Wed 12 Oct 2011
Wayne Griffen has been leading, on average, two medium Wednesday trips a year for about the past 10 years. Because he lived in Manakau his trips have all been in the Otaki-Levin area. Wayne has taken us to many interesting places such as Panatawaewae, Spion Kop, Square Knob, Pyramid, Thompson, Pukeatua, Waikawa Stream, Makaretu Stream, Waitohu Stream, and West Waitewaewae River. Wayne invariably used routes that he had discovered himself or reopened. He knew the area extremely well, including its history, and where to find private huts, native snails and orchids.
Unfortunately for us, Wayne has moved to the Wairarapa. The Makahika trip was probably his penultimate club trip in the area.
We started from the end of Gladstone Road and walked up the Makahika Valley until we reached Foxhole Ridge. Wayne explained that the name was a result of the army training there before and during the Malay conflict. After about 2.5 hours we reached the main ridge about a km north of Marquee. A little later we ate lunch on bump 711. Lunch was brief due to the persistent light rain; luckily the wind was light and air temperature relatively mild. After lunch we continued north along the ridge for about another hour, following Wayne’s markers and adding more as required. Soon after dropping off Makahika (658 m asl) we hit the new section of Te Araroa Walkway (opened 2008) about 15 minutes above Archeys Lookout, from where there is apparently a splendid view of Kapiti Island, the South Island, and the Makahika Valley. We followed the muddy track back down the valley through some attractive forest that the millers had missed. The walk took nearly 7 hours
For information on this section of Te Araroa, see: www.teararoa.org.nz/manawatu/the-mangahao-makahika-track/
- Party members
- Wayne Griffen (leader), Marg Conal, Tricia French, Justin Kerr, Debbie Byers, Antony Neyland, David Ogilvie (scribe), Kerry Popplewell, Bill Wheeler.