Auckland Baptist Tramping Club


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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.

The tramp 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.

COST: $45 travel and accommodation (meals self-catering)


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