Auckland Baptist Tramping Club

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The Tapapakanga Regional Park is 65km from Bracken Ave so at 8.30 am six members departed to meet the five who drove directly there. After introductions, a goal setting talk and a look around the historic Ashby Homestead (120 years old) everyone was ready for a morning tea snack at the picnic tables that looked out across the Firth of Thames. We discussed the probable location of Coromandel and Thames to the east and the various islands of the Hauraki Gulf that merged into the skyline to the north and then set off, maps in hand, to find the first red-topped post that marked the start of the Coastal Walk. As part of the training, different people had been given tasks to record the time and distance, look out for suitable rest stop locations and to identify any hazards for a risk analysis.

We followed the red marker posts up from the beach but soon had an early break to explore the small historic cemetery where members of the Ashby family are buried. The path followed the cliff edge giving us great views across the sea and occasionally cut inland through pleasant bush to cross the streams that flowed down. Right on lunchtime we descended onto the beach front and after a group photo we chose a sunny or shady spot for lunch under one of the large Pohutukawa trees. Behind this beach was the campsite for kayakers with a shelter, toilet and two resident kereru which impressed and entertained us. The track from the campsite began to ascend steeply towards the farmland. As we opened the gate to complete the climb across the sheep paddock, we spotted the trig station which was our next goal.

Murray discussed the purpose of a trig both shown as a triangle on a topographical map and as a three dimensional black and white structure at a known location on the land. Being on a hilltop, this marker could act as a reminder of how our faith in God acts as a reference point in our busy lives. The panorama from a hilltop trig reminds us that God has the bigger picture of our lives which gives us a purpose and direction. God knows the plans he has for us “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).

There was a wonderful view and another group photo by the trig – but we could also see some ominous rain clouds approaching across the water. By the time we had weaved our way down the farm track back to the beach track there was some moisture in the air and rain jackets were dragged out of back packs! It didn’t really turn into a very heavy shower, but most people headed up the track to the Tapapakanga Bach and put the kettle on while the drivers returned to the carpark and drove up for a well-deserved afternoon tea.
For the next couple of hours we discussed the important elements of planning a Club walk such as this, went through each bullet point of the Club’s “Instructions for Leaders” (down loaded from the ABTC web page) then filled in the necessary paperwork for a Club trip (“Newsletter Information” (Sections A and B) and the “ABTC Safety and Risk Management Checklist”) - all ready for some volunteers from the group to lead the Tapapakanga Trek to be held in September – watch out for the opportunity to book for this wonderful activity in the next newsletter.
Everyone contributed to a very pleasant walk and a worthwhile training session and were duly rewarded with a delicious dinner organised by Cathie after being serenaded by Linda’s piano playing and impressed with Linda, Diana, Christine and Cathie’s Rummikub skills – Thanks for a great day out!

COST: $16 to the driver for transport, $10 for food and resource material print costs.
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