Auckland Baptist Tramping Club

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A severe rainstorm the preceding day was no indication of the fine and sunny weather that brought out 16 people to explore the Mataitai Forest in the Ness Valley near Clevedon.

We left The Bracken at 8am and joined up with some more people at the Woolshed Café before going on to the Mataitai Forest carpark on Ness Valley Rd. A Korean tramping group was also meeting at the carpark for a tramp in the forest.

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After the usual intros and karakia we set out on our tramp, but we soon had a stop to find a geocache. It did not take long to find it, under some branches at the foot of a ponga tree. The geocache was in a lunch box painted in military camouflage, and contained a pen, some trinkets, a badminton ball, a notebook and a "travel bug". The leaders left a note in the notebook, but did not take or replace any of the contents.
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It was a grunt up a steeped track to the ridge, and we carried along the Main Track in an anticlockwise direction. We came to a small grass clearing and had our devotions break. Laurie acted out the Parable of the Hidden Treasure, a story Jesus told about a farm labourer who finds a hidden treasure in one of the paddocks. He likes the treasure so much he sells everything to find the money to buy the paddock from his boss. The Kingdom of God, which we become when we accept Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord, is like this treasure. Laurie invited us to say some of the benefits of the Kingdom of God - these included access to God through prayer, Christian fellowship, eternal life, and Godís promise that everything works for our good even in the worst times. Laurie then picked the "treasure" up from the grass and handed it around, and we each had a lolly.
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We carried on and a little later took a side track down to a large kauri tree. The treeís name Boulder Brae comes from the name of the farm owned by two generations of the Munro family.
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Back to the Main Track we continued on to the eastern boundary of the forest where we could look out across farm land to the Hunua Ranges in the distance.
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It was a gradual descent as we now swung westward, walking over tree roots in places, and having to crawl under a fallen tree. We came to a grassy clearing about 12:20pm and had our lunch in the unwelcome company of one or two wasps. Just past this point there was a view out towards the Duder peninsula.
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Michael took the lead as we dropped down to the campsite in the valley below. The Korean group were having their lunch there, so we carried on up the No 2 Ridge Track. This was a long uphill stretch that eventually came out on the Main Track.
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As we were dropping down to the carpark the Korean group caught up with us, and we all came out at 2:30pm. We went to the Woolshed hoping to have coffee, but found the place was now a craft shop, so we got back in the cars and went straight home to finish a lovely dayís tramping.

COST: $6-50