Hemi Matenga Scenic Reserve and Kaitawa Scenic Reserve MF
30 August 2023
The trip began at the DoC access track on Huia Street, Waikanae, and ended 8 ½ hours later at the top of Hadfield Road, Pekapeka. During the first hour we followed a trapping route along the western edge of Hemi Matenga Scenic Reserve. At the northern extremity of the reserve we popped out of the bush and from 200m elevation we had expansive views north and south over the Kapiti coastal plain. The second hour was a steep 300m grind following a trap line up to the ridgeline track. In a sunny spot, sheltered from the northerly breeze, a welcome break was taken.
When we reached Field we serendipitously connected with Chris Munn's 'Tower Tour' party. After the obligatory photo we entered the bush and followed the route towards the Lodestar plane crash site. We bypassed the crash site and followed the prominent spur leading in a NE direction into a headwater of the Waikanae River. Our travel down that spur was facilitated by recently-positioned pink markers. Travel down the watercourse to the first significant forks was straight-forward, as the late winter water level was very low.
At the forks Peter stayed with the packs and three of us went downstream about 50 metres to an obstructive waterfall that necessitated the use of a rope to allow ease of descent ( this waterfall had required agile creativity when ascending it on a previous trip). About 100 metres downstream of the waterfall we went up a significant sidestream on the TL – this was an exploratory investigation, initiated by curiosity about the map's tight contour lines on the watercourse's TR. After travelling with ease a few hundred metres upstream, we had a sense of the topography and realised we would need more time to fully explore the headwater, so we returned to join Peter for lunch.
After lunch we went NE up a spur that led to point 530. The lower section of the spur was very narrow, with a precipitous drop towards the stream we had investigated. From point 530 we were able to follow the remnant of a logging road through to a bush road, and hence to the main access road up to Field. Then it was a plod down to the cars at the top of Hadfield Road. Thus ended a day that took all party members into varying degrees of new territory.
- Party members
- Bill Allcock (leader and scribe), Colin Cook, Peter Morten, Janette Roberts