Senior student Mitre Flats tramp
18-19 March 3023
At a wee bit past nine, we loaded up the van, squeezed in and were on our way to the Tararua Range! The drive was uneventful, and we soon found ourselves walking along a gravel four-wheel-drive track that marks the beginning of the Mitre Flats tramp.
The track wound its way through sunny farmland, with good views of the river and the valley up ahead. The group began to spread out and soon we had entered the shady bush. Tūī, pīwakawaka and kererū flitted and swooshed through the valley, calling out to one another. We got properly wet feet walking through the various side creeks and had to navigate some gnarly roots and rocks. After a long time trekking through the stunning Tararua bush, we crossed over the massive Waingawa River in full flood, grateful for the solid bridge under our feet.
After a couple of hours resting our feet at Mitre Flats Hut and eating delicious, scrambled pancakes, three of us decided to head up Mitre Peak - the highest in the Tararuas. The Mitre Track zig-zags its way up a steep shoulder, and the bush slowly begins to transform from open beech and fern forests into a cool, dark goblin forest. Beautiful moss dangled from the branches of the gnarled trees. As the canopy began to lower, we reached a small clearing. It was getting late, but the clouds parted for a moment to throw stunning fingers of light through the misty forest. Finally, we pushed through a thick canopy of plants and found ourselves above the bushline. We stopped for a small rest, taking in the amazing tussock and dracophyllum, then headed back down to the hut. After such a long day, we were happy to rest our legs by the fire and talk about everything under the sun, from grand tramping plans to breakfast.
The next morning we woke to a perfect day. The sun was burning off the layer of mist that cloaked the valley. We quickly packed up and packed out, leaving via the track we had come up the day before. We were all very tired and glad to slump into the van for the drive home. We stopped off in Carterton for the customary hot chips at the Wild Oats Cafe, then headed home.
- Party members
- Fynn Marno-Simpson (scribe).