November Walks

Walk Takaka Hill Walkway

We led our walking group around the loop track of the Takaka Hill Walkway early November. It is private property and the walk is via the Queen Elizabeth 2 National Trust so no permission needed. A thanks to the owners! Starting from the car park then along a little to turn off onto a bush track that climbs through some pretty good native bush to come out on the road to the TV radio towers. At the start of the bush track is an old hut. Or was. It still is really but now it is on its side and the old ‘petrified’ cow is still inside! Disintegrating peacefully together?

The old hut where the cow got stuck inside.

We had morning tea back out on the road then walked up to and around those towers to continue along a fairly rough track over kaast limestone country passing by interesting rock formations. Meandering through patches of native bush and grassy clearings but the track in need of some maintenance especially in cutting back the gorse bushes. Just about right on noon we came to a small grassy clearing and settled down out of the sun for lunch. The track continued in a large loop, came back out on the road and then a walk back to the car park and home.

The Left Branch of Wairoa River

The Wairoa River and a side stream waterfall.

Another walk was up the Wairoa River but this was just along a metal road which towards the end now has a locked gate. Then further along there is another. Years ago, one could drive much further than this before hoisting a pack to start the walk to the Mid Wairoa Hut.

If I remember right, it used to take about an hour or less from where one could park the car to walk the forestry road and then enter the Mt Richmond Forest Park to start the tramp to the Mid Wairoa Hut, about a four hour walk. I’ve walked this track several times and also have done some volunteer work for the Department of Conservation. This was to re-mark the track with the new orange track markers (and removing the old Venetian blind track markers), from the hut up to the ridge and also the branch track to Tarn Hut. It took several days. But now? It appears that the old track has been abandoned by DoC. The extra long walk in plus the unmaintained start of main track certainly will put people off. Just another access that we have lost over the last twenty years. Yes, one can still go through but really?

Track marking mid Wairoa Hut, 2000

An American bought about 840 hectares of native bush and pines to form 70 kilometres of mountain bike tracks now called the Wairoa Gorge Mountain Bike Park. Apparently he is a keen mountain bike rider but recently he gifted it all to New Zealand. This is certainly a generous gift. It now seems that the Nelson Mountain bike club has a lease on the place exclusively for their members. Let’s hope that DoC can improve the access for trampers who wish to enter the Forest Park at this point. While the mountain bikers enjoy what they like doing too. But the gates are still locked.

We parked our cars at the first locked gate and walked the roughly 4 kilometres to Barry’s Flat in time to have lunch. The Wairoa River and the surrounding bush was quite picturesque in places too. Then we attempted to walk a little along the track in the park but it was well over grown so turned back and walked back out to the cars.

The rainfall at our place for November was 86.5mm with this month’s average being 88mm so just a little less water for this month.

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