Leap day loop
Wainui Hut Circuit – Saturday 29 February 2020
An excellent aspect of the days tramp was the lunch stop. C’mon, c’mon you say, WTC is a tramping club not an eating club. The large grassy area outside Wainui Hut with its picnic table is ideal, though for any size tramping party at lunchtime and as well the stream is close by to replenish dwindling water supplies. There’s even shade around the edges for those who like to eat in the shadows. The last few of our large party of 18 made it to the hut by 2pm with rumbling tummies, ready for a decent bite to eat and a proper sit down.
We’d left Richmond at 8am and were on our way from Canaan Downs carpark up to Evans Ridge by 9.30am in the bright, late summer sun. Once on the ridge, walking northwards along the Inland Abel Tasman Track, we were sheltered and treated to many signs of birdlife including an actual sighting of a morepork among the branches. This one was certainly out well beyond his dawn curfew. We also saw a live Powelliphanta snail. How did we know the snail was alive? Because it moved of its own accord of course. Usually it’s Powelliphanta shells that are found minus their occupants.
The only tricky part of the trip was the 45 minutes it took to get down off the ridge to the Wainui Stream. Clearly there’d been storm damage on this area of track making it slippery in parts and occasionally hard to decide whether to go under or over fallen tree trunks. The nimble and sure-footed among our number crossed the Wainui Stream dry-footed. Others of us just ploughed in considering it was such a warm day.
The late lunch-stop felt overdue for some of the party members, however once they saw how wonderful the lunch spot is and got started on their delicious food any gripes were quickly forgotten. The after-lunch part of the trip was only an hour of easy uphill to meet with the original track then a half-hour back to the carpark. There were thankyous, handshakes and big smiles all around which certainly showed me that the admin effort beforehand and being responsible on the day itself had yielded a positive and worthwhile experience for the party members.
Those who came were Alison (leader and scribe), David W (co-leader), Bernard, Chris, Jo, Colin, David, Donell, Esther, Eric, Lesley, Marie, Marion, Robyