Mt Uwerau yes, Mt Manakau no (again)

Descending Mt Uwerau

In June 2018 we attempted to climb Mt Manakau, the highest peak in the Seaward Kaikouras. We turned around at ~1500m on the Surveyor Spur as the snow conditions were slowing us down considerably and the weather was showing no signs of improving. After the weather conditions for the Southern Alps were forecast to be … Read more

Mud and sun at Te Matawai

Tararua Ranges

On Saturday we set off in the van from the railway station just after 6am. We arrived at the Poads Road end carpark south east of Levin at about 8am and were greeted by a local, very friendly chicken, and made to feel welcome. Most of us had the pleasure of sampling the especially ripe … Read more

Swift Water Session – Practical Skills for Swift Water

A person signals for release from the strainer

Water is one of the biggest tramping hazards in New Zealand. Too many anxious moments in moving water have given me an appreciation of how treacherous moving water really is. Seemingly little mistakes can have big consequences and there is no opportunity to back off or change your mind when you are caught in the … Read more

See-the-Saw Soaring into the Sky

Looking down on the full length of the Sawtooth from Tiraha

Let’s start by listing the things this trip did not have: injuries, complaints, Turkish food. That’s about it. Ok, let’s look at what it did have; everything else! Our carefully laid plans to get over the hill and enjoy a kebab in Carterton were scuppered after we found the long time WTMC favourite dinner-stop closed … Read more

Jacs Flat Bivvy Adventure

Two people set up at Jacs Flat Bivvy

Megan and Sam arrived at the train station to meet Simon on the Friday night, and the three of us were the only ones rattling around in the WTMC van. We stopped briefly for pizza & kebabs at Carterton, then drove to the Holdsworth road-end to arrive at about 7pm. We then hoofed up to … Read more

Faerie Queene solo trip

Waterfall near the top of Camera Gully

Over Easter weekend I was on a climbing holiday in Takaka and having a very excellent time; and looking forward to a tramping trip over the ANZAC weekend up to the summit of Faerie Queene (a mountain in the Spenser range, just south of the Nelson Lakes). The plan was simple, head down the St … Read more

A classic northern with a twist (Tararua Ranges)

Overlooking a ridge while standing at Bannister

The plan: a two day traverse via an interesting looking spur from Bannister to the Ruamahanga.  4.30am Saturday – the cell phone buzzes. Mike has dragged himself out of bed and is heading my way. It’s pleasant to have company for the trip to Poads Road and good to be walking by 7am under lights. … Read more

In Search of Ruahine Mountain Dolphins & Pasta in the Ruahine Ranges

Sunrise in the Ruahine Ranges

On Friday we stayed at Triplex Hut before our group had a very relaxed start, while the medium group took off by 7am. The climb up to Sunrise Hut was interspersed with interesting little info signs about the surrounding bush (such as mistletoe) and bird life. At Sunrise Hut we left our overnight gear behind, … Read more

Off track with the goblins in East Holdsworth

Trampers in the goblin forest, East Holdsworth

If you go off track in the Tararuas, beware of the enchanting goblin forests. The morning started with my favourite way to start a tramp, taking photos of amazing mushrooms before crossing a nice swing bridge. About an hour in we met a couple of veteran club members coming out of the bush to get … Read more

Penn Creek Hut

Penn Creek in the Tararua Ranges

5.45am.  Platform 9.  A large bus load of passengers disembarks their Auckland bus, presumably arriving for that evening’s Eminem concert.  It was a little earlier than usual to be meeting for an overnight tramp.  We were expecting a hot day and decided to tackle the uphill section in the cool of morning.  At 7.35am we … Read more