East Whakanui Track-Whakanui Track
Saturday May 26, 2007
Map 260: R27, PtQ27
In the mid-nineteen nineties these two tracks provided access to wonderful off-track opportunities for the Saturday medium-fit day trips. These trips were, for the most part, led by Peter Jagger, Gordon McKenzie and Michael Bartlett. These club stalwarts were generous in their sharing of the challenging route-finding opportunities in the catchments of Turere Stream, Whakanui Creek and the middle section of the Orongorongo River when public access was permitted. Those Saturday trips regularly had a dozen or more participants and were vibrant social occasions as well as being pleasantly adventurous and fatiguing days.
It had been a couple of years since Dave and I had done this circuit and with a promising late autumn forecast we departed well before 8 am. The track up from Sunny Grove had recently been ‘trimmed’ and was in very good condition. Shortly after passing the intersection with the McKerrow Track we easily picked up the unmarked left-side turn-off to the track that leads to an intersection with the route rising on the true right of Nikau Stream. It was interesting to observe that the turnoff is unmarked, but shortly thereafter DOC orange triangles appear! Bump 800, at the apex of the East Whakanui Track, had what we recalled was a customary topping of chilly mist, so we descended a while to have a drink stop in a warmer spot. Then it was a very pleasant descent along the deceptively long ridge to an Orongorongo River bed full of shingle. The river flow could be described as no more than a stream flow that day. We had lunch in the sun on the shingle.
As we ascended the Whakanui track we challenged ourselves to pick the turn-off points for various spurs into the catchments on both sides of the track. This track had also recently been ‘trimmed’ and was a pleasure to traverse.
We were back at the car by four thirty, with shared determination to soon revisit some of the spurs we had explored more than ten years ago.
- Party members
- Bill Allcock, Dave Reynolds