Tīpuna and mokopuna take on the maunga!
September/October school holidays
In August I thought the biggest challenge for our latest tīpuna and mokopuna trip was booking Konini Lodge through the DoC on-line booking system. But that was before I saw the weather forecast!
Fortunately, Konini Lodge is well designed and very comfortable for large groups. And we should know because 10 adults and fourteen children spent most of the three-day trip inside whilst outside it teemed with rain and low cloud obscured any views.
The Lodge has two living areas, one on either side of the well-equipped kitchen. The children commandeered one for various card games and other for boisterous activities with no known rules. Full credit to the participants who played really well together, even if the volume was more like ‘outside voices’ at times.
The adults hunkered down in the other room, to talk, play with preschoolers and read in peace and quiet. It seemed as if everyone was reasonably happy!
We had booked the entire lodge and so had six bunk rooms, more than sufficient for each of the five family groups, allowing discrete time-out and even sleep for some. The smallest children turned out to have some nocturnal habits and savoured an early start to the day, allowing their parents to see that, yes, it was still raining. Conversely, some of the older kids had to be winkled out of their snug cocoons in the morning.
On Tuesday, the second day of our trip, most of us had a brief walk to spectacular Dawson Falls The truly intrepid continued on to do the one-hour return Kapuni Loop Track, festooned with fantastic ferns and mosses.
And on Wednesday the adults declared that everyone was going out for a walk and would enjoy it! Our intrepid crew set off towards the bush-line via Hillary Seat and Hooker Shelter. Everywhere was saturated and every one of the many steps on the track harboured a pool of ankle-deep water. There were various turnaround options but Jim Gibbons led the hardiest kids up to Kapuni Lodge. We all returned drenched!
The families with the youngest children left at various times on Wednesday morning, as previously planned. A wise decision as, in spite of having a drying room, dry clothes were running out and exhaustion (adults and children?) was setting in.
By late afternoon on Wednesday, the cloud cleared, Tongariro appeared … and disappeared. Thursday, the day of our departure, dawned bright and clear but, gratifyingly, clouded over again as we drove off down the road, heading for home, the long journey tempered by chips or wedges (and strong coffee for the adults) in Bulls.
Despite the weather, I think a good time was had by all.
In case you are inspired by this account, our next trip is likely to be to Holdsworth Lodge in the April School Holidays. Save the date!!
- Party members
- Lynne White (leader and scribe). Lois Buckrell, Ella and Eve Buckrell; Jim & Diana Gibbons, Jack and Eva Beaumont, Zoan Gibbons; Peggy & Chris Munn, Helen Foo, Harry and Eddie Foo; Janette Roberts, Alice Cooke-Harvey, Lilian and Arthur Cooke-Harvey; Lynne & Warren White, Molly, Phoebe and Flossie Bisley, Mila and Cato Fraser