As I'm sure you'll remember, we headed through this area in early January. But as the Pukekohe Tramping Club were kind enough to invite us along to their Official 5 Summits Track Opening, late last year, we were reciprocating inviting them along to reckie our Albany tracks.
Not such a large group this month, being absolutely perfect for the altered version of this tramp, so we motored from our start point through along the paths and tracks taking in some of the history of the area and the odd nosh of fruit in the public reserves. The very old fruit trees surviving from days when there were a number of orchards in Albany. Yummo!
When we started the tramp it was slightly overcast and a bit cooler thankfully, so by the time we hit the Massey tracks, timing was absolutely perfect, extremely tall canopy above us to protect us from powerful heat being emitted by the sun, not to mention the punishing rays on skin. The shade and drop in temperature in this forest escarpment is bliss, trickling water in the stream below to help the whole forest bathing serenity.
A few quick photo stops along the way to admire some of the absolutely massive, exceptionally old Kahikatea, with impressively large epiphytes such as Widow Maker adorning their branches. Some of the very large Kahikatea through this area are approximately 800 yeas old. And we're so pleased that these and many other spectacularly large Totara, Rimu etc escaped the saw back in the 1800's from extensive logging in the area.
After lunch we completed the top loop in Tornado Alley tracks and dropped down to the stream track, to head for the track we've set, but not really cut yet. It's a bit of rough fun at the moment working our way through the undergrowth of mainly Punga and one roped area. It may have been mentioned when we popped out on the reserve side of Super Cheap Auto, that "it resembles a cave in there at the moment. 'By next time the club is through, that last bit should be fully tracked.
Completing the bottom part of the Tornado loop we motored back along the stream and spotted one of the many, cool individually painted Rocks sitting on a dead tree across the stream! Awesome!
Popping back out ready to do the other side of the stream for Massey tracks, motors running quickly along here, Kell Park and back along the last stream on the opposite side and we're back at the cars, with a smidge under 6 hours tramping time, not including lunch.
With 3 forested areas closed around Albany, if they re-open, we may end up with a potentially 9 hour day again. Good training ground, as that's where the bigger, steeper hills are.