Walls Whare - Makaka Creek Spur - Cone Ridge - Clem Creek Spur - Walls Whare
21 May 2001
An early start was needed to complete this medium-fit trip in daylight so we were heading onto the motorway by 6.10am. The road into Walls Whare is in good condition until you reach the logging operations where there is some rather thick mud. The Devil Creek ford now has a concrete bottom, making it easy to cross as there are no ruts or scoured holes.
We were unable to drive to the road end but we found a good park alongside a large clawlike object used to pick up logs. We arrived at the road end at about 8.00am. Some of the good camping around the toilet block at the road end has been temporarily put out of operation by the logging.
After crossing the long swing bridge which DOC appear to have worked on to reduce its swing, we headed up the true right of the Waiohine River. Over night rain and some heavy showers late in the week had resulted in the Waiohine running quite high and we wondered about the two major side streams we were to cross. Clem Creek was higher than expected but crossable with care, as was Makaka Creek. The latter was crossed a little upstream from the usual crossing place.
The Makaka Creek spur is a good spur to follow onto Cone Ridge as for the most part it is very good travel with a well-established route which is easy to follow and one or two little bits of tape which assist in some places which without it may be a bit troublesome. The spur is also very long with only a few steepish bits but its full of interest with some good views and some quality vegetation. About bump 386 there is a flattish area with stands of very impressive Rimu and further up the spur there is a moss lovers delight in a little bush clearing roughly between 550 and 600m Ė a combination of sunlight and damp moss is an impressive combination.
Once on Cone Ridge we started to think about lunch and eventually a sheltered place was found which was out of the wind, but the temperature was rather cool so we didnít linger. After lunch we made our way across the saddle and onto Cone peak where we located the Clem Creek spur and started our descent.
For a start the spur is well defined and easy to follow, until between 800 and 700m it is rather broad with another spur heading back to Makaka Creek; keeping to the right towards Clem Creek is a good rule to follow. We located some old blazes which seemed to be too far left so we stuck to a good spur which intersected the Cone Saddle track about 100m from Clem Creek. We now had the objective to be out before dark. When I arrived home I looked at an old Tararua map, 1950 second edition, and located a route which would account for the blazes. The route would also intersect the Cone Saddle track but further from Clem Creek. After a short stop at Clem Creek we headed for the road end and arrived before dark having completed the circuit, a genuine medium-fit trip, in 9 hours.
Party Members: Yvonne Ashworth, Bill Allcock, Susan Guscott and Dave Reynolds (scribe).