MT WAINUI: M
Wednesday 15 February 2017
We were bound for Mt Wainui (722 m) from Whareroa Farm near McKays Crossing on a bright and balmy morning.
There are still relics of the US Marines based at Whareroa during WWII. DOC now manages the 438 Ha Farm and it is being restored as a recreation reserve, with the Whareroa Guardians Community Trust. 180 Ha remains as a working farm not accessible to the public. Whareroa connects Queen Elizabeth Park with the Akatarawas and harbours beautiful pockets of original and regenerating forest, wetlands and streams, with grassy slopes above. The track network caters for mountain bikers, trampers and horse riders. For more, see references below.
We went up the 'Downhill Track' - grassy and dew-laden. At Campbell’s Mill Road on the skyline we headed south, freshened by the breeze and enjoying stunning views out to Kapiti Island and the sea. Just after the gate to Whakatiki Forest we turned right off the road to head along a rough vehicle track past transmission towers and through pine forest over the 400m contour. The track went W and SW to an old stockyard in a saddle at 320 m. A steep upward grind followed, to gain the main N-S ridge to Mt Wainui. A pink tie on the fence marked the fence-climbing spot (about 20 m downhill to the left from the crest), to land us suddenly into native forest. The wonder of another world. The track through the forest is well-marked, slippery in places from the recent rain. 'Summits' came and went until the real one arrived an hour later. Lunch with a magnificent 360° view, if you stood at the trig or climbed it. Some Kaumatuas of similar mind joined the summit throng.
We returned the same way, except for taking a shortcut down a grassy ridge off Campbell’s Mill Rd, marked as a ‘Proposed Tramping Track’ on the Whareroa Guardian’s sketch map. This comes off Campbell's Mill Road at the first side gate on the left and goes down to a valley containing the old water intake structure for the US Marines' camp. When this track materialises it will provide a quick and scenic passage.
The 800m of climb and 16 km took just over 7 hours, including breaks.
References about Whareroa Farm: http://www.naturespace.org.nz/groups/whareroa-guardians-community-trust-inc http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-go/wellington-kapiti/places/whareroa-farm/ http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/countrylife/audio/201814649/whareroa-farm
- Party members
- Barbara Camfield, Robin Chesterfield, Mike Crozier, Suzanne Sutton Cummings, Sylvia Dixon,
Helen Gray, Justin Kerr, David McNabb, Sally Munro, Marg Pearce, Peter Reimann (leader and scribe), Marilyn Richards, Janette Roberts, Penny Salmond, Alison Stephenson, Bill Stephenson, Andy Tarrant, Bill Wheeler