Sentry Box Hut Ruahine

Friday in the North Island so the weekends always start with a long drive before the hut bagging opportunity starts. Yum exercise and much wandering to a new forest for me!

Friday 10/11/2017
Drove to Masters Shelter to add that to the bagging list, then back out on the road heading to Sentry Box car park. Side of the road to park, but lots of space. Several minutes from the car to the empty hut.

Saturday 11/11/2017
Out of bed after ten a.m., nice sleep, none of that road noise or yabbering people that the city is so full of. Steep walk once you leave the hut that's so good for the legs, heart pumping from the start.
Sentry Box Hut
Left Sentry Box quite quickly, and gained altitude into the data zone allowing gratification of two bagged huts. Views back to the valley, seeing my car parked on the road.
View back over valley
Once at the top junction, an easy wander to Parks Peak hut, a bit cold, so gathered firewood for later. After food and drink time to check out the hut down the hill.
Parks Peak Hut
Its a quick walk down the hill, and the hut comes into view several minutes before you arrive. Lots of fresh deer sign around the hut, of just one deer though.
Upper Makororo Hut
This is a very nice setting and a maintained clean hut, good place for an evening with a fire and lots of drams of some peaty monster.
Upper Makororo Hut
Back up the hill to light the fire and feed myself and taste some of the Nikka, that was my trips whisky. Now note I missed the "e". Why did I? Whats going on with this Japanese stuff. There is no "e" on the label.
Nikka Coffey Malt Whisky
Sunday 12/11/2017
Woke to rain, cold icy rain, still seemed like the sun could break thru. Left the hut when the rain stopped.

Dark trees
Undark trees
Empty snail shell on the track, posed it for a photo.
Empty snail
Into the nice track that makes these walks such a joy of the direct sense type with no tangled spaghetti monsters lurking. Soft carpet.
Forest trail
Yep, more forest trail
And then Sentry Box is there and its time to end the weekend and jump in the car and drive and drive.
Sentry Box Hut bringing an end to the weekend
Driving seemed endless.

Trip Times
Friday 10/11/2017
2209 Left car on side of road at the DOC sign to Sentry Box hut
2212 10 minutes to hut sign
2217 Sentry Box hut
Saturday 11/11/2017
1058 Left Sentry Box hut
1233 On top at junction
1302 Parks Peak hut
1405 Left Parks Peak hut
1458 Upper Makororo hut
1525 Left Upper Makororo hut
1657 Parks Peak hut
Sunday 12/11/2017
1043 Left Parks Peak hut, heading to car
1204 Sentry Box hut
1205 Left Sentry Box hut
1211 At car 

__trip_map__


No fish! Good clean forest.

Comet Road End

Weather forecast looks ominous, have had this trip in the Northen Ruahine's waiting for a three day weekend, so its Do It! First hut is in the Kaweka's, that is Comet hut, the other four are in the Ruahines.

Friday 20/10/2017
Friday was just a drive up country, didn't even get to the road end on Friday, just passed thru Taihape as it became Saturday.

Saturday 21/10/2017
Got to Comet Road end and parked up beside the empty hut at one thirty in the morning, dragged sleep material inside and crashed. After a beer beer of course.
Can of beer beer outside Comet hut
Woken by someone arriving at seven o'clock, so out of bed, ate breakfast and moved my car from the front of the hut.
Comet Hut
Headed off up the hill, and across the plateau, into the pine trees.
Pine tree place
There is a trig hidden among the pine trees.
The trig
An easy stroll across the flat top and then a nice descent to the Taruarau river, which is a swift pushy waist deep river to cross, and this is with no rainfall. Would not dream of crossing (drowning) this river if I could not see the bottom. There is a fly camp, with fly, each side of the river.
Taruarau River
After the river crossing it is up hill for a bit, with a nice view back to the river.
Looking back down at the river
Shutes hut for lunch was not far away.
Shutes Hut
Here is a view of the inside, quite an interesting hut. The current hut book starts the 20th of January 1985.
Shutes Hut inside
After lunch it was a good walk to Ruahine hut for the evening, with a down and up, and the another down and up. The terrain changed quite a bit over this section.
Ruahine Hut
Interesting comments in the hut book about the painting of the hut. Go there and have a read. Very nice location with some views. Good phone coverage here and in fact most of this trip with spark.

Sunday 22/10/2017
Had a nice relaxing sleep in before heading off to Dianes Hut for lunch. History about this hut is interesting, more detail would satisfy my curiosity.
Dianes Hut
Stopped here for lunch and a rest, then up the hill heading to bag Taruarau biv, before Shutes hut for the night.
Taruarau Biv
Dropped my pack at the junction and did a jog to the biv and back and then off to Shutes. Heading to Shutes could see a change in the clouds with a possibility of rain. This made me change plans and instead of staying the night at Shutes I continued on back to Comet hut. Got there just after dark and as some people seemed to be having a party at the hut decided to head home.

Got home just after 0200 hours Monday morning.

Trip Times
Saturday 21/10/2017
0801 Left Comet Hut
0829 Trig up on the plateua
0939 At the Taruarau river
1030 Shutes Hut
1127 Left Shutes Hut
1336 Koau Stream
1400 Left Koau stream
1653 Ruahine Hut
Sunday 22/10/2017
1101 Left Ruahine hut
1222 Track off road down to Dianes hut
1310 Dianes Hut
1452 Left Dianes hut
1554 At Taruarau Shutes Diane junction 
1602 Taruarau Biv
1616 Back at the junction
1741 Shutes Hut
1749 Left Shutes hut
1808 Tent fly campsite at Taruarau river
1828 Crossed the river snacked and heading up the hill
2037 Back to Comet hut

Maps
NZTopo50-BK37 Tikokino
NZTopo50-BJ37 Kuripapapango

Mangatutu Hot Springs Road End Kaweka Trip II

This is my second trip to the Kaweka's and  again its all about bagging huts. A weekend trip which took an extra day due to a number of events.

