Bawbaw M/F off track
28 January 2012
Bawbaw* (810 m) lies on the Rimutaka main divide, well south of SH2, at the head of the Waiorongomai River and above the west branch of Burlings Stream. Charlie Matthews gave us permission to drive more than half a kilometre across his land, almost to the stream's major forks, where we ascended the spur dividing the west and east branches. (Walking up the grassed valley of the east branch and joining the spur at the saddle north of Bump 206 would have avoided a kilometre of less than memorable travel through regrowth.)
Slow going on the spur proper with supplejack and rangiora thickets lower down. Gaining the divide we turned west and then south-west, lunching in an astelia-dotted clearing that gave good views to the east. The ridge to Bawbaw traverses some steep-sided rocky humps covered in dracophyllum and beech.
Bawbaw is a double bump, the eastern one carrying a survey pipe. We went over to the west bump to admire the unusual view of the southern and central Rimutakas: Papatahi, the Matthews massif, the elusive Mt Orongorongo itself standing out clearly to the southwest.
Then back south, east and south-east to pick up a sparsely marked hunters' track leading down to the minor forks in the valley floor. About 7¼ hours to go round.
- Party members
- Simon Bell, Robin Chesterfield, Colin Cook (leader and scribe), Lorraine Johns, David McNabb, Craig Morrison, Nina Sawicki, Tim Stone, Bob White - and three or four GPSs.