Saturday We left 10 Bracken Avenue at 8am and drove to Katikati, where Phillip was picked up from
the end of Wharawhara Road (where he left his van). We travelled to the end of Hot Springs road, and
started the tramp at 11.15 am, following the Tuahu Track. It took 20 minutes to reach the turn-off to
Sentinel Rock, which was our intended side-trip. We dropped our large packs, hiding them in the bush,
and donned day packs. The climb to the top of the rock was steep in places, and took 1 hour 30 minutes.
Everyone made it to the top, where we had lunch. Since the weather was fine, cool and clear, we enjoyed
wide views out to Tauranga, Mount Maunganui, Mayor Island and Whale Island. There was a cold wind. |
The tramp down was somewhat quicker, but we did not re-join the Tuahu Track until 3.10pm. It took 1 hour
40minutes to reach the top of the range, where the track met the North South Track. The climb was gradual
and easy. After a brief stop, we turned north onto the North South Track, setting off at 4.50pm. It was
1.5 hours to the hut, so the last 25 minutes were done in darkness with headlamps, but the track was
easily followed. We arrived at the hut at 6.20pm. A roaring fire was soon blazing, and we made ourselves
comfortable. We had booked the entire hut. However, about 30 minutes after our arrival another couple
from a tramping club arrived, expecting to stay in the hut. There was no way we were going to exclude
them, as it was around zero degrees with a very cold wind, and it is not good tramping etiquette nor
is it Christian or humanitarian to shut anyone out. I suggested that they may care to pay to me the booking
fee. One did, but the other became quire irate and insisted he was going to stay in the hut as he had
an annual hut pass. After advising him that the money went to the Kaimai Ridgeway Trust to maintain huts
and tracks, he calmed down and became quite amicable, but did not produce any hut pass nor money. It
demonstrated the obvious flaws in a booking system for that hut, as people are always going to turn up
and expect to stay.
Sunday We spent a comfortable night in a warm hut, but awoke next morning
to a frost and cool temperatures, though the wind had dropped and it was brilliantly fine. We left the
hut at 8.25am, taking the Te Reretukahia Track (which starts about 30 metres back up the track on the
right), and had a pleasant though initially steep descent to reach the Wharawhara Link Track which took
us back to Wharawhara Road carpark.
Roger brought a devotion regarding recent reaches into the
universe by the James Tait telescope, the Big Bang beginning of the universe, and the resultant scientific
confirmation of the biblical record in Genesis 1:1 and Psalm 19:1. He brought out that major scientific
discoveries over the last 35 years – in cosmology, molecular biology, geology to name a few areas – have
confirmed the biblical accounts, and this will continue as more and more things are discovered. Science
and theology are no longer enemies, but rather companions in the search for truth.
out took 2 hours 30 minutes, so we were out just after 11am. We were transported back to Hot Springs
Road in Phillip’s van, and then enjoyed a lunch in Katikati before departing for Auckland.
$45 travel and accommodation (meals self-catering)