Kaitoke Regional Park – Hutt Forks
May 19, 2012
During the final weekend of this year’s Bushcraft course, the members of my group expressed an interest in more off-track experience. This Saturday day trip was the realisation of those expressed thoughts.
We met at the picnic site near the weir on Waterworks Road and set off just after eight o’clock in conditions that were verging on parka-wearing. Those conditions persisted during the day - parkas on and off; on and off; with the chill of a subdued southerly being experienced on the ridge tops.
I had given the group a set of co-ordinates for the day. The first objective was the ridge top saddle known as Warren’s Saddle, at the head of the Norbett Stream catchment. After an initial bit of uncertainty with the numerous side streams in Norbett Stream, the group picked up the footpad that was comfortably followed to the saddle where we had a drink and snack stop.
The second objective of the day was Hutt Forks. After following the well-trod route heading north-west from Warren’s Saddle to the broad area to the east and below spot height 583, the group left the footpad and determined the correct bearing for the way down to Hutt Forks, and, with the assistance of occasional white plastic markers, we descended to Hutt Forks. No matter the weather, looking down on the confluence of the two branches of the Hutt River with the large pool, is always a special place to be.
The next target was our lunch stop at the confluence of the Eastern Hutt River and Phillips Stream. This bit of travel was truly off-track, with some places requiring serious grovel. The acknowledgement that all was well with the day occurred when we experienced the only snippet of sun for the day during our lunch stop.
After lunch we went up the Phillips Stream watercourse to where the first small side stream comes in on the true left. On a terrace above that confluence we encountered the debris of a whare. Ten years ago that whare was a functioning shelter but has suffered the ravages of the elements and deterioration through lack of attention. With compass confirmation, we headed up the three hundred metres to spot height 592. Once through some supplejack and kiekie we had pleasant travel on the spur through open forest to the ridge top. Then it was careful following of the footpad almost due west along the ridge top to the water catchment access road.
The last segment of travel for the day was down the Norbett Stream track back to the cars. All felt it had been an enjoyable outing, mostly along routes not marked on the Featherston map, which allowed for navigation procedure consolidation – the aim of the day.
- Party members
- Bill Allcock (leader & scribe), Helen Gibbons, Fiona Girdwood, Ann Middleton, Kate Neyland, Bharat Pancha, Dave Reynolds