Waerenga to Mt Matthews Weekend
5th–7th December 2014
This is a trip that benefits from longer daylight hours; however this can put it in the middle of the pre-Christmas rush. Perhaps partly because of this, in the week leading up to the trip there were a vast number of changes both to the trip personnel and various other arrangements, which were made, unmade and then remade. However, by Friday we were finally sorted, or sort of sorted, with a group of 10 and 2 dogs.
Most of the party met for a picnic tea on Friday evening at the Catchpool and were treated to flocks of kereru roosting in the kowhai trees. The southerly wind had eased and the soft evening light made the walk into the Orongorongos a delight.
On Saturday Ken thought he would like to have a closer look at part of the terrain for the proposed Orongorongo mountain tops track, so he suggested travelling to the South Saddle via the ridge above Goat Stream. This idea was greeted with enthusiasm as many people hadn’t tried this route before. We were pleased and surprised that it was reasonably well marked. We finally arrived at the Saddle as the wind was strengthening. However we found a sheltered spot at the top of the Mukamuka Track and had an early lunch. Alan, Rob and Brian decided to travel on to the summit of Mt Matthews, but the rest of us preferred to continue enjoying the views from the Saddle and then amble back to Waerenga via the Matthews track and the valley floor.
Cecil joined us on Saturday night for what turned into quite a gourmet meal with everyone’s contributions and rather a lot of wine. Thanks to Julia bringing in copies of the Listener. We finished the evening with an impromptu quiz and I have to say we did quite well with our answers.
Early Sunday morning we had a pleasant walk out and were back at the car park just before the rain began. A tired but happy bunch!
- Party members
- Cecil Duff, Julia Fraser, Ken Fraser, Alan Graham, Ann and Brian Johns, Christine Leighs (scribe)