Six ABTC 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/preparation tramp for the upcoming
Summer Tramps while for others it was a fitness boost or their first experience overnight in a hut. As
we rotated leading the group, followed the map of the track and recorded the track on the ViewRanger
app we were able to check each track junction and have regular breaks.
Our lunch stop beside
the river was particularly pleasant and Murray shared about the "awe and wonder" we see while tramping
- including the native orchids Alasdair had marked for us on the track and the brilliant white of the
clematis in flower. Our view of the world around us was compared to the trees on the riverbank described
in Psalm 1.
On arriving at the hut at 2pm - 10 km successfully completed in four hours – we were
warmly greeted by Alasdair Nicoll (our Hut Warden, club member and orchid spotter). Once unpacked we
used the opportunity to practise lighting the MSR and Coleman stoves for a welcome cup of tea. We then
set about some outdoor training using the emergency fly and pitching the Zeus tent (for Murray to sleep
in). Further time before dinner was spent discussing the equipment order form and the safety plan required
for the tramp preparation and documentation. With the menu explained fully, the meal was soon prepared
and we ate well before the sunset on the last night before daylight saving started. The glow worms down
the track behind the hut were impressive once we turned off our head torches and our eyes adjusted to
the dark. Everyone slept well.
We ate our porridge, tidied and left the hut by
8.30am on Sunday morning and made good time completing the return tramp in just over three hours. We
were pleased the weather stayed fine and appreciated the memories we took home - especially after considering
that if the bush can inspire us so can God the creator who promises to do something good for us (John
The drive home included a well-deserved coffee stop at Paeroa – everyone made a great
contribution to our weekend tramp and we all achieved our training goal to be better prepared for our
next tramp - well done!!