Tararua Tramping Club

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

Trip Reports 2024-05-24-Kapiti

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Ranata 1

Original size: 878 x 788; 162 kB
Sarah at Parawai Hut
Photo Mark Edwards
Ranata 5

Original size: 649 x 750; 282 kB
Goblin forest towards Kapakapanui
Photo Mark Edwards
Ranata 6

Original size: 746 x 797; 300 kB
Franz and Paul disagree on tsunami warning
markers Photo Mark Edwards
Ranata 7

Original size: 1,557 x 1,166; 347 kB
From Kapakapanui Photo Mark Edwards
Renata 2

Original size: 1,053 x 788; 363 kB
At the Waiotauru River wash-out
Photo Mark Edwards
Renata 3

Original size: 861 x 660; 137 kB
Franz’s fire at Renata Hut Photo Mark Edwards
Renata 4

Original size: 742 x 753; 287 kB
Paul, Sarah and Karen at the point
where track up from Maymorn junction
meets Kapakapanui loop on the tops
Photo Mark Edwards

This article was first published in the Tararua Tramper Volume 96, no 6, July 2024

Renata loop MF

24-26 May 2024

Thunderbirds are go! The forecast looks reasonable, maybe a spot of rain on Saturday afternoon, he says hopefully. After a couple of phone calls by the un-named van driver trying to figure out how to operate the van key fob, four depart Platform 9 at 4 p.m. Friday and pick up Franz at Jarden Mile before a quick trip north via Transmission Gully. What a positive difference the new road makes to a Friday rush-hour getaway! In transit the thought of a cold hut results in a detour to the Munns’ home in Peka Peka for some hardwood blocks (thanks Peggy and Chris!). Between us we lug enough for a nice blaze at Parawai and even some to get things going at Renata. A fine and cool evening across the slip at Ōtaki Forks to Parawai, which we have to ourselves (for a while). A glass of wine and a beer go well with the pre-dinner snacks: chippies, hummus, crackers and cheese. Packs disgorge contributions to the shared meal: Paul’s scrumptious pasta, assorted fresh vegetables, sundried tomato, olives, salami and 500 grams of cheese. Two! packets of chocolate Tim Tams ensure our diet included all the major food groups.

A couple of hours after dark, footsteps on the deck signal company. Drat. An elderly male puts his head around the door-frame, ‘Just me and 15 boy scouts’. Faces fall. But no, it is just the legendary ‘night walker’ (on his own). Apparently this fellow spends many of his nights with a large old-fashioned torch, tramping the Tararua trails on his own. Interesting character – he tells us of his various camping spots with stashes of equipment. And then departs to continue his solitary mission.

Leave Ōtaki Forks at 7.45 a.m. and pick our way along the river with some slips with drop-offs to traverse. Close to Waiotauru, a section of track has been washed out. The ladies pick their way along the river, while Franz leads the others to scout a higher route. Maybe a situation to offer a low and high flow route? Arrive at Waiotauru Hut by 11.45. Previous visitors have left it in a messy state. Leave about 12.45 in deteriorating conditions with alternating drizzle and steady rain but mild temperatures. Another two hours mostly on old logging trails to Maymorn junction. From there Paul and Franz do an hour or so of track-marking improvement up toward Kapakapanui while the rest of us press on to Renata. There is one spot where a large treefall and a downward zag of the track lead to 10 mins of confusion casting around trying to regain the track.

The refurbished Renata Hut had apparently been greatly improved since a 2019 visit. We soon have a fire going and started the snacks. A game of Euchre (with dodgy scoring) passed the time until the track-marking contingent arrive. Franz makes very significant improvements to the fire, both aesthetically and in heat production, with judicious use of his folding saw and a resident axe to split larger blocks.

Sarah’s shared dinner is a masterpiece, with dehydrated potato and peas, garlic, chilli flakes, and bacon pieces. A lime and coconut cake with hot vanilla custard finish things off nicely. Not going to lose weight on this trip. Promise ourselves an early start with the prospect of a long day. All up before 6.00 - Sarah needs her customary two large mugs of black tea to get going.

Leave Renata Hut by headlamp at 6.45 and quickly get back to the junction. The track up to Kapakapanui summit has a reasonable gradient (for Tararua), with unusually tall goblin forest. Some parts of the track are sketchily marked – but the boys take care of that. Reach the summit by 10.30. It is clear and fine on the tops with great views out west across the coastal plain to Kāpiti – although very clagged-in behind us. Kapakapanui Hut is reached by 11.30 after a little debate about whether a hut for lunch is worth the short but very muddy steep descent. It is a pleasant lunch with sun streaming through the windows and a hot drink.

A prominent large orange triangle near point 890 indicates where to cut across to the Pukeatau Track. There are traces of a footpad in some places but really it is just a matter of staying on the ridge with a roughly N bearing. We hit the track again in a bit over an hour. From there it is just a long walk along the ridge and over .762, Pukeatau and .710 down to the Forks on a pleasant afternoon with sunlight filtering through the trees. Karen and Sarah forge ahead and the rest of us hit the van just at dusk, 5.30 p.m.

A good weekend hit out and some track now much better marked.

Party members
Mark Edwards (leader and scribe), Karen Baker, Franz Hubmann, Paul McCredie, Sarah White.

Page last modified on 2024 Jul 07 23:56

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