Saturday June 15, 2007
Topomap 260 – R26 Paraparaumu
Well before 8 am we started up the Huia Street access track to Hemi Matenga Memorial Park, east of Waikanae. There was a light frost on the grass but the full chill of the southeasterly wind would not be felt until we reached the ridge line. Once on the ridge top we headed south on the marked track to spot height 521. At that point we headed east, but with the combined interference of steep slopes and serious supplejack, our line of descent was a “line of least resistance” - almost southeast when we got down to Kapakapanui Stream at grid ref. 870346, where a small side stream on the true right enters the main stream.
We proceeded upstream about 300 metres to a significant forks (grid ref 870349). Our intention was to go up the spur that separates the two stream branches. However, both branches have vertical sides at the toe of the spur, so it was more than one hundred metres up the true left branch before we could gain access to the spur. That spur, which rises to spot height 610, has an unrelenting gradient and is covered by all manner of impeding vegetation! Progress was steady but not overly fast. Shortly after reaching the top elevation we encountered a regularly used route and made short work of the remaining bush tramping until we came out on to a newly cleared logging space. The vista was magnificent: Kapiti Island, Mana Island, Ohau Point on Wellington’s west coast, and to the north, the Horowhenua plains. To the east the main range was still covered by clouds driven by the strong southeasterly, but we could see glimpses of significant fresh snow well down below the tree line.
We investigated the access to the ridge-top route back to Hemi Matenga, but with the interference of the recent logging operations, we could not immediately pick the route. Considering the late hour in the day, we opted for a road plod down to Hadfield Road rather than a potential torchlight end to the day. We spoke to a man working on his lifestyle block and the result of that conversation was the offer of a ride back to the car in Huia Street, for which we were obviously grateful! This is a trip that can offer the intrepid tramper adventurous off-track travel and serious dealings with kie kie, supplejack, bush lawyer, and bush regrowth. However, it is a trip that should be done at a time other than mid-June!
- Party members
- Bill Allcock, Marg Conal, Dave Reynolds