My New Zealand Adventure – Part 3 Wrapping it up

PUKETITI STATION – November 11, 2018
We had finished all the planned caving and the day we set aside for scrubbing our gear was superfluous when we had all scrubbed our stuff and hang it out to dry after Thunderer Cave. So, what to do on our penultimate day … after much discussion we decided to do an easy “short” walk in the area, the Gorge Track and possibly Double Falls Track.

We started at the end of Were Road and the walk begins (and ends) by walking through farmland (we could see the farmhouse and yards across the Mangaohae Stream).  So far the walk’s not looking bad, reasonable track, great views.

We had to cross a style for the next bit, down into a small stream.

And then we got into the wet part, it started with a walk across a field where you sank to your ankles in mud, there was no escaping it, and after that it was muddy track, again, up to your ankles, shoe sucking mud.

Eventually the mud finished and we stopped to admire the views across the stream, lovely rocky outcrops.

Followed by lovely rainforest sections of the track.

Which were followed by more mud, you could avoid it in some places, but it wasn’t easy.

And then we’re back into the nice rainforest sections.

There were quite a few rocky sections, Jox and Ed poked their heads down some of the holes but we hadn’t brought our head torches, so there was no point going further.

Along the way we had to take a small detour to avoid what looked like a drop in a small creek.  This detour took us down into the creek, so I walked along to see what the drop was like.  It was a channel, which could only have been man-made, the walls were so straight and the channel so straight, it ended in a small waterfall into the Stream.

The channel taken from upstream. We figure it was part of a water race to float logs down to the main Stream when they were logging the area. (Photo: JV)

And then we were into more mud!

And more!

After about 2 hours we came to a track junction at a swing bridge over the Mangaohae Stream.  Half of the group decided that they’d had enough (me included), particularly of the mud, so we turned around and the rest crossed the swing bridge to continue to Double Falls (if they had enough time).

Me on the swing bridge with Rob in the distance. As it turned out the track over the swing bridge got a lot better and the mud seemed to disappear, they didn’t make it to Double Falls though, mainly because they got to a junction and the signposting was ambiguous. (Photo JV)

The single men’s quarters.

So, our trip was over, all that remained was the last supper (great pasta Jo). On the 12th, Team Trekers (David, JV & Jox) would be heading over to Napier on the start of their next adventure, walking the Waikaremoana Great Walk.  Team Cavers (Jo, Rob, Josette, Heather and me) would squish ourselves into the hire care for the drive back to the airport.  As always when a group splits up, I feel like I’m sending my kids off on the first day of school, sad to see them go!

So, what I know you’ve all been waiting for … the Stats!

  • Although we each bought different food, when added up, we went through
    • 3 dozen eggs
    • 1.5k grated cheese
    • 1.5k cheddar cheese
    • 3 rounds of camembert
    • 3 doz bottles of wine
    • 1 bottle Cointreau
    • 1.5k strawberries & blueberries
    • Mince – who knows how much as there were 5 meals with minced beef base
  • Photographic Record – it was hard to tell as there were multiple cameras but at a guess
    • 32g of Go Pro footage (can’t wait to see the movie) and
    • 2,000 photos
  • Caving
    • we spent approximately 23 hours underground
    • those that caved every day did a total of eight caves, some twice when we doubled back on a turn-around trip!
  • Weather
    • Although it did rain from time to time (a lot of the time in the evening), not wonce did we have to walk through full on rain to get to a cave, amazing when you consider that NZ is wet-as!

Again, thank you so much Jox for organising our pre-caving days in Auckland and to David for organising the trip as a whole, everything worked like clockwork, the caves were great, your knowledge of them was amazing and you’ve left everyone with wanting to see other karst areas.




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2 Responses to My New Zealand Adventure – Part 3 Wrapping it up

  1. David says:

    Mud…mud…mud…another Marilyn “beginners” walk…

    Thanks for your comments.


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