East Whakanui Track - Whakanui Track - McKerrow Track (Maps R27, R28, Pt.Q27
5 May 2001
This day trip was organised as one option to replace the scheduled trip that an unfortunately injured Peter Jagger was to have led. It was up-graded to medium-fit to allow the trip participants to explore some off-track options in the hills south and east of Wainuiomata, the area where Peterís trip was to have gone.
We were away from Sunny Grove at 7.45 am and Dave Reynolds left the rest of us panting in his wake as we headed up to the McKerrow Track intersection. After re-grouping, we moved up and along the ridge track at a brisk pace to spot height 800 from whence we headed down the East Whakanui Track, with another layer of clothing on to ward off the misty damp.
After coming out of the saddle at the head of Puketaha Creek we located the prominent rocky knob just off the true right of the track that was our point of reference to leave the track. We went back up the track less than 100 metres and picked out what turned out to be the spur we did not really want. In hindsight we should have gone further back up the main track to pick up the more prominent spur. Anyway, we followed down the spur, realised our miscalculation well down the spur and ended up at the junction of two small streams (782867). We then followed down the stream to its junction with the Whakanui Creek, which was where we had planned to join the creek.
We then went straight up the spur on the opposite side of the creek. At the top of the spur we crossed the Whakanui Track and tucked down in a damp glade out of the northerly breeze to have lunch. With the damp all around we did not linger over lunch and quickly were off down a minor spur into the Turere Stream, downstream of the falls marked on the Edition 3 map. As is usually the case, it was an initial very steep 80 metres up out of the stream bed on the western side; thereafter the long spur that took us up to meet the McKerrow Track at about 756869 had a very gentle gradient.
When we headed north along the McKerrow Track we did not have to put parkas back on as the miserable weather remained over the ranges to the east, and as we tramped along we had very clear views to Wellington City, Belmont Regional Park and north to Mt Wainui.
When we exited the bush at 4.15 we commented on the unseasonal warmth in Sunny Grove for late in the afternoon. It had been an adventurous day, with substantial off-track tramping in an area of hills just 45 minutes from central Wellington. The party had been a cohesive group that was able to move at pace off-track, and thereby complete the trip in a comfortable time.
Party members were: Colin Cook, Susan Guscott, Bernard Molloy, Dave Reynolds, Bill Allcock (scribe).