Kaitoke Ranger's House - Hydrology Tower - Bump 533 - Phillips Stream Forks - Bump 630 - Bump 592
17 June 2000
Topomap Carterton S26
Within a span of five minutes the vehicles transporting the party members arrived at the ranger's residence at the waterworks entrance to Kaitoke Regional Park, and by 7:50 we were away to immediately tackle the breath-shortening climb up the access road to the Eastern Hutt valley. After crossing Phillips Stream near its confluence with the Eastern Hutt River, we walked along to the swing bridge over the river. From here we turned our backs on the bridge and crossed through a boggy patch before scrambling up on to a terrace where a NIWA hydrology tower is situated.
Yvonne and Dave then lead up the spur on the true right of Phillips Stream. Just after passing spot height 533 we stopped for a short break and felt the cooling effect of the strong northwesterly wind. Then it was upward along the well-defined spur to a height of 785 metres (according to Dave's altimeter), at the southern end of a flattish area that runs north-south from spot height 790 metres.
Peter then lead us down the spur that runs slightly west of south from this flat area. The top end of the spur can cause some uncertainty because of its broadness but as the altitude decreases the spur becomes very narrowly defined and leads directly to Phillips Stream Forks, where we arrived right on midday.
Although the low sun did not reach into the stream valley we were out of the wind and it was a very pleasant spot for lunch, enhanced by Dave Reynolds brewing a billy of tea, which was appreciated by all.
After lunch we clambered up to bump 630 and were pleasantly surprised to met Marg and Mike, who had missed the start of the trip due to transport problems and so had come in the reverse way.
Uninspiringly for them they chose to turn and repeat the winding, scraggly route along the ridge top with the rest of the party. The route along this ridge top requires careful route finding because of the numerous turns and dips in the ridge and the closely-packed regrowth towards the western end. When we came out on the access road to complete the circuit we had a quick drink, a biscuit and a lolly from Peter in the cool wind before we headed back down to the cars, finishing at the reasonably early time of 3:30pm.
Trip member were: Mike Arnold, Yvonne Ashworth, Marg Conal, Colin Cook, Dave Dyett, Nick Harvey, Peter Jagger, Masaki Kojima, Bernard Molloy, Dave Reynolds, Tim Stone, Bill Allcock (leader and scribe).