Wellington High School Year 9 tramp to Waerenga Hut
Wellington High School Year 9 tramp to Waerenga Hut 13-14 May In term two, Year 9s went on their first tramp of the year, to Waerenga Hut - 26 students, with seven teachers and parents helping.
At the Catchpool carpark we saw a beautiful waharoa carved by Ihaia Puketapu, before setting off along the Ōrongorongo Track. Soon we were in the beautiful green forest, dominated by beech trees, but with lots of mamaku and karamu. We stopped at Midway Bridge for lunch, and soon afterwards could hear the Ōrongorongo river.
We climbed down to the river. Everyone had to wade across - some chose to go straight in - others wisely decided to take their shoes off. From there, it was a short walk up an old riverbed to the hut. Everyone set up their beds - some slept in the hut, others outside in tents.
A group of people went for a walk upstream along the river. At an especially deep spot, some decided to build a bridge out of logs. That worked surprisingly well, easily supporting a 13-year- old's weight.
Back at the hut, we ate dinner (everyone brought their own), and then hung out there - some people played cards. When it was dark, though at first the wind wouldn't cooperate, we managed to light a fire beside the river. In the sky all the stars were shining, and you could hear the flowing of the stream. We sat around the fire until it got late, then went to sleep.
In the morning, we woke up and tidied the hut. It was a squish to get everything back in our packs. We walked back to the carpark, a different way this time, up and over the ridge to a lookout over Wellington. It was steep at first, but soon levelled out. We stopped for a snack at a corner where the sky peeked through, and saw a rata tree flowering a brilliant red.
The lookout gave an amazing panoramic view of Wellington. You could see all the way to the Makara wind farm in the west, the Kaikoura mountains in the south, and Te Awa Kairangi/Hutt River in the north. (You couldn't see anything to the east, though - just the ground and some gorse). From that height, you could clearly see the darker colour of the ocean in Raukawa Moana/Cook Strait, and the lighter colour of Te Whanganui-a-Tara/Wellington harbour.
After that it was a short walk down to the carpark and a short drive to a golf club where we had hot chips. The Year 9 tramp was fun, and I really enjoyed it. Thanks to all the teachers, parents and the Tararua Tramping Club for making this trip possible.
- Party members
- Ava Laing (scribe).