14 participants (including yours truly, non-member) Sunday 7 th Aug 2011 to the Wires Track off Maratoto Road in the Coromandel. Leader Ian Morris.
Half-dozen high-speed types did the upper loop (all 4-wheel drive trail) before following the other eight down the Wires track. The Wires gets its name from the necessity for the 1860's (or there-about) route of the telegraph wires across the Coromandel range and down the coast to Gisborne, to avoid the lines being wrecked by the native population in the Waikato, still in the throes of the Maori wars.
Waterfall is just (10 minutes) off the track, better observed BEFORE or AFTER (but definitely not DURING) a hail-storm.
PS It wasn’t all a four wheel drive track with the speedy types – but the initial part of the day was with deep rutted muddy tracks with the odd rocky bit. In the rocky sections we could identify bits of 4WDs which had come unstuck – wing mirrors, mud flaps and so on. Some of the holes were so deep there may well have been a complete Land rover down there! Eventually we did come onto the Wires track through the pleasant bush tracks. The very heavy and large hail lasted on tracks for some time. After this walk we went on to see the Maratoto summit – driving along the road and leaving John to take photos of a house where his family had lived in the past. The day was completed by a pie stop in Paeroa (or should it be Pie a roa??)Trish
This was a fantastic trip, and, in spite of dire predictions on the weather front the conditions weren’t a problem at all- as we were all in huts!
Our party consisted of Helen, Paul, Lynda and me. We set off into a stiff breeze up the Te Tuhi track, to the Mangamuka Hut, including a half hour of stream bashing up a very pretty little stream on the way there. The stream was a perfect spot to enjoy lunch. The day’s walk took about 3 hours, leaving plenty of time to settle into the delightful little hut. Yes, only four beds, but perfect for a party of our size. The hut had been done up – a sky light, collapsible table, fireplace – indeed all mod cons, even running water- in the nearby stream. A very peaceful little spot. In the night it hosed down with rain but we were very cosy in our little hut.
Sunday. An early start leaving the hut at 8.30 heading back in the direction we had come the day before to meet the North south track and head down to the Wairere falls, which were at their spectacular best. As Roger commented you usually only see one and a half streams tumbling over the drop – not the three we saw. At the falls we met Eileen and Roger from the other party who had climbed up from the car park to get to the viewing platform. Our day was about a six hour tramp on well marked tracks with impressive stands of Tawa early on and then Rimu giants.
The other group went up Thompsons track to Motutapere hut, of similar size to ours then back on the Motutapere track to the Tuahu track meeting us at the falls.
This was a trip of a number of surprises
1 Getting a leisurely coffee break in Matamata on the way there – very civilised
2 The excellent mature bush
3 The cosy, perfect little huts
4 Well marked tracks including one we hadn’t expected – we found on the way back towards the stream bash of the previous day there was indeed a well marked track avoiding the said stream altogether
5 THE HIDDEN MATTRESSES! We had been surprised that Mangamuka Hut had no mattresses. The other party informed us that mattresses were in a lift up cupboard- which we had slept on – with Thermarests! (I have to say it is one of the most comfortable sleeps I have had in a hut – and that too was a surprise!)
Thanks, Roger for another special tramp and to Helen and Campbell for driving.
The 'Root march' off the Hakarimata Walkway
After much chatter and banter on the bus on route to the Waikato, we draw up to Parker Road. Eagerly everyone jumps off the bus, and looks upwards to where we are headed.
Our group starts up the 1500 steps to the top. Now, 1500 steps does sound a tiny bit daunting at the outset, but the steps are surprisingly progressive, gravelled and well kempt, with the reward of an extremely healthy looking 600 year old Kauri Tree half way up the ascent.
The first viewpoint provides a hazy vista up the Waikato River past the Huntly Power station towards Lake Waikare. Not long after here we stop for a chat with the first hunter (of three groups that day) and his accompanying K9's who'd just missed out on a pig.
Lunch time rolls around and we find a dryish spot to sit and devour lunch, as it's precipitating by this stage.
Brian our driver extraodinaire for the day and John turn back after lunch to move the bus back around to Brownlee Ave, both groups end point and we girls (Lynda, Dora the Explorer, Pam, Marianne, Marilyn & I) make our way along "tree root central". Certainly keeping us on our toes, in both senses.
The summit of the Hakarimata Walkway at 374 metres, provided a good spot for afternoon tea, but devoid of any views due to tree coverage.
The last hour down to Brownlee Ave, was hilarious as Brian and John had walked up the extremely steep slope to meet us. Brian the paparazzo, practising his photographic skills, hoping for an action shot as we grab another tree root to wend our way down another level. Watch out Ian, I think Bryan is trying to win that "action" shot next year! Angelina and Lady Gaga, eat your hearts out, you've got nothing on a mud covered, inelegant tramper, posing for a photo. Mud might become the new chic in Milan.
John (the Domino) Lamb, taking one leap and about 3 slides forward, so we moved him to the front so we don't become a line of collapsed domino's, white dots, not the pizza. Haha!
The last segment through the fern grove to the Waterworks Track was quite tranquil with an gently trickling stream alongside. With a neat defunct 750,000 litre reservoir that used to supply water for Ngaruawahia.
A trip a few more kilometres down the road, and most partake in a quick, relaxing dip at the Waingaro Hot Pools before the bus journey home.