This article was first published in the Tararua Tramper in April 1998
Tauherenikau - Fan Stream Spur - Bump 770 - Smith Creek
22 November 1997
A fine weather forecast encouraged 17 members to turn out for what was a straight forward trip through some interesting and familiar country. After leaving the usual meeting place at the Brown Owl we headed for the Kaitoke road end. After climbing the Puffer Track we descended to the Smith Creek Shelter and then followed the Tauherenikau River track to a point just before Boulder Stream. Fan Creek is on the true left of the Tauherenikau River and it joins the Tauherenikau just about opposite Blue Slip.
After a stop in the warm sunshine, a drink and a bite to eat one member of the party, who had been unwell during the week, elected to do a trip by the river and avoid the extra strain of the (530m) climb to bump 770. While crossing the river another party member realised that a pressure bandage which was to be kept both tight and dry was now wet and starting to become loose. Realising that this may cause a problem later, two members turned back to the carpark.
After climbing a steep little bank out of the riverbed we were soon on a river flat which we followed in a north easterly direction to join Fan Creek Spur. The climb to bump 770 proved to be very straight forward through dry open beech forest. After reaching bump 770 finding enough flat land for 14 people to have lunch posed a minor problem but a suitable area was located a short distance past bump 770.
After lunch there were about five or six significant changes of direction on our route down a spur to Smith Creek. The first direction change was a short distance from bump 770 at an altitude of about 720m and after swinging sharply to the west we were soon to continue our descent in a south-westerly direction. A more subtle change occurred at an altitude of about 640m and a final change at an altitude of about 540m involving a change to the west and then back to south-west tending more to the west. The descent was characterised by dry underfoot conditions and patches of sharp second growth which Dave Dyett claims mortally wounded him, but not enough to prevent him from completing the trip in his characteristically cheerful manner.
On reaching the Tauherenikau River it was advisable to link up as the river was rather swift and narrow. Members used the new river crossing method of holding the waist straps; this method gives extra strength and stability. The party made its way over the Puffer Track and back to the cars in still sunny and warm conditions.
- The party members were
- Yvonne Ashworth, Margaret Conal, Sieny Pollard, Teri Goh, Rhonda Billington, Sue Cuthbertson, Mike Arnold, Gordon McKenzie, Peter Jagger; Dave Dyett, Earl White, Bernard Molloy, Michael Bartlett, Tim Stone, Robert Murray-Brown, Syd Moore and Dave Reynolds (leader and scribe).