Mitre Flats Hut/ Mitre – Tararua Forest Park

We met our crew of 9 trampers at Wellington Train Station on a beautiful morning and Jeremy drove us in the club van over the Remutuka Range, into the Wairarapa. Lovely to see some Autumn leaves and the morning mist rising over the water.

We stopped at Clareville Bakery in Carterton for the most amazing coffee and Kai- the most beautiful cabinet food I have ever seen. Replenished, we drove on to the Pines car park, where we met our final crew member (Michelle) and divided the shared gear up.

This was going to be a 4 hour tramp to Mitre Flats Hut. We traversed lovely open fields, following the Waingawa River for the first hour, and for the next few hours we walked through bush. You had to watch where you put your hands and feet and it was scrambly in parts – with lots of tree roots, mossy rocks and small streams to clamber over. Blair took a tumble and pulled a muscle and Beanie fell and got a big lumpy bruise on her shin. We made it to Mitre Flats Hut at around 2.30 pm – walking over a spectacular swing bridge to finish.

At the Hut we met some lads who were pretty much passed out. They were enjoying a great weekend in the Tararuas – walking and enjoying the impressive kai stores they had lugged to the the hut with them. Brave souls, Karen and Michelle, did a cold plunge in the river. We played some card games and then Blair and team made an excellent shared meal, for those who wanted it, of mac and cheese – with courgette, spinach and sausage. The hut got very busy, with several more parties arriving – including people from a Massey University tramping club and other groups who luckily had tents.

Members of our group who were keen to walk up Mitre Peak had an early night, followed by an early morning, and ventured out early using their headtorches. It took about 6 hours (return) to walk up Mitre Peak – and this was without breaks and at a steady pace. The track heading up to Mitre Peak was quite difficult to follow in the early morning darkness for those without a proper torch and veering off the track multiple times was a bit of an issue. The track was also very steep at the top. At the summit, the weather was perfect and the views were fantastic. It had been well worth the climb.

We regrouped at the Hut for lunch and while doing so, came across two other groups from our tramping club who had also been on adventures in the area.

The walk back to the Pines Car Park took around 4 hours – it had been a big day of hiking for most who had summited Mitre Peak too.

We couldn’t have asked for a more spectacular weekend of gorgeous autumn sun – but it was very frosty for those who had slept in tents.

Thanks to Blair for organising a great adventure – see you on the next one.

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