Atiwhakatu Totara Circuit

Jessie and I headed off to Atiwhakatu on Friday night leaving the Holdsworth car park just after eight pm. Was an easy walk as the track is well manicured all the way. People who work for DOC have been making some very easy to walk tracks, this is very good as people who want better than a grade three root hop have various choices now. Had a special whisky for this trip, Taliskers Distillers EDition 2000 from Centre City Wines and Spirits.
Friday 14/06/2013
Ye har an after work blast off into the Tararua's, no sitting round swilling piss for me. Drive and drive until got to Holdsworth road end. There was Jessie and we where off to Atiwhakatu. DOC is doing work on the tracks and this one is now state awesome. If you are planning a tramp for the first timers or the very old, or those with worn out knees then this is just the tramp to do. Track upgrades are not yet completed, but when it is it will be a fine walk.

Saturday 15/06/2013
Out of bed later eventually and we did finally leave the hut at eleven forty one heading for Totara Flats via the Mountain House Shelter route.
Heading off and had a laugh at the sign with its spelling mistake, someone earlier has had some fun with it.
Seems winter or June anyway is a great month for fungi in this forest park.
Up on Pig Flat it was clear enough that we could see Powell hut. Headed onto Totara flats hut and approx one kilometer from there was amazed at the new swing bridge heading crossing Totara creek.

Where is that going? Would leave that for tomorrow. Got to the hut and cranked up the fire using the supplied wood and coal; no better reason than to always pay hut tickets.
Sunday 16/06/2013
The other group of people got up and left early, I barely woke. Nice to sleep until eight thirty. Then got out of bed and had breakfast and tidied hut. Finally left at nine forty four. The pig rooting just after crossing the main swing is pretty impressive.
Crossed Totara Creek at the new swing and headed off along five hundred meters of newly graveled track. Swish job.
All in all a good tramp with ok weather and observe some really good ongoing and new DOC work. Even with all the lack of funds there is still some good stuff being done for access.

Trip Time

Friday 14/06/2013
2010 Left Holdsworth car park
2150 Atiwhakatu Hut
Saturday 15/06/2013
1141 Left Atiwhakatu Hut
1238 Mountian House Shelter turnoff
1329 Onto Pig Flat track
1344 Turnoff to Totara Flats turnoff
1417 Cross Totara Creek
1546 Totara Flats hut  
Sunday 16/06/2013
0949 Left Totara Flats hut
1016 Cross Totara Creek over new swing bridge
1136 Onto the normal track.
1243 Rocky Lookout
1318 Holdsworth car park.

The Map
This map is of the whole trip.

This is of the track using the new DOC swing bridge. It may be the future track for getting to Totara Flats hut as there has been no work done on the West side of Totara Creek.

Kime Hut - The new one

The aim of this walk was all about sleeping a night in the new Kime hut and with the weather it would be a good test to check out the internal chill; or lack of chill. A helpful tool to establish chill is a  light weight summer sleeping bag with silk liner and bivvy bag.

Saturday 01/06/2013
An afternoon wander up to Kime, hoping that there would be somewhere to sleep. Meet Marie on my way up and she had visited Kime so I knew it was open and habitable and there was room. Also snow she said.  And on Table there was a wee amount of snow.
Carried on into worsening weather but not too bad as far as Tararua weather goes. I was never blown over and therte was no sideways rain. Just a bit chill. First views of Kime hut for a couple of months and its a big difference.
I slept well in my summer sleeping bag, this hut is much warmer than the last monster.

Sunday 02/06/2013
A bit of a wake up late day. Looking for a hut book and find one and also see the hut plans and have a good read. The following image is what the expected hut should look like.
Its almost there on the outside, a bit of cosmetic work on the inside to complete. Entries in the hut book go back to March, with some noting no windows or doors for a bit.
After some breakfast and a few coffees I discussed my plan of heading to Penn Creek with Greg, who stayed last night in Kime like me. Greg decided he would also head to Penn Creek hut. Went out for a few hut photos, nice Tararua clag in the background.
Wandered off into the slightly cold and windy just before eleven heading for Penn creek hut. Got thereafter a few hours. Greg standing outside the hut.
And yes I failed to notice my wet lens. Must say a few words about Greg and his pack. It was f@cking heavy and I did my best to lecture him on such insanity. Must have told him at least a dozen times to just go out and buy a 35 liter pack. Would mean he would not carry all that random stuff that isnt neccesary. Told him of the rule I learnt, "if you cant eat it, cant wear it, and cant climb with it, throw it away".  It was a nice warm evening as we did the fire thing.

Monday 03/06/2013
Normal start to the day and then a  clean up of the hut and replace the firewood we used. Then it was a slow trip up the track to Table. Nice shroom on the way.
And here is Greg beside the sign warning of the dangers using the old track. It is a great route now, with some nice slips to cross.
On to Fields for a lunch stop and then out to the car park.

Trip Times

Saturday 01/06/2013
1243 Left Otaki Forsk car park
1428 Field hut
1432 Left Fields hut
1501 Penn Creek turnoff
1616 Kime hut
Sunday 02/06/2013
1044 Left Kime hut
1126 Penn creek turnoff
1337 At Penn creek hut
Monday 03/06/2013
1030 Left Penn creek hut
1331 At Penn creek junction on Table
1356 At Fields hut
1441 Left Fields hut
1642 Otaki Forks carpark

Map of Trip