Sunday 14 August 2022
The Rata Ridge trip commenced at The Strand in Wainuiomata with a walk through Parkway to the Konini Ridge, leading up to the ECNZ pylon track over the Eastern Hutt hills to the Wainuiomata overbridge. From the overbridge we continued up the Main Ridge Track to the junction with the Rata Ridge Track. This track passes over Mount Lowry and continues along Rata Ridge, overlooking Wainuiomata. Care was required in the wet, slippery conditions when we emerged from the bush at the end of Rata Ridge, care that needed to continue as we descended the Zigzag Track. Eventually, we came out at the BP station on Wainuiomata Road. As a group, we did not escape completely unscathed, with some clay and dirt-covered bottoms evidence of our endeavours.
Barry and Eva Durrant brought with them their dog Jesse, an enthusiastic tramper who raced backwards and forwards ensuring that all trip members were together and safely engaged in the walk. Although some trip members were keen on a morning tea stop on the ECNZ track, Muriel pushed onwards to the outlook on the Eastbourne side of the Wainuiomata overbridge. While it provided fantastic views of the Hutt Valley and harbour, there was a chill wind, prompting the team to press on up to the junction of the Main Ridge and Rata Ridge Tracks. Barry, Eva and Jesse left the trip after the overbridge, taking a track back down to Wainuiomata.
Lunch break was at the junction of Main Ridge and Rata Ridge Tracks, another place with a good view and outlook. Cyclists and other trampers greeted us at this stop with reports of tree fall on Rata Ridge. We passed the Mount Lowry marker, a small pipe with no other markers to indicate this high point. After Mount Lowry we came to an area of significant tree fall and were surprised to see cyclists pushing their way through the debris. We made our way cautiously down the slope, sliding under tree trunks and dodging branches until the track became clear again. Further treefall was negotiated on the track without incident. On emerging from the bush our next challenge was negotiating the final downhill clay firebreak sections of the track.
An enjoyable trip with fine weather throughout, a good break between the August storms and floods.
- Party members
- Virginia Ashcroft, Elizabeth Bridge, Muriel Christianson (leader), Barry and Eva Durrant and their dog Jesse, Alan Knowles, Melanie Martin, Jenny Olsen, Chris Paice.