Auckland Baptist Tramping Club

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Sixteen members set off from the car park at the end of Franklin Road to follow the Waitawheta River towards the Waitawheta Hut. For some this was a training and preparation tramp for the upcoming Summer Tramps while for others it was a opportunity to get away from Aucklandís alert level 2 or their first experience of an overnight in a hut or tent. We rotated the leader of the group and by following the map we were able to check each track junction and have regular breaks. Our lunch stop beside the river was particularly pleasant and Murray shared the significance of the names of living things (as given by Adam under God's supervision) and the challenge for us to appreciate the names of the plants and animals we enjoy in the NZ bush.

Once the stoves were lit and the billies were boiled we set up our "tent city" with expert help from Katherine and Christina. While organising the cooking groups back in the hut we realised David was "missing" - he had said he would be away for 5 minutes to look for some orchid flowers. Once the team was convinced that no one had seen him in the last hour we organised four search and rescue teams - one for each of the possible tracks he could have set out on. We were pleased to see him safely returned to the hut (after repeatedly calling his name) and in the debrief realised how important it is in an outdoor activity to keep track of everyone in the team.

We dined well on sausages in sauce with rehydrated vegetables followed by semolina and a tasty fruit mix. We took advantage of daylight saving to enjoy some games together - one group was impressed with Jill's scrabble skills with anagrams while another recommended Kristina's winning streak at cards! After visiting the glow worm grotto everyone was ready for an early night. Fresh porridge and a hot drink got us going in the morning and we departed by 8.30am for the walk out. The Handleys took the river crossing route and after regrouping we had another break by the first bridge to consider the names of Jesus and the significance of his birth into creation.

Everyone earned their lunch stop in Paeroa at a wonderful cafe (thanks Diana) and with everyone's positive and helpful contribution we all have good memories of the tramp and our overnight at the Waitawheta Hut.
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COST: Hut fee $15/tent fee $5, Transport $25, food $7.50, club fee $2.50 = $50/$40