Labour weekend of 2013 is meant to be a three and a half day treat from Otaki Forks, up to Hector and around a loop involving Neill-Winchcombe, Maungahuka and the Tararua Peaks. The weather forecast doesn’t look that great. Some rain, but more significantly there’s strong alpine wind predicted at speeds of between 70 and 110 km/hour as the weekend progresses, potentially getting worse. No doubt Tararua tramping at its best. Uhh, yeah…. We may need a backup plan.
Dates: 25th – 26th October, 2013
Location: Tararua Forest Park, Otaki Forks.
People: Craig, Debbie, WeiMin and me.
Huts visited: Field Hut (1 night), Kime Hut (0 nights), Parawai Lodge (0 nights).
Intended route: (From Friday to Monday) Otaki Forks up to Hector (Field Hut on Friday night), then Winchcombe, Neill, and navigate down spur direct to Neill Forks Hut for Saturday night. Up past Maungahuka, Tararua Peaks and back to Kime for Sunday night. Return to Otaki Forks on Monday.
Alternate route: Continue beyond Hector to Aston, then to Elder Biv for Saturday night. Past Renata and Maymorn Junction on Sunday, then up to Kapakapanui for Sunday night. Follow ridge along and past Pukeatua (.812) on Monday, back to Otaki Forks via Fenceline.
Actual route: Up Hector (almost). Down Hector.
[Download GPX] [Show map] [Display in new window][LINZ Topographic Map in new window]
All four of us convene at platform 9, after work on Friday night, and we’re away soon after. There’s already some dissent about the planned meal for tomorrow night. Debbie doesn’t much like the taste of kumura and WeiMin just doesn’t want to carry four of them. During our Waikanae dinner stop, WeiMin rushes away to New World and buys a 500 gram packet of rice. That’ll be enough to replace about half of the former ingredients.
I think WeiMin’s brought his own dinner from home. Debbie, Craig and I wander back to one of the fish and chip shops—the one that’s furthest away from where we parked, but which also has the most customers. It’s been a while since I’ve had fish and chips, but going tramping is a good excuse to pig out. Besides, we have to climb up 700 vertical metres before sleeping tonight.