Took two drams along for the trip, one a fine single malt from an Oloroso sherry puncheon at 53.8%, and the other a Kentucky straight Bourbon whiskey at 50%.
GlendronachEvan Williams
Friday 24/02/2017
Left Wellington and stopped in at my Mums and Dads and then onto the road heading North for the Makahu road end. Tomorrow arrived before I got there.

Saturday 25/02/2017
Stayed the night in the Mangatutu shelter as was pretty late late when I got there.
Where I am going
Up at 0630 hours, snacked and packed and headed off to Te Puia Hut along the Te Puia track for breakfast. What a beautiful walk.
Mangatutu Hot Springs Shelter
Mohaka River
Te Puia track
Te Puia track
Beach on Mohaka River
More of that Mohaka river
Te Puia track bluffs
Bluffs on the other side of the river from Te Puia track
Nice steps down
Mohaka River
Te Puia track bluffs
Te Puia track bluffs
Te Puia Hut
Got to Te Puia hut and stopped for porridge and a coffee and learnt more about this place from some locals staying there.
Looking North as heading u to Makino hut
View from up on the ridge, with spark service
Makino Hut
Stopped for a cup of tea and snack, had to set fire to a pile of smelly rubbish in the fire.
Three wire bridge
Track along ridge to Mangaturutu hut
Track along ridge to Mangaturutu hut
Track along ridge to Mangaturutu hut
Track along ridge to Mangaturutu hut
Track along ridge to Mangaturutu hut
Mangaturutu hut
After food tea had thought I would have a  brief lay down, woke up a few hours later and decided to crash here for the night. Tira Lodge can be tomorrow. So had my dram of the Whisky Galore Glen Dronach.

Sunday 26/02/2017
The morning was a bit claggy at Mangaturtu hut but that made it a very comfortable walk to the next hut with at least three names; Tira Lodge, Venison Tops Hut, Kelvinator Lodge. This part of the Kaweka's is much easier travel than Back Ridge and Kaweka Range as it is not so eroded.
Mangaturutu Hut
Easy forest travel with some minor up and down
Tira Lodge, Venison Tops Hut, Kelvinator Lodge
Stopped for a cup of tea and looked at the map and made a decision to go down to Rocks Ahead hut and bivouac as they are so close. Trimmed my pack down to the bare essentials and left stuff to pick up on my way back. Those additional two huts added more time onto my day and I expected to get out to the road end after dark. The walk down to the Rocks Ahead was just perfect, going to do that again.
Venison Top area
Rocks Ahead hut
The door and the windows where all wide open in the hut with a pile of fishing gear and bits of a trout outside so some people where out and about somewhere. Did not see any body. No problem getting to the hut, dropped my pack here and headed off to visit the bivouac.
Cableway
Took the cable way,easily winched up the bucket jumped in and took off, good fun to ride these things. When it stopped out in the middle I picked up the chain to grab the winding handle. No winding handle, good lesson here, check before departing. Took me a while to pull the bucket over to the other side, very hot work.
Rocks Ahead bivouac box toilet
Rocks Ahead bivouac
On my return I did not take the cable way, just waded across the pool, rather refreshing.
River pool
Had a snack and drink and then headed off back up to Tira Lodge. Stopped at Tira Lodge for a meal then off to Ballard hut on way out.
Open rocky tops on way to Ballard hut
More open tops before Ballard hut, interesting patterns
Erosion on way down to Ballard hut
Ballard hut
Two people and two dogs where at Ballard, having recently arrived via chopper, just filled out the hut book and had a few minutes yakking and then I was off back up the hill heading for Whetu, then down to Middle Hill hut for a rest.
Middle Hill hut
Ended up getting to Middle Hill hut much later than I expected and had issues with my torch batteries so in the end I stayed the night. I had spark service on the tops near Whetu so was able to let people know I was running late and they would not hear from me until early Monday morning; so it worked out that I would not be over due. Ended the evening with the Evan Williams Kentky straight Bourbon whiskey.

Monday 27/02/2017
Well this wasn't meant to be. Got phone coverage as I was heading down the ridge. got to deal to a Stoat along the way, saw a Morepork in the daylight, and then had some time in a hot pool which was very relaxing. \Finished my morning with a long slow drive back to Wellington.
Middle Hill Hut
This little fella headed off for his 72 virgins, died a martyr
Morepork just down the track from the stoat
Mangatutu Road End Shelter
Mangatutu Road End Shelter
Mangatutu Hot Springs
The ford
Map of Trip
Took two maps for the trip BJ37 and BH37, however BH37 has just a fragment of the Te Puia track on it; the bit that has the hut. Dropped a chunk of the map well repair.
BH37 and BJ37

Trip Times
Saturday 25/02/2017
0657 Left car park
0831 At Te Puia Hut
0912 Left Te Puia Hut
1029 At Makino Hut
1102 Left Makino hut
1638 Mangaturutu Hut
Sunday 26/02/2017
0920 Left Mangaturutu Hut
1033 At Tira Lodge
1118 Heading down to Rocks Ahead
1232 Rocks Ahead hut
1255 Rocks Ahead Bivouac
1330 Left Rocks Ahead hut
1518 At Tira Lodge
1554 Left Tira Lodge
1739 Ballard Hut
1957 Middle Hill hut <
Monday 27/02/2017
0750 Left Middle Hill hut
0842 Meet a trapped stoat
0850 Watched a Morepork watching me
0915 At the Makino track start
0958 At my car at the road end