Auckland Baptist Tramping Club

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Beautiful scenery. Wonderful weather. Special, meaningful devotions. Tremendous teamwork. A terrific time for all participants. Here are few highlights of serious and not so serious events in chronological order.

Thursday, Friday

Matamata was a welcome meal stop as we headed down State Highway 27 and Rotorua Baptist a welcome overnight venue. However at about 2am a tramper wandered and set off the alarms. A security guard arrived quickly wondering why there were intruders. He had visited while we slept making his way past the minibus and other vehicles to set the alarm. He apologised that the church advice that the alarms should not be set had been ignored. One fortunate tramper with subdued sensitivity to noise slept through the disruption. In the morning Brian , Steve  and John  had to be found after looking for us at another Baptist Church.

The refreshed but disoriented three and the sleep disturbed and purposeful eleven were organised to travel to the significant cities of Murupara, Ruatahuna and Waikaremoana. Packs were readily taken by twelve passengers at Hopuruahine and we followed the scenic foreshore for the wonderful Waiharuru hut where we were met by Grant and Kelvin who had parked the minibus and car at Aniwaniwa and travelled by boat bringing the group gear. The outstanding facilities were appreciated although there was alarm and surprise at the smoke from a stainless steel bench but the unseen timber backing was succumbing to the heat. Kelvin and Jan led Good Friday devotions challenging us to reflect on the crucifixion.

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On the Saturday the group was really slick and efficient in being ready for action and many photos were taken of the happy team. The beautiful lake scenery was appreciated and at a beach Cherry reminded us of Godís plan of salvation. The appreciative trampers continued around the lake making good progress until an injury caused us to look for a helpful boatie. Surprise! A tramper met her cousin and two trampers  were conveyed to Waipaoa campsite. Once again wonderful volunteers prepared a greatly appreciated meal and we retired early to the peace of our tents.

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The morning routine was followed very well including many photos by the lakeside. Members were psychologically and physically prepared for the 600m increase in altitude as we climbed from the lake. The front group carried the lunch and everything was ready to share and enjoy in Panekiri hut. The wide views of the lake were greatly appreciated. We could see Waihararu hut and many areas we had walked through.

We gathered in celebration of the resurrection and victory of our Saviour. Up from the grave he arose and Jesus Christ is risen today were sung as we renewed our knowledge from the Word of the new life in Christ.
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Once again the very efficient team catered for an evening meal and an early breakfast for a 7-30am departure - our heads were off the wentilillos well before the sun got out of bed! Tremendous views from the bluffs and other vantage points were photographed and raved at before we were served a lakeside lunch by our injured tramper and her husband and we set off for home. Who is that trying to attract our attention? It is the President and First Lady with their kayaks. After official exhortations we hurried back to Auckland via Rotorua, Matamata and State Highway 27.

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COST: $169 (travel $68; accommodation $55, food $36, incidentals $16)

Report and photos by Nelson and Barbara