This article was first published in the Tararua Tramper Volume 82, no 4, May [[!(Tramper)2010]
The Less Deceived: Tawirikohukohu and Deception Spur 20-21 March
20-21 March, 2010
There used to be an established route from Gladstone Road to the Mangahao. On the 1936 Trampers’ Map, it ran up the Waiiti (now labelled Waiti) Stream, climbed a spur to near our spot height 794 and stopped at Tawirikohukohu. On the 1950 Tararua map the track continues down to the Tawiri-Mangahao confluence (but note that the name Tawiri has on recent maps moved to a smaller stream downriver). That route probably became well overgrown. More recently a fine track was cut up the long spur to Square Knob and across .794 to Tawirikohukohu. So far, so good. But did it continue much beyond? Neil wasn’t sure but decided to lead a trip and find out. The weather wasn’t helpful: misty with drizzle. Visibility was limited, so once on the first bump past Tawirikohukohu we couldn’t look down and pick out signs of a track, and the tussock and very low scrub at the top left no trace of a passing scrubcutter. But there was a spur dropping off in the right direction and sure enough, once down into the leatherwood, there was a cut passage which continued into taller forest and down to the Mangahao, ending on the spur’s steep toe at the confluence – the place to look if you want to go up. So that was easy, and we soon had the large Mangahao Flats Hut all to ourselves.
The weather had scarcely changed next morning as we headed upriver to a little beyond the old Avalanche Flats hut site (gingerly negotiating an awkward drop into the major side stream on the way; the most difficult moment of the trip would have to be on a DOC track!) before crossing and climbing through easy bush to .865. Here there was a little hesitation. Even if the route down Deception Spur was unmarked, some sign of a junction at the top was expected. Two yellow bands around a tree seemed to be the only sign but could have led us astray, for the true turn-off was some 20 metres to the south where in fact someone did spot a tiny stone cairn. Deception Spur, fortunately, mostly has a good drop on either side, but there were times when some cautious casting about was required to keep us undeceived. The last 140m of steep kiekie though is the only part where the going is difficult. A satisfying round trip.
- Party members
- Neil Challands, Robin and Sue Chesterfield and her dog, Colin Cook, Russell Cooke and Janette Roberts, Peggy Munn and John Thomson (scribe).