Ventura 4573, Mick, and Island Forks Hut

Paul and I aim to get to Island Forks Hut over Mick, and visit the 1949 crash site of a Lockhead Ventura bomber.

Saturday 09/01/2016
We drove to the quarry and parked the car. The walk starts down a farm track that gets rougher as you go. The uphill begins after crossing a small stream. Its a good uphill.

Nearing the top there is a bit of plane wreckage on a stump, this is where we headed approx 150 meters South and in a steep gully we came across bits of the plane and one engine. The wing is quite interesting as the underside is still in good condition.
View under the wing
Top of the wing
The wander along the tops is well marked with a variety of colored tape and the occasional permalot, a lot of the ridge track is freshly cut. However if you need a perfect marked track and sign posts don't bother coming here stick to the great walks, the expression "well marked" is for those who are happy off trail. There are good views along the top.
View from approx 872
There is a tent fly site that has been constructed with a bench and someones stash.
Paul having a much needed rest...
The downhill bit is best done sticking to the highest point of the broad ridge and heading East until you are in the river.
Waitewaewae River
Then it is a short stroll upstream taking the East fork to the hut. The hut book goes back to the 14th March 2008, with 3 parties visiting that year. The most parties in a year where 34 in 2011. We where the 2nd party for 2016.
Island Forks Hut
Island Forks Hut
We lit the outdoor fire and enjoyed a dram before sleeping in the very small hut.

Sunday 10/01/2016
Easier heading up and joining the ridge at the top. Another visit to the plane crash site and we wandered up and down the ridge finding a lot more of the plane, most is in a steep narrow gully.
Gully with much wreckage
Well revisit as want to find the second engine, this is the easy one to find.
Top view
Bottom view
On the way out spotted a dragon fly in the creek on the flats.
Map of Trip
The pin shows the location of the Island Forks Hut.

NZ Topo BN33 Levin
Trip Times
Saturday 09/01/2016
0855 Left the car parked at
1140 At the plane crash
1214 Up on the ridge where taped track starts
1649 In the river
1659 Island Forks Hut
Sunday 10/01/2016
0822 Left Island Forks Hut
1418 Back at the car

1 comment:

Merv Matthews said...

I visited the main crash site in July 1999. I remember that one of the motors was there, also part of the undercarriage with its main leg still bright and shiny, and the second wing was stuck high up in a tree. The first wing ripped off can be found higher up, close to the track to Mick.