Auckland Baptist Tramping Club

Image of kawhiakinetics13.gif
A total of twenty-five people enjoyed a weekend away of day tramps that included a real workout in the bush, an easy walk along the Aotea Harbour coastline, the impressive Marakopa Falls, the natural bridge at Mangapohue, and walking through limestone caves on the Ruakuri Bush Walk. Our base was the Te Kauri Lodge on the road to Kawhia.


We travelled from Auckland in cars leaving at various times in the afternoon and early evening, to settle into the Te Kauri Lodge. This is a school and youth camp located in the Te Kauri Scenic Reserve, an area of native forest on both sides of the Kawhia Road.

Those who arrived at dinner time went to the Roadhouse tearooms about halfway between the lodge and Kawhia for their evening meal. When we came back to the lodge, the manager came in to meet us and tell us about the lodge and the scenic reserve.
Image of kawhia13a.jpg Image of kawhia13b.jpg


We had our breakfast that would appeal to Goldilocks at 7:30am, then gathered in the lounge 8:30am for a briefing about the dayís activity. Ian read a devotions from The Word For Today about spending time with God. We need to spend time with Him to avoid insecurity, just as Moses did. He can give rest in trouble and peace in conflict, and bring a positive change.
Image of kawhia13c.jpg Image of kawhia13d.jpg

Our tramp for the morning was the 5.4km Daversons Medium Gorge Route done in the anticlockwise direction. We broke up into three groups - Phillip led a fast group of 10 people, Barbara and Joy led a medium group of 11 people, and there was a handful of people in a slow group who chose to turn back one the going became difficult.

We set out at 9am along a bush track that was rough in places. After 45 minutes we followed the boundary of a farm before going back into the bush. The medium group had a short break near a viewpoint looking across to the other side of the gorge with a limestone bluff.
Image of kawhia13e.jpg Image of kawhia13i.jpg

As we dropped down to the stream we went along the base of a limestone bluff before tackling a rather tricky descent. Once across the stream there was a equally tricky climb up the other side.
Image of kawhia13l.jpg Image of kawhia13m.jpg

A stretch of easy ridgeline track gave respite to all the scrambling, but eventually there were more tricky drops and streams to cross.
Image of kawhia13n.jpg Image of kawhia13o.jpg

The medium group made it back to the lodge at 12:45pm where the fast group was waiting - our average speed in the bush was only 1.4km/h. We had carried our lunches with us on the tramp, only to eat them in the dining room or outside glad that we had finished such a workout.

A few of us chose to tackle the bush walks on the other side of the road from the lodge, while most of us left the lodge at 1:45pm for Aotea to walk the new Aotea Walkway.This was an easy walk in contrast to what we had done in the morning. This track went along the edge of a private pine forest, with a taboo strip of dune vegetation to the right.
Image of kawhia13r.jpg Image of kawhia13t.jpg

After half an hour the track came out to the foreshore, and we carried on over rocks and along next beach to the point at the entrance to the Aotea Harbour.
Image of kawhia13v.jpg Image of kawhia13y.jpg

We walked back along the beach nearly all the way back to the carpark. Just before we arrived at the carpark we passed a group of people setting out on a horse ride.
Image of kawhia13x.jpg Image of kawhia13zc.jpg

Our walk finished at 4pm, having done 6.7km with an average speed of 3.7km/h, and we went into Kawhia for coffee before returning to the lodge. We had a dinner of mince, nachos and salad followed by dessert of apple crumble and custard.

We relaxed in the lounge around the fire for the evening, reading books, chatting or playing games. Several people brought photo albums of various trips, and Nelson brought a folder of notices and handouts relating to various Club trips about ten years ago. Christine was having her first go at tapestry, and a group played a card game similar to monopoly without a board, and a version of scrabble that also did not use a board.
Image of kawhia13zf.jpg Image of kawhia13zg.jpg


We had breakfast at 7:30am, after which the manager came into explain the procedure for cleaning up the camp. We all pitched in and made quick work of packing up, sweeping the dorms, cleaning the kitchen and dining room, and hoovering the lounge. At 9:15am we gathered outside to enjoy the morningís devotions from Shane, who spoke about the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:25-32) There was not only the younger son who ran away and later returned, but the elder one who realised his dad was ecstatic with joy but refused to go into the lavish feast that was prepared. Some people are like the elder son, going to church and obeying the Bible expecting to be rewarded by God. Such people can have a deep anger, mechanical obedience, coldness of heart and lack of assurance of Godís love. We need to see the uniqueness of the gospel and the vulnerability of Jesus. We were so sinful that Christ had to die for us, and He did so gladly in His great love for us. This takes away both the pride and fear that the elder son had.

Before we left the lodge, the manager showed us the small museum in the basement of the bunkhouse. There were interesting displays about the history and geology of the Kaipara area, including old photos, fossils, household items, currency and shells.
Image of kawhia13zi.jpg Image of kawhia13zh.jpg

We left at 9:45am and went along the road to the east of Kawhia Harbour to the Waitomo area for three nice and easy walks. The first of these was the impressive Marakopa Falls, a five minute walk from the carpark.
Image of kawhia13zk.jpg Image of kawhia13zl.jpg

Our second walk was through a narrow limestone gorge to view the spectacular Mangapohue Natural Bridge.
Image of kawhia13zn.jpg Image of kawhia13zq.jpg

We had our lunch at the Ruakuri carpark at 12:30pm, having prepared our lunches after breakfast. Afterwards we did the Ruakuri Scenic Reserve bush walk, a 1.5km return that went through three little caves and offered views of more caves and chasms.
Image of kawhia13zv.jpg Image of kawhia13zx.jpg

From there we went our separate ways home, having enjoyed such a varied and realaxing weekend.

COST:  accommodation and food $43, travel $46