Renata Hut has loads of ambience. Ambience of a basic tin shed with some paint slapped on about 100 years ago with a collection of critters and the special indoor garden found in all continually damp locations. But I have never yet been sad to see it. All routes in I have taken so far have meant arriving late in the day, over some distance and sometimes in not the best weather. The last was no problem on this trip – unbelievably fabulous weather from Friday to Sunday night. But I was still glad to see the hut having covered by far enough ground for one day.
I signed up for the trip not too sure of the plan apart from it included Pukeatua, Te Araroa and Renata Hut, but without knowing how they were to be connected. Assuming it would all work out and maybe match a trip I had done previously with some section of the Te Araroa which was new to me, I signed up. It all turned out very well. Especially the pudding; despite the cook’s lamentations.
Trip points of interest:
• ratio of punter to GPS capable devices: 1:1;
• number of near face plants: 1;
• number of golf-ball size bumps on the shin: 1;
• number of nights where pig snorty snuffly noises were heard: 2;
• number of additional people at Renata Hut on saturday night: 1;
• number of mad hunters at Renata Hut on saturday night:1;
• number of hunters who road in on a bike from the Akatarawa Saddle with a pack and gun to Maymorn Junction enroute to Renata Hut: 1;
• rate of increase of obstacles on track on approach to Renata Hut: exponential;
• rate of increase of swearing on approach to Renata Hut: exponential;
• exertion requirement on Sunday: inversely proportional to Saturday;
• moonlight rating: daylight;
• minutes Ray’s trip were late for picking us up: -1;
• cups of tea measure: very poor (not really the weather for it);
• weather measure: exceptional (hard to imagine better);
• number correct of predictions Marie made: an unblemished zero.
I recommend doing the Te Araroa track between Otaki and wherever it comes out on a road again before it gets too popular and is turned in to the usual trampled meter wide grotty rooty slog fest the popular tracks in the Tararuas usually become before someone gets serious and puts a road in (see the Kapakapanui track for example – you have been warned!). I have heard that people have done it over and back as a day trip, but you probably need to be a bit mad. But I am also sure there are madder options out there if you need a bigger challenge. Would be good for a run too (if you like that kind of thing) while still being less vertically challenging than most of the usual Tararua track runs. It is a nice spot, get in while the going is good.