch spot beside the river with a toilet nearby.
On the return car
trip Sunny invited us to her place at Okura for coffee and ice cream – a fitting end to a great day’s
COST: travel from The Bracken $20