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.
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.
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.
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.