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Tararua Tramping Club

Te rōpū hikoi o te pae maunga o Tararua   -   Celebrating 100 years of tramping

Trip Reports 2024-02-06-Tauwharenīkau

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Alloway 1

Original size: 1,194 x 944; 632 kB
Trace: David McNabb
Alloway 2

Original size: 1,152 x 648; 185 kB
Alloway Dixon hut c1956. Photo: David Ogilvie
Alloway 3

Original size: 805 x 631; 333 kB
Fireplace remnant. Photo: Bill Allcock
Alloway 4

Original size: 1,613 x 785; 808 kB
Appropriate hot day's celebration of reaching the
trip's primary objective. Photo: David McNabb

This article was first published in the Tararua Tramper Volume 96, no 3, April 2024

Revisiting the Alloway Dixon Hut site

Waitangi Day 2024

In November 2023 a trip to visit the Alloway Dixon Hut site was attempted, following the former main track on the TR of the Tauwharenīkau River. To contribute to the 'historical' focus of the day, we followed 'Barry's Track' and a Joe Gibbs route into the Smith Creek catchment. Just prior to the current bridge across the Tauwharenīkau River, we headed along the former main track.

The pace of progress was erratic. Some sections of the former track were easily recognisable, and some sections had the party spread out, looking for signs of the footpad or DoC orange triangles. By the time we were approaching the Blue Slip it became evident, from a time perspective, that the day's primary objective would not be attained. Our focus then switched to looking for a secure river crossing spot, with the water level up but clear, in spring conditions. We crossed just upstream of Fan Stream and made our way back to the car on the current main track to complete a nine hour adventure.

Bill Allcock, Colin Cook, David McNabb

Not to be deterred by the first unsuccessful attempt, another trip set out for the Alloway Dixon Hut site on Waitangi Day 2024. This time the group followed the current main track, to expedite the day's travel time. The day's first objective, added to the original trip, was a stop at the Joe Gibbs Memorial Hut, reached in 3.5 hours. Thirty minutes later, we reached the primary objective, the Alloway Dixon Hut site, and lunched there in warm sun. The only evidence of the former hut's existence is a concrete fire surround.

With warm weather and time available, we set out after lunch on the third objective – to follow the former track downstream on the TR as far as we had reached on the first attempt – thereby ‘joining the dots’ (David's quote). Following the former main track south from the Block XVI track was challenging in places but we achieved the goal of getting over Blue Slip. At that point the river offers a pool with secure footing to cross to the TL.

Then it was back along the main route to the bridge where we reconnected with Tricia, who had left us just prior to reaching Joe Gibbs. A welcome swim was had at the pool by the bridge, and then it was a determined plod back to the carpark to complete a satisfying ten hour day.

Party members
Bill Allcock (leader and scribe), Tricia French, David McNabb, Sieny Pollard.

Page last modified on 2024 May 06 07:22

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