Lower Whakatikei River
26 February 2022
The half-day Whakatikei river gorge trip started at the Dude Ranch, Bull Run Road, Moonshine late morning with river travel at the warmest part of the day. A half-kilometre track led to the junction of the Wainui stream and the first Whakatikei River pool. Sarah was straight in and the rest of us followed. The water was cooler than usual for February due to catchment rainfall of 270 mm around 16 February and the river level being higher than normal in summer. Good progress was made downstream swimming through some pools, with the current aiding the swim through each pool. At 'The 'Duck Pond', a DoC scenic reserve, there is a large pool on a loop in the river with a flat riverbank around part of the loop, saving a long swim. Once we were past the Duck Pond it was lunchtime and there was an opportunity to attempt to warm up on some rocks.
Robin was feeling too cold to continue downstream and informed the others of his intention to do a steep climb up onto the forest road and walk down to Riverstone Terraces. The remaining three decided to continue in the river for the final two kilometres with many pools. After a steep climb out of the river, Robin made for the finishing point to await the arrival of the cold river travellers. The total trip time was three and a half hours.
- Party members
- Robin Chesterfield (partial leader and scribe), Ian Howat, Paul McCredie, Sarah White