Carkeek Not Picnic 18-20/02/2011

Carl and myself on a wander from Otaki Forks to Waitewaewae hut for friday night and then out to Poads road via Crawford, Park Forks, Carkeek, Arete, and down South Ohau. A wonderful pile of huts to visit, especially with our Saturday sideways to Anderson Memorial.

Friday (dark blue)
To Otaki Forks and off to Waitewaewae for food, beer, and a nice Ardbeg 10yo whisky. The hut has had some visitors that dont seem to have any idea on how stupid they are. Open packets of food and a bottle of milk and other trash where left on the bench.  Some huts need hut wardens.

Saturday (light blue)
Its a bit of a climb up from Waitewaewae but not an unhappy event.
Up to Junction Knob where we discovered a good use for the extensive DOCware that is crowding the Taurarua's. Notice the times are getting longer.
Followed by a quick visit to Anderson Memorial hut where there is a bit of historic rain gauge.
On again to Nichols Hut where we meet a very big pack with slippers and pillow, comfort overriding fast travel :-). Thats our packs beside the monster.
We dropped down following a blue tagged trail that got us easily to Park Forks, thank you who ever you are you have down a great job at keeping a route open.I was last here about 25 years ago and there was a big old looking cairn, or my memory is broken, as the cairn was no longer here.
Up Carkeek ridge past the wasp nest to Carkeek hut, excellent track and not to overgrown. 
With the locked cupboard smashed open we see another example of the fine types that get out in the hills. Whats with the senseless vandalism of the remote shelters we all depend on?
Oh well another evening of relaxation with a couple of Ardbegs to toast the day after some tasty food and our last beer.

Sunday (red)
The home leg, from Carkeek hut over the Thompson, Lanchaster pair, to Arete for lunch and then down to Te Matawai with a meal stop at South Ohau hut.  Then the final blast down the South Ohau river to a pickup at Poads road. Compare the Carkeek rain gauge with the Mr Anderson one.
Off into the Sunday clag heading towards Carkeek.
Finding Arete via the cairns and a blast of GPS. Stopped at the very welcome Arete hut for a cuppa.
Leaving Arete we hit sunshine and views down the Park valley.
A meal stop at South Ohau hut where we meet a hunter who had been to many places we have been and places we want to go. Always good to find local knowledge. Leaving South Ohau hut we where heading out for food and work. What a terrible way to finish a weekend.
Thank You
Thanks to Carolyn who picked us up from Poads Road and dropped us back at Otaki Forks; and thanks to Mum and Dad for the coffee and ginger crunch. 

Huts Visited
  1. Waitewaewae
  2. Anderson Memorial
  3. Nichols
  4. Carkeek
  5. Arete
  6. Te Matawai
  7. South Ohau
Travel Times
  • Otaki Forks car park to Waitewaewae 3h10m
  • Waitewaewae to Junction Knob 3h17m
  • Junction Knob to Anderson Memorial and back 1h41m
  • Junction Knob to Nichols 1h25m
  • Nichols Hut to Park Forks 1h24m
  • Park Forks to Carkeek Hut 1h27m
  • Carkeek Hut to Arete Hut 3h36m
  • Arete Hut to Te Matawai 2h9m
  • Te Matawai to South Ohau hut 45m
  • South Ohau Hut to Paods Road 2h39m
Map of the Journey

A Carl map with nice colors as per day.

Out of the seven huts we visited only one had a fairy tale book in it. Fish that grew legs incremented by one.

Maungahuka Neill Forks Cone Ridge

Carl, Paul, and Ian going for a circuit from Otaki Forks.

Friday 04/02/2011 (yellow)
Left the city at a most respectable hour and arrived at Penn Creek hut way before dark. Very unusual event. Found that Fields hut was very dirty and there was no other option other than burning available to us, as the books left there where rather thick, heavy, and full of rubbish. The smoke is our friend.
Field Hut
On to Penn Creek in the rain and arrived to see a goat grazing out the back of the hut.
Goat grazing at Penn Creek Hut
Penn Creek Hut
Penn Creek Hut
Saturday 05/02/2011 (purple)
A great day in the clouds and wind that the Tararua rain forest thrives on, such a warm wind that we all had a single thin layer covered by rain coat when out on the main range and we where not cold.
Carl and Paul crossing Penn Creek
Pakihore Ridge
Carl on Pakihore Ridge
More Pakihore Ridge
Carl on way to Tararua Peaks
Paul heading to Tararua Peaks
It was one of the two hundred plus days when the Tararua's is not clear. Stopped at Maungahuka for food and drink.
Maungahuka Hut
On again down to Neill Forks for the night and lower down had views of a rainbow.
Rainbow on way down to Neill Forks
Sunday 06/02/2011 (green)
We left Neill Forks hut and headed off up Neill ridge on the "track not maintained", still an easy path.
Neill Forks Hut
Later this day it all got messed up with 80kph plus winds out on the exposed ridge and not much visibility and with one person wanting to go back we decided it would be best to not continue up Winchcombe to Hector, then Kime and back to Otaki Forks. 

What is this wind speed stuff reported from the Cone Ridge monitoring device? The following little picture gives us some idea of the conditions experienced. The URL for this is:
To turn the m/s into km/h check used this conversion:

The conversion gives a lot of km/h, so much so that it seems unreal. We couldn't do anything except struggle in that wind so we aborted on the way up Winchcombe ridge and headed back to the safety of the trees.

31/12/2014 updated this as the cone ridge wind speed now gives more data and km per hour.

Map Supplied by Carl
Clean up
Fish with legs count incremented by eight, not bibles but other trash.

Trip Times
1521 Left Otaki Forks car park
1718 Field Hut
1745 Left Field Hut
Penn Creek turn off
1924 Penn Creek Hut 
1011 Left Penn Creek Hut
1247 Out of the bush on Pakihore Ridge
1356 Down the ladder
1432 Arrive Maungahuka Hut
1524 Left Maungahuka Hut
1652 Neill Forks Hut (yes! 1 hour 28 minutes and no running)  
0820 Left Neill Forks Hut
1137 Last photo for the next six hours as it was too much rain and wind for my camera
1937 At Waiohine Gorge road end

Thank You
We could not return the way we wanted to. So we asked for help from Conrad and he picked us up from Waiohine Gorge and took us all the way back to Otaki Forks. He's getting married next week.