Author Topic: Kaweka Ranges  (Read 1098 times)

Kaweka Ranges
« on: October 24, 2012, 05:35:43 PM »
Fri: Camped the night at the free DOC site at Mangatutu Hot Springs and had soak in hot pools, awesome spot, and a real treat.
Sat: Dropped off by a camper to the start of a Manuka ridge, past Middle Hut Junction, past Te Puia junction then 10 min later onto Makino Hut. Took 2hr:15 Doc says allow 2-3 Hrs.  From Makino hut (6 bunks, stove) tramped up to Whetu peak (1650m) then down into Ballards Hut in 4hr:30 for the night (4 bunks, stove, tidy hut). Itís a 200m scree drop from Whetu ridge to the hut.
Sun: Climbing back to the ridge takes 30min & another 30min to get back to Whetu peak junction.  From Whetu a metal pole route marks the way past North Kaweka (1707m WHICH SHOULD BE A PEAK BAG) this peak has a trig & antenna and is more notable than Keweka J.  The exposed ridgeline was almost impassable today with high winds that forced us to crawl at times but with high visibility (views are to die for on both sides) and no rain or snow we made it okÖ.ensure you have the right clothing, gloves etc.  A slow tramp due to the gale force winds but we finally got to Kaweka peak (trig now gone but a heaped stone memorial remains) and down to Dominie Bivi (2 bunk, tidy hut) for lunch 3hr:45 from Ballards Hut.  Ensure you take the Trails spur NOT Saddle Spur (itís harder) to Makahu Saddle Hut 1:hr (carpark is 20min away for the lazy peak bagger).  From Saddle hut to the Kaweka flats bivi (2 man dog box) 1hr:15 easy walking then onto Middle Hut (6 bunks, open fire) 2hr:15 later for our 2nd night in the huts arriving around 8pm on dark.  Local hunters shared their port as we sat at the open fire with our candle light dinner.  Donít just bag enjoy the journey too.
Mon: Middle hut back to the Makino hut junction (great forest but about 6 100-200m decent and rises in and out of valleys made this the hardest/worst of the tramping so far.  Then out the same ridge line as on Saturday to Makahu Rd (picked up by a local) back to our ute at the Hot pools for another soak before a few beers and a great meal at a local tavern in Te Pakei? before heading back to Hamilton. 
The forests were some to the best, pleasant, dry, bird song Iíve tramped while the ridge lines were an exciting adventure and views.  We will be back to do the other tracks soon.