This article was first published in the Tararua Tramper in August 1997
Kaitoke - Marchant Stream Spur - Mt Marchant
17 May 1997
After a cautious drive north through the Hutt Valley, squinting into the early morning sun that was filtering through the valley mist of the frosty morning, we left the upper Kaitoke carpark just after 8am. We entertained ourselves with varied conversations as we traversed the familiar track over the Puffer Saddle, past Smith Creek Shelter and on to Marchant Stream, where we had a mid-morning nibble and drink.
Then it was up the spur on the true left of Marchant Stream. This spur was quite well defined and there were no major ground obstacles to impede our progress. Lunch was taken at a spot remembered by Peter (about 880 metres) and all commented on the absolute lack of wind - very uncharacteristic of the Tararua Range.
About twenty minutes after our post-lunch re-start, we struck the track on the top of the Marchant Ridge, and shortly thereafter passed Mt Marchant (1035m) and came out on to the burn. We detoured slightly to two rocky promontories to take in the views west to Kapiti, south to Wellington and Mt Matthews and east to the Wairarapa; made all the more enjoyable by the continued lack of wind.
With the prolonged lack of rain the track down to Dobson's site was mainly without its characteristic boggy patches. A quick snack and drink at Dobson's and then we were quickly back at the carpark for 3.45pm.
It was a pleasant day to explore an alternate escape route if the Marchant Stream was in flood. Several comments were made that the Marchant Stream Spur was a better alternative to the Block XI track to access the Marchant Ridge from the Tauherenikau Valley.
- Trip members were
- Peter Jagger, Michael Bartlett, Sieny Pollard, Tim Connor, Teri Goh, Dave Reynolds, Bill Allcock, Sandra Barns, Paul Barns, Tim Stone (leader).