Maunganui aircraft crash site exploration M
M - 22 June 2022
By the time we were prancing across the Maungakotukutuku Stream to keep the socks dry, the sun had yet to reach the valley floor. We had done a short car-reverse to allow a humongous, fully loaded Kenworth logging truck pass by on the narrow road.
As we walked through the forested river flats across the stream from the road end parking area, we passed deteriorating fitness structures that were probably associated with the Waghorn Outdoor Education Trust lodge (circa 1970s). Thereafter, it was a steady uphill plod on the Game Farm track * in low, single-digit temperatures. Near the ridge crest we encountered multiple strands of fencing on the ground – reminders of the animal enclosure that once was a feature of the valley.
At about 500 metres we turned south along the ridge towards point 620 and thence along to the si enificant track junction about half a kilometre northeast of Maunganui. At the junction we turned left and carried on along the crest of the prominent spur, heading in a general northeast direction towards point 550. It must be admitted that there were a few 'wanderings' from the crest as we made our way down the spur.
At about 480 metres (+/-), the spur crest broadens. In this area, in the headwaters of the stream draining to the southeast, is the partially visible evidence of a crashed plane. The details of the plane [which crashed in 1941], are to be found on Parawai Tramping Club website (https://www.parawaitc.org.nz/Documents/Plane%20Crashes/Oxford1245.pdf). The dampness of the morning had passed and we had lunch at the crash site in dappled shortest-day sun.
Post-lunch travel was a return along the route of the morning. When we got back to the car the direct sun had left the valley. We quickly de-booted and had the car heater humming.
* Various sources identify named routes in the northwest Akatarawa Forest. Two sources referred to for this trip are: David Burson hand sketch, 'Northwest Akatarawa Forest Park Tracks', 1996 kaumatuatc.org.nz
- Party members
- Bill Allcock (scribe); Tricia French