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South Wairarapa Tramping Club –  Atiwhakatu Hut

November 10, 2021 November 2021 No Comments

We were amazed how full the Holdsworth carpark was when we arrived – obviously there were many people in the hills already. As we walked up the Atiwhakatu River track we could see cloud on the tops, and at times we felt misty drops, although it was sunny. The kidney fern leaves were shining and the bush looked wonderful! 

 We had morning tea on the far side of the big one-at-a-time suspension bridge, with the graphic warning sign. Barry’s dog Susie was a reluctant bridge crosser, having to be dragged over on a lead!

During our lunch stop at the hut there were other trampers coming and going. Some who had overnighted at Jumbo said the strong winds on the tops had prevented them doing the crossing. Coming out, we gathered that the hut was fully booked for Saturday night, as we passed several families, ten teenaged boys on a Duke of Edinborough trip, and a group of girls from Chiltern St James.

Part way back we heard and saw the Westpac Rescue helicopter circling round above us, apparently searching up and down the valley. Ed checked his PLB in case it had gone off accidentally in his pack, as he wondered whether the helicopter could be searching for us! 

We later learned that someone had fallen 7 metres on the (closed) East Holdsworth track, and that as there was no possible landing spot, a rescue party had gone in on foot and rescued the injured person.

The track is a bit up and down, a few flights of wooden steps, and caution required when crossing a big slip, but is an easy 2 – 2 1/2 hour trip each way, through really beautiful bush alongside or above the Atiwhakatu River.

SWTC welcomes new members. Phone or email Ed and Juliet Cooke, 06 304 9497, or efjac@xtra.co.nz. See our Facebook page and website.

Photo caption: A clear sign in every language. 

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