Dates: 9th – 11th September, 2006
Location: Tararua Forest Park
Huts visited: Parawai Lodge (1 night), Waitewaewae Hut (1 night)
This was a WTMC easy-rated trip to Waitewaewae Hut in the Tararua ranges, from Sep 9th to 11th 2006, but most people agreed that it would have been better rated Easy-Medium.
We stayed the night at Parawai Lodge, which is a basic 18 bunk hut just over the swing bridge at Otaki Forks. The DOC information says it takes 4 hours to get to Waitewaewae, but this figure seems to be very misleading. (It’s probably for people who are quite fit and don’t stop for lunch.) It took us about 7 hours give or take a little.
The trip includes a substantial amount of wading up Saddle Creek, and then there’s quite a steep climb up (and down) a plateau. A smaller group of us then decided to wade along the Otaki River for about half a kilometer or so for the remaining distance to the hut, rather than follow the track up and around the edge. Judging by the reactions of people who turned up about 30 minutes after us, I think we’d gotten off quite a lot better.