Wednesday 9 February 2022
The aim was to explore the middle section of Big Huia Creek, which lies entirely within the WRC Wainuiomata water catchment and is one of the larger Ōrongorongo tributaries1.
The trip began with a 12 km drive through the catchment; SUVs were parked at an altitude of about 740 m. A road walk south brought us to our descent spur which provided good going except at the base where, it could be said, we dropped in on the creek. A small ‘beach’ for morning tea then, let the exploration begin! Alas, it lasted only for some 400 m before running into an insurmountable blockage: a mix of massive boulder, waterfall and logjam with cliffs either side. The only thing to do was climb out – fortunately, possible with just a little backtracking2!
The climb out ended on the Wainuiomata/Big Huia watershed ridge. Lunch, a visit to Puketaha 767 m and then back to the catchment road, encountering rough going along the ridge, even with trap line and markers. On top of the 770 m bump above the road there is a cell phone tower with gas-fired generator and several solar cell arrays.
Thanks to Wellington Regional Council ranger Vlad Macoviciuc for facilitating access and to our SUV drivers, David M and Robin.
1A cursory glance at the map suggests Turere Stream and Whakanui Creek are probably longer. 2 Ranger Ricky Clarkson often used the word ‘tight’ when referring to Big Huia Creek. Perhaps now the leader understood why!
- Party members
- Joan Basher, Robin Chesterfield, Colin Cook (leader and scribe), Marie Henderson, Jenny Mason, David McNabb, David Ogilvie, Sieny Pollard, Janette Roberts, Cathy Wylie