Day trip to Toka
6 October 2007
The Ruahine tops seemed an attractive weekend in autumn when the fixture card was
compiled; less so in windy spring. But the forecast on Saturday morning suggested the westerly was easing, and so indeed it looked as we began at the road end beyond Sixtus Lodge, the drizzle ceasing and some blue appearing.
We crossed back over Coal (Makiekie) Creek to take the steeper but more direct Knight’s Track, which eased off after a while and provided a well cleared and little used route through the possum-ravaged cedar forest (possum control responsible perhaps for the numerous young baby cedars beside the track). Later investigation showed the true Maori name for these is not the commonly used kaikawaka but pahautea. It was very pleasant in the sun through the subalpine scrub and not particularly windy as we approached the top of the Ngamoko range.
But there the sudden strength of the wind made us abandon Toka Biv as our destination and look for the shelter of the lee spur down into the Pohangina Valley. Some hope. There we were blown this way and that and could barely stand. So it was home again, noting on the way tolerable camping spots beside Coal Creek at the foot of Knight’s Track (for a future Friday evening maybe) some 30 minutes from the car. Would the café amongst the half dozen houses of Kimbolton still be open for a coffee? Thank God it was. But we didn’t expect to be greeted at the door with, ‘Good evening, do you have a booking?’
- Party members
- Russell Cooke, Janette Roberts, John Russell, John Thomson (scribe).