Location: Kawekas-Kaimanawas Number of Days: 8 Grade: Med/Fit
Start Location: Makahu Saddle, Kawekas Number in Party: 6 Organisation: Auckland Tramping Club
Finish Locatiion: Kaimanawa Rd, Turangi Leader: Peter Waworis Weather: Fine - Highwinds/Rain

Proposed Route: As tramped.     

Trip to start at Makahu Saddle on East side of Kawekas. This was a 5 and a half hour trip by private vehicles from Auckland. Vehicles left at car park for West - East Party to pickup on completion of their trip.
Trip to finish at Kaimanawa road (Umukarikari track end). Arrangements had been made with Darryl & Jose Couchman to pick party up from road-end.
Permit required to cross private land west of Boyd Lodge. Contact Helisika 
Party Members - David Cray, Sally Johanesson, Tony Gibson, Michael Loo, Dennis Brown,Peter Waworis(Leader),

Day One Details Left Makahu Saddle car park after 1pm on a very hot afternoon with little wind. Party took under two hours to reach top. Travel along the tops to Ballard hut was straight forward in great conditions arriving at the hut at about 6pm. Route from tops down to the hut badly eroded and slow going. Party were dehydrated on reaching hut after struggling to drink enough especially during climb to tops.
Time/Km travelled 9km, 6 hours, travel time in very hot conditions with full packs (7 days food)
Hut/Campsite details incl Grid Reference Ballard Hut (4  bunk), Ample space for 4+ tents nearby. Grid reference: Topo50 map sheet BJ37, E1890855, N5651398
Water source Water Tank at hut and stream nearby.
Day Two Details Left hut by 7:30am and after grunting back up to the tops enjoyed great views west to Ruapehu before dropping into the bushline. Tracks in bush were well maintained and defined.
Time/Km travelled Ballard Hut to Tira Lodge (12 bunk) - 5.4km, 2.75hrs, Tira Lodge to Mangaturutu Hut - 3.7km,  2.25hrs.
Hut/Campsite details incl Grid Reference Mangaturutu Hut (4 bunk), plenty of camping surrounding hut. Grid reference: Topo50 map sheet BJ37, E1887504, N5653657
Water source Water tank at hut.
Day Three Details Easy ridge top travel with a few steep scree slopes traversing in and out of the treeline to Te Puke. From the Trig above the hut its a easy descent which steepens before the river. This is clay based so would be slippery when wet.
Time/Km travelled Mangaturutu Hut to Te Puke Hut (6 bunk) - 2.75hrs, 7.2km Te Puke to Harkness Hut - 2 hrs , 4km, 500m descent.
Hut/Campsite details incl Grid Reference Harkness Hut (4 bunk), ample space for an army to camp around hut. Grid reference: Topo50 map sheet BJ37 E1879672, N5656579
Water source Water tank at hut.
Day Four Details Easy travel beside rivers before climbing up onto tussock covered slopes to Tussock Hut. Climb out of Tussock to ridge top and drop down well formed track down to river. Cross river and climb up onto river plateau to hut overlooking airfield.
Time/Km travelled Harkness Hut to Tussock Hut (6 bunk) - 2.25hrs, 5.5km, Tussock to Boyd Hut - 2 hrs, 6.1km
Hut/Campsite details incl Grid Reference Boyd Hut (16 Bunk) with little flat ground for camping around hut, plenty further away from hut. Grid reference: Topo50 map sheet BH36, E1873864, N5661279
Water source Two large water tanks feed from stream.
Day Five Details Required to cross Ngaruroro river numerous times which could be a problem if flows are high. When climbing up to the Pawerawera ridge stick to the stream bed until you reach the stream confluence where a ribbon marks the track up the spur. As the trees thin out veer to the south sticking to the high ground where you pick the route back up at GR665610. Route down to the stream follows the spur. DSC01524.resized 547 1200 900 80
Time/Km travelled Boyd to Mangamaire campsite - 7hrs, 11.3km
Hut/Campsite details incl Grid Reference Campsite at Grid Reference: Topo50 E1865950 N5661225, has little flat clear space and steep climb down to water
Water source River down steep bank.

Day Six/


Details In clear weather the route over should be very straight forward. As the ridge tops are well rounded with little exposure travel in poor visibility travel isn't difficult if you have a set of waypoints to follow or advanced map/compass skills. There was a bit of scrub to content with climbing out of the Mangamaire but that soon disappeared. The track down to the Rangitikei has been recut (early 2010) which provided reasonable travel down to the river. There is a small campsite on the true right of the Rangitikei beside where you cross the river. Route up the Junction tops side can be gained from a couple of hundred metres up the side stream to the west and picking up the spur that leads up to Junction tops. The track is slippery when wet but clearly defined. Day Seven was a rest day. DSC01535.resized 558 1200 900 80
Time/Km travelled Mangimaire Campsite to Rangitikei - 7hrs, 10.7km, Rangitikei to Waipakihi hut - 3hrs, 5.5km.
Hut/Campsite details incl Grid Reference Waipakihi hut (12 bunk) has plenty of camp spaces around hut. Grid reference: Topo50 map sheet BH36, E1855650, N5665268
Water source Tank at hut.
Day Eight Details Well defined route out to roadend.  
Time/Km travelled Waipakihi hut to Kaimanawa road end via Umukarikari tops- 5hrs, 12.3km
Hut/Campsite details incl Grid Reference Nil
Water source Nil

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