Mataki Lodge – 21-23 June 2019
Cold bleak mornings were a good way to ensure that all trampers had adequate warm clothing with them for a venture above the bush line and down a shady creek bed. Departure time from the lodge was 8am, and by 11am we were emerging into the warm sunshine at the bush edge. By now we had stripped off a few layers, as the steady uphill climb in the bush had soon warmed us up. The tarns were frozen and there were patches of snow on the pristine landscape. The day was clear so the views around were magnificent. We loitered in this scenic area for a while before sloshing our way through the marshy basin down to the Mole Hut. Perfect timing for a midday lunch stop in the sun. After lunch we descended down the Mole Creek Track. The first hour is through bush. At the joining of the left and right branch of the Mole Creek we came out onto the creek bed. It was an hour before we left the creek to finish the last hour on a farm track.
That night we shared a mid-winter Christmas dinner. The alarms at the lodge suddenly began screaming as food was being prepared and after some fiasco, including a visit from the local fire brigade in full regalia, order was again restored and a quiet evening enjoyed.
On Sunday again we were out the door at 8am. This time we drove to the DOC parking area at Mt Ella Station area and walked the hour up through the farmland to the site of the old Matakitaki Base Hut. From here we followed up the Watson Creek Route for an hour. This took us to the actual creek and we could get views back down to the Matakitaki Valley. We returned the same way to be back at the lodge for lunch.
Most of us had arrived at the lodge at midday Friday which meant we had time for a bit of a wander to Mole Creek and down to Mt Ella Station before darkness fell.
Those on this weekend were; Rob, Maria, Christine, Marie, Andrew, Sue J, Ian W, Nolene, Mark, Sue D, Jeff, Jeannie, Val, Robyn, Esther and Marian.