A Long Way to go for lunch S/F
Wednesday 10 November 2021
A tiny area of open tops, astelia, dracophyllum, some stunted beech, and wide views south to the Matthews and Peak massifs. Getting there and getting back at times a struggle, other times a walk in the park, but a great place to take lunch in the summery weather conditions of the day.
Ōrongorongo .816 had been our objective, a small bump sitting on the true left watershed ridge of the upper Ōrongorongo River. We approached from the west through WRC Wainuiomata water catchment, with all that entails: electronic sign in and out, padlocked gates, wheel wash, and a 10 km drive through dense forest up onto the Ōrongorongo TR watershed ridge.
Starting at about 570 m elevation we wandered down a secondary 4WD track to reach the river, a slim, sedate stream compared with that at Waerenga. Easy travel down river for about 1.5 km before we caught a side spur and began our ascent to the main TL ridge. More easy travel until near the 600 m contour where the vegetation became dense and scrubby, so we followed a sidling animal trail for a while.
Then, just south of .805, perhaps 50 m of open tops! Views, lunch! [Photo: back page]
Continuing north, travel was varied: a sudden steep ascent transforming into a knob that could have been sidled, a couple of saddles with deceptive kinks in their line. The ridgetop vegetation sometimes scrubby, more often mature forest but no more open tops.
Sincere thanks to WRC Ranger Ricky Clarkson for enabling this visit to a restricted area and to our three 4WD drivers, David M, John and Robin.
- Party members
- Bill Allcock, Joan Basher, Robin Chesterfield, Colin Cook (leader and scribe), John Dement, Jenny Mason, Paul McCredie, David McNabb, David Ogilvie, Janette Roberts, Sarah White