March 3-4th 2018
Pohokura advertised Barlow’s Hut, Parks Peak or Upper Makaroro so there were some great choices for anyone that had not been to these huts or make a return trip.
There were six in the party who left Havelock North in two cars headed for the Yeoman’s car park on a clear warm weekend. Before we set off at 9 a.m.along the new poled route to the Makaroro, river we decided that we would have two teams of 3 people- Parks Peak and Barlow’s but confirmation of this would
be confirmed at the Park’s peak turnoff.
Instead of the river walk to the track we went up Dutch creek, then up a spur on the true left to the forestry road which was about a 45 minute walk to the track. Decisions were now confirmed that the six of us would all go to Barlow’s hut for the night. The Yeoman’s track climbed steadily northwards through attractive beech forest where it opened out to good view points. With heavy weekend packs there were many short stops to re hydrate and check track positions
It was 2pm when we re grouped near the Barlow’s -Park’s Peak turnoff and the six of us would stay together and spend the night at Barlow’s hut. Glenda
calculated it would take about an hour and a half down to the Makaroro river to the hut. We knew it would be slow as its a very steep descent and the track is overgrown in places. The club maintained this track in 2015 starting from the river end but the top is now very thick with cutty grass covering the track. We also marked the track with orange triangles but today about 2/3 rds of the way in we lost the sight of the next marker. Derek did a quick scan through fallen trees in the direction of the track but no markers could be found. He used his GPS for track location but this seemed to take us away from the track through thick undergrowth of ferns and grasses. We returned to the original spot saw one more marker then no more. It was now 3.45pm.
Derek lead the way consulting his GPS at regular intervals but could not get an accurate reading to get back on the track. For the next few hours we bush bashed through thick, steep, undulating bush that seemed never ending. We were all getting tired and often had to untangle ourselves from vines and a messy undergrowth. The safest way down was to slide on butts which was confirmed with discomfort the next day. Derek and Dale kept scouting and once they found the river we went straight down a very steep drop. We were all so relieved to see to the hut at 7,30.pm.and found the track about 20 meters away from where we emerged. Drinks food and sleep were priority.
Sunday we had a more pleasant walk down the Makaroro river spotting trout, many deer prints, Glenda and Anne bird spotting and we made a visit to the Colenso memorial. An eventful weekend especially for the two who this was their first over night at a hut. and to quote Derek ” no one can say we have boring tramps”.
Janice L, Derek B, Dale B, Jude H, Anne D & Glenda H