Auckland Baptist Tramping Club

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13 ABTC members safely completed the newly opened Omanawanui Track in the mighty Waitakere Ranges yesterday Saturday 7 May. We arrived at Whatipu Carpark to circle on the spacious grassy picnic area to introduce ourselves and give thanks to the spectacular weather and started our walk at 9:35am. The almost immediate and gradual climb took us to the first lookout -the Omanawanui P?. Members were awarded with breathtaking views. Photos were taken, a quick drink of water was had to replenish ourselves. We then headed towards the next bit of climb via a streams of newly well-built wooden stairs and board walk. Near the end of this board walk, we came across the rocky climb aided with the old fashioned chains on one side. Nevertheless, eventually we all came up to the beautiful Trig on a triangle boardwalk with panoramic view of the Manukau Harbour. More water plus 2nd morning tea or snacks were had. Photos were taken, of course! Then further along towards the next climb via wooden stairs and more boardwalk this time much more levelled with the Manuka trees and other bushes providing us with welcomed shade from the now rising (both height and heat) sun.

We then arrived at the first crossing with Whatipu Road. All gathered together to carry on through a pleasant boardwalk to the second crossing with the road. The track continued on the other side of the road to join with Kura Track which I initially thought we would join up for a loop walk but found out it wasn’t open. Here at 12:15pm, we made a group decision to split up to two groups: five of us returned on the track to walk back, eight chose to walk on the road back to the carpark. When those five emerged from the track to join the eight at the grassy knoll, we all had our lunch and heard Christine sharing a most beautiful devotion on finding grace and divine presence in our everyday life. “God meets where we are”. “Have faith in God to find solutions in most puzzling situations” were the messages that ring out loudly.

Then most of us went to see the big cave in the other side of the carpark. We overshot a bit by walking past the big cave without seeing it. So returned to the cave to stand on the black sand covered kauri board floor where the Dalmatian families used to gather and celebrate with night-long feast and dancing with/under the stars. The tramping Saturday was completed with everyone back to their cars and ready to leave by 3pm.
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