On Sunday 14 April thirty-one people turned up for the Sunday tramp and the bus was full. Perhaps this was because of the pleasant autumn weather, and also because – after many months – we were returning to the Waitakeres.
Most of us disembarked at the northern end of Bethells Beach. We divided into two groups, a moderate party and a slower party, whilst a few people remained in the bus and continued on to Goldie Bush. As warned, right at the beginning of the Te Henga walkway we had to wade across a stream, as the footbridge had been washed away. We then followed the trail northwards, high above O’Neill Bay and a very rocky coastline. We did not have the track to ourselves and encountered a group of what seemed like a hundred, mostly young people, proceeding in the opposite direction. Around midday we stopped for lunch just south of Muriwai, then turned inland for Constable Road. There was a shower of rain which stopped as soon as we had put on our raincoats.
We entered the Goldie Bush Reserve and turned left for the Mokoroa Stream branch. We crossed back and forth across the stream;
at first it was possible to clamber across the rocks but, in the end, there was nothing for it but to wade through knee-deep water and splash around in water-logged boots for the rest of the day.
The Mokoroa Falls were pretty, and we could only imagine what a spectacle they would be after heavy rainfall. From the falls there was the only really long, strenuous climb of the day, up to Horsman Road and Big Yellow. Distance covered was 17.5 km.
Whilst those in the rear of the bus relaxed after our exertions, it was just as well that our driver remained alert as we encountered a car coming the wrong way on the motorway. Fortunately it was able to carry out a U-turn before having a head-on collision.