This article was first published in the Tararua Tramper in June 1998
Kiriwhakapapa - Old Tram Track - Bruce Hill - Te Mara
Saturday 21 February 1998
This was one of the more northerly trips in the Tararuas for Saturday tramps and as this was the first time the trip had been scheduled an early start was scheduled (Brown Owl at 7am).
We departed the roadend at Kiriwhakapapa shortly after 8.30am in sun/showery conditions. The old tram track is well graded and it is a very easy and pleasant stroll over a low saddle and down into the Mikimiki Stream. We travelled downstream for about a kilometre on the flat before attacking the long spur to Bruce Hill (Point 975) shortly after 10am. The climb from the Mikimiki Stream to Bruce Hill was about 625m and apart from scrubby bush from Point 900 was fairly easy going. It was cool and drizzly and murky on the tops though we did get some glimpses of the southern part of Blue Range which dropped away sharply and glimpses of fine weather on the Masterton Plains.
Having reached Bruce Hill shortly before 12 noon, we set about finding a sheltered place for lunch. Hats and gloves were required to keep warm. The ridge north to Te Mara was scrubby and overgrown in the more exposed places but was generally fairly good going provided you sidled around the ridge line in places.
We climbed up onto Te Mara at about 2pm, locating the trig point with relative ease. From Te Mara it was a short distance, about 10 minutes to the main track (Kiriwhakapapa - Cow Saddle) where we headed back towards the Kiriwhakapapa Road end.
The turn off to Blue Range Hut was reached at about 2.35pm and a short visit to the Hut was made (six minutes down/eight minutes return). It was a further hour back to Kiriwhakapapa Shelter (4pm) where the weather was fine and sunny. Tramping time was about seven hours.
- Trip members were
- Michael Hartley, Leslie Blackwell, Michael Bartlett, Anthony McNamara, Margaret Conal, Dave Reynolds, Sieny Pollard, Mike Arnold and Bernard MolIoy (leader and scribe)