Kaitawa Scenic Reserve M/F
25 May 2022
Shortly after 0800 hrs we departed the South Mangaone road end and headed north along the Mangaone Walkway as far as the stream that drains off point 546. The ascent from that point, basically north up the spur to the knob just northwest of point 466, was slower than anticipated, primarily due to nuisance supplejack. A welcome break in dappled autumn sun was taken.
We then meandered along to point 546 and beyond to point 540. There is an animal track / footpad(?) which is followable but visual acuity is required. At point 540 we made a directional change and headed slightly south of west down a spur that took us into one of the headwater branches of the Waikanae River. Our lunch break was a short one, as there was no sun in the valley.
The post-lunch direction was upstream. Most of the travel was straightforward and because of the warm autumn the region had experienced, the water was not chilling.
Just below the junction of two stream branches that drain off points 530 and 611 (Field) the day's most exhilarating challenge presented itself. A waterfall no more than three metres high proved to be unpassable, initially. Colin managed to scramble precipitously through a tangle of logs on the true left, but did not recommend it for others. After intense scrutiny on the true right, the remainder of the group managed to get up a greasy sloping rock face, with Bill initially providing a 'step up' with clenched hands resting on his knee, then heel support from below for some. When the greasy face lost any finger-grabbing or toe-kicking opportunities, Tricia produced a rope from the depths of her pack. It was tied to a tree at the top of the slope and, through individual, rope-assisted contortions, the remaining few scrambled up. Challenge overcome!
At the aforementioned forks we scrambled up a very steep sixty metres to the toe of the long gentle spur leading northwest to the logged open space that provides vistas north and south along the Kapiti coast.
The day concluded with a traipse along the crest of Hemi Matenga Reserve and a leg-tiring steep descent to Huia Street as the sun was setting below the ocean horizon just north of Kapiti Island. A suitable end to an adventurous nine hour autumn trip.
- Party members
- Bill Allcock (leader and scribe), Colin Cook, Tricia French, David McNabb, Peggy Munn, Janette Roberts, Lynne White.