Auckland Baptist Tramping Club

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It was great to have  Simon, Jeremy, Hayley , Rosanna and Natalie along, all from Beachlands Baptist, with all of them except Simon doing their first overnight tramp with the Club. Our group of 11 left 10 Bracken Avenue around 6.30pm on Friday 29 May, heading for Kinloch, where we arrived at approximately 10.30pm. We had arranged to stay in two private holiday beach houses at Kinloch, and Phillip had come through from Tauranga and had the fires burning and a hot drink ready to go.


Jan and Kelvin Trim met up with us at Kinloch, and Kelvin came with us south to the Waihaha entrance of the Great Lake Walkway/Cycleway, where he dropped us off before returning our van to Kinloch. From there we walked east along the cycleway for approximately 2.5 hours, stopping en route for lunch, and enjoying views of the river, waterfalls and bush en-route. It s approximately 11 km. Not many cyclists were encountered. We then left the cycleway and descended through a narrow ravine to  Waihaha Bay, where we had pre-booked two camping sites. Reaching the campsite meant crossing the Waihaha River where it exits into Lake Taupo. It was deep and cold. There was not a soul in sight. Fortunately, there was an aluminium dinghy, without oars, sitting on the beach, which we were able to requisition. We tied ropes to it, and using walking poles as an oar Jeremy managed to get to the other side, where we then located an old kayak and some shovels, which we then used for oars. By these means, and the ropes, we were able to ferry people and passengers over the river to the campsite. We spend a cold yet comfortable night here, with a good fire and marshmallows being enjoyed. After a hearty meal, and devotions led by Phillip, most were ready for an early night. The weather was fine and clear, and the lights of occasional boats could be seen bobbing out on the lake.


Next morning was overcast, but the rain stayed away. This was our longest day, climbing up the ravine out of Waihaha, and continuing north along the cycleway to reach the Kotukutuku Stream on the lake edge at Wainora Bay. This is a distance of 17 km. Here the cycleway ends, and it is necessary to get a boat from there to Kawakawa Bay. This section took us  approximately 5 hours, including a lunch stop, and we emerged onto the beach at about 1.15 pm. The boat was it picked us up 1.30, dropping us at Kawakawa Bay by 2pm. Here there is a large wooden shelter, and good campsites. While most chose to erect their tents on the floor of the shelter, Roger D and Heather opted for the softer ground of the campsite. Again, it was fortunate that the rain stayed away. Dinner was followed by devotions taken by Roger on the theme What is Truth?.  We enjoyed another  great meal and the sharing of tramping experiences.


We left by 9am and climbed the hill out of Kawakawa Bay approximately a 45 minute climb. From here, great vistas of the lake can be seen. There were a few drops of rain, but it really came to nothing. From here, it is mainly downhill to Kinloch, where we arrived at around 11am (10km) The van was retrieved, and Stan rigged up a changing room in the entrance of the locked public loo! After having lunch at the local cafe, we departed for Auckland, arriving at around 5.30pm. This was a great trip with a fit and cooperative group of people, and we hope that we see a lot more of them.    

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THE GROUP: Roger and Heather Donnell (Leaders), Phillip Donnell, Stan Harrison, Johanna Ryder, Roger Wang, Simon Perry, Jeremy Hamilton, Hayley Hamilton, Rosanna Hamilton and Natalie Keane.
COST: $145.00 each somewhat higher than usual because of the high cost of the boat ($63 per person), which was  a necessary component we could not avoid.