Otaki Forks - Tregear Creek - Kime Hut - Rae Ridge
January 19, 20, 21 2007
Map S26 Carterton
It was under a sky of high grey clouds that we set off along the familiar Waiotauru Track to Waiotauru Forks and east into the catchment of the Eastern Waiotauru River [Snowy River], stopping at the end of logging road.
Refreshed by energisers, we made our way up the Snowy River to where Tregear Creek flows into it. This was new territory for all of us. From the ‘nipple’ shape on the map (where Tregear Creek turns on itself from flowing northwest - grid ref 976293) upstream to about 500 metres below the major forks in the creek, travel in the watercourse is very pleasant. The final 500 metres below the forks presented continuous and significant challenges to our travel. Not far upstream from the forks in the true right branch, at grid ref 986280, we established a comfortable fly camp. The morning’s grey clouds had descended as the day progressed but we only experienced the lightest of mist settling in the valley as we enjoyed our meal, prepared over an open fire. At various times during the night as ‘nature calls’ necessitated, all members of the party were impressed with the significant display of ‘glow worms’ in both banks of the creek.
On the morning of the second day, we clambered up the side of the spur between the two branches of Tregear Creek and traveled along the crown of the spur that took us up to Bridge Peak on the Southern Crossing. This spur has a deceptive steepness to it and the section in open tussock has short sections of significant steepness. As we went over Hut Mound, the mist we had encountered intensified, and we only sighted Kime Hut when we were no more than about thirty metres from it. A late lunch was enjoyed at Kime.
After lunch we strolled up to Mt Hector but the only vistas were occasional glimpses into the Wairarapa as the mist parted. The wind was blustery but the mist was not damp (a very unique experience). That Saturday night of Anniversary Weekend, Kime Hut was almost full, so the usual chill experienced at the hut was missing.
We awoke on the third day of our trip to the usual thick, swirling Tararua grey colour - the loos could not be sighted from the hut. Our adventure for that day was to descend to Dennan and navigate our way down Rae Ridge in the mist – successfully done, with only a couple of ‘recce confirmations’ required.
The trip was a varied circuit (river travel, spur travel and challenging bush navigation) through much new territory for all of us. It confirms the writer’s belief that adventurous tramping can be enjoyed without having to go into remote areas of the Tararuas.
- Party members
- Bill Allcock (scribe), Dave Reynolds and Tim Stone