Auckland Baptist Tramping Club

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ROUTES taken:
OPTION A: SH32-Waihaha Hut : Waihaha – Bog Inn Hut: Bog Inn - over Mt Pureora  to Link Rd. (pack carrying over 2 nights)
OPTION B: SH32-Waihaha Hut : Waihaha- SH 32 & Centre of Nth Is : Link Rd to Mt Pureora. (pack carrying over 1 night)
OPTION C: SH 32- Track – SH 32 & Rimu walk : Waihora Lagoon & Centre of Nth Is: Link Rd to Mt Pureora (day walks)


A group of 15 trampers set out on Friday night, travelling through Matamata for a meal stop, before diverting off SH1 across to Mangakino at SH 32.  Travelling off SH32 to the Kakaho Campground, then taking Link Rd, next  Swamp Rd, followed by Titiraupenga Rd, we hoped to make it to camp. We encountered a tree across the road, delaying us, but fortunately our vehicles slipped under it.  We eventually arrived at the YMCA  camp 11pm.


We rose to sunshine and discovered we could lighten up the camp facilities by unscrewing the shutter-boards on the windows,(in place for security) and our gas supplies were needed for the cookers. The petrol generator was needed for the lighting that night and the kindling helped light the fire in the boiler to heat the showers.

We drove south on SH32 to the Waihaha track parking area adjacent the main road.  All three groups of Day walkers, one-night  overnighters (Option B) and two-night trampers (Option A) set off walking towards Waihaha Hut. Day walkers (3) took a gentle pace and returned to the car park in their own time. They visited the Rimu Walk en-route back to camp and reported some impressive Rimu Trees. The other groups of Options A and B (both of 6)  proceeded to a rocky outcrop and lookout, where Ali Norton led a reflective devotion sharing a prayer based on a topographical map of our soul. Further along an open grassy area provided a suitable space for a lunch stop. As we tramped on we enjoyed the beauty of the bush, the towering rocky ridge across the gorge, traversing a crater-like tea-tree expanse, and the river below  with volcanic sink holes in the rocks. Just 3 hours tramping brought us to the Waihaha Hut where 7 trampers set up their tents, one slept on the verandah and four set up  inside the hut. alongside  the hunters already in residence.  We enjoyed a relaxed time in the sunshine before dinner. The calls of Kakas were  heard and four flew overhead, as well as the occasional Wood Pigeon. Ali shared an Enneagram Personality Profile and we were intrigued to identify our own personality type. Each group cooked their own dinners separately with stove lighting practice for some.

Sunday and Monday - Option A

We set off at 8am to tramp north via the Hauhungaroa Track, via Mt Weraroa to Bog Inn Hut.  We left Waihaha Hut at 8am Sunday morning with the sun shining. After an hours walking we started a steep descent to the Mangatu River. This was about 110 m. when we arrived at the river crossing we noticed a large dry tree log going completely across the river. Some of the team were a little nervous about using the log and just wanted to wade across the river which was only ankle deep in parts. Eventually we all crossed over the log and started the very steep but short  ascent. Thankfully, this didn't last for long and the rest of the climb got easier as we went.

Around 11am it started to rain. This rain continued intermittently all day. By midday we arrived at the junction of the Waihora Track, a climb of 325m from Mangatu River. We continued on this track for about 30 minutes and passed the Waihora Lagoon. Another 15 mins further we stopped to have lunch near a large camping area.

Straight after lunch we began to climb Mt Weraroa. Although it was only a gradual climb of 300m, some of us were finding it tiresome. We arrived at the top around 2pm to wet, cold and windy weather. There was nothing to see so we moved on. The descent to Bog Inn was very gradual and took us exactly 3 hours.

Being tired wet and cold we were hoping that we could all stay in the hut, but a man with his two young boys were already there, so five of us tented and only one stayed in the hut with a warm fire.

The next morning we were up early and away by 7:40am . We had only been going for a few minutes when we came onto the Cycle Trail. Although we could see the old track on the other side of the trail, it was no longer used or maintained so we kept to the trail, which was very fast. 

About half way up Mt Pureora, the cycle trail turned west towards Pureora and we started back on the track to the summit.The sign said it was only 20 minutes to the summit but we took 40 minutes. It was highly eroded and very difficult. When we arrived at the top, the weather was cold, wet and windy. Although the mist would clear for a short while, we could not see very far. A big disappointment.

As we were getting very cold, we decided not to wait for the other group, so sent a message to them, and started our descent. This track was first class. Perhaps DoC are going to do the same for the other track, which is why they say it is only 20 minutes. We had only been going for 10 minutes when we met the other group coming up. Soon we were at the car park and thankful for another amazing tramp with great company.

Sunday and Monday - Option B

On the Sunday we did the return tramp back out to SH32.  We appreciated the massively tall Totara and Rimu trees and the forest beauty. With a few brief rests, we met the Day walkers group (Option C) on time at 12.30pm. Day walkers had travelled from YMCA camp and explored the Waihora Lagoon track en-route. After a lunch stop, both groups visited the Centre of the North Island before heading back to camp.  The boiler fire had been well stoked and the hot showers were most welcome!  The gas barbecue was fired up that evening and a delicious barbecue meal was served.  Barbara shared a Devotion about Thanksgiving and we gave thanks for the beauty we have enjoyed and our good health to be able to get out there and enjoy it.

Monday morning Option B and C groups packed up and cleaned the camp. We travelled via Link Rd to the Mt Pureora  Track.  After 50 min of climbing in a forest resembling ‘middle earth’ with the prolific lichen growth, we met the Option A group already descending the mountain, on account of the uncomfortably cold conditions at the top.  Option B and C trampers continued to the top (another 10 min) but with no view and also a squally shower, descended quickly.  Lunch at a Mangakino cafe was most enjoyable before we headed north to Auckland.  David Titheridge shared his devotions in the van, based on a study of the compass points in Scripture. Very fascinating hearing about the Biblical references to north, south, east and west and their meanings!   Our arrival at Bracken Ave was at 6.30pm.

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COST: $100-$130 depending on option & accommodation.
Transport $70; YMCA $10/night; Food $20; Hut $5/night; Equip Levy $5; Contingency/camp gas & petrol $5