Auckland Baptist Tramping Club

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An early departure from Auckland at 12noon proved to be a wise call to get the convoy of two cars for the 8 trampers of ABTC well on their way to their weekend tramp at Whirinaki Forest Park. After 5 hours drive, the group had their first group photo taken at Wild Rice Thai Cuisine for an early dinner. The restaurant has the signage saying open hours from 5pm to late. But it would be safer to come back at 5.30pm if you did not want to stand outside and wait. They virtually opened at 5.30pm..We had our orders taken at about 6pm, then 6.30pm we were all set to go on the second leg of our journey. About 8 pm, we arrived at the Whirinaki Forest Park Lodge, nicknamed the Jailhouse.

The friendly manager Gary welcomed us and showed us to our little boudoir: a stand-alone self-contained lodge accommodating 8. We each found our spot and settled in. After a little meeting and a koreru with Gary and fixing the payments we, one by one called it a day.


Hua got up at and went out for a nice long walk near the lodge. She was impressed by the tranquillity of this little place surrounded by mounts circling the paddocks in front of her. The air was fresh tinted with pangs of cow poo. Little birds chirping. Sam Sun, our second driver had also become the porridge maker for the group. After breakfast, we se off at 8.30am in the cars for a morning walk at the H-tree track. Which is at the end of the Old Ford Road.

The 45 minutes walk into the H-Tree Track asks for a report on its own. With beautiful calls from Kaka, Kokako, Saddleback and other birds we could not tell, the track impressed us profoundly. You may be able to feel the stillness and the beauty of the bush from these photos taken on the track. We are heading back to the lodge at 10.30am for the next part of the day's walk.

At 1.30pm the group took a sunny spot on the track for lunch. Tina V gave devotions. She gave each of us a quote from the Bible to read out to the group following onto the verses. Remain peaceful in storm. We are aboundedly blessed, we just need to look God's way. We use our mouths to bless others, our fellow beings. We walk in victory that was won by God. Keep our heads up, and trust life. Our minds are the battle field. The main task for us is to be obedient and to keep ourselves in check.

4.20pm arrival at Central Whirinaki Hut after a twisting and turning of the 9.70km Plateau Road.


7.30 am, the group have had their breakfast thanks to Tina and Sam, and we are all ready to go at 8am on our way out along Whirinaki Track, walking along Whirinaki River. At 11.30am, we stopped at the halfway hut for lunch. David gave devotions on God's creation and our task of being in the ever-green nature and be still and know. God changes not. Our gift is to be able in nature and be still and know. Matthew 7:16-20 was read out to the group at the end of the devotions. The group headed out at 12.10pm towards the River Road Car Park. We were picked up at 3pm by Gary, the lodge manager as planned.


At 9am the group left Whirinaki Forest Park Lodge, to take a one hour return walk to Waiatiu Falls. Beautiful photos were taken, of course. At 10.30am we took a detour along Old Wai-o-tapu Road off SH1 on our way back to Rotorua, and visited Kerosene Creek with its geothermal river, waterfall, pool and lakes.
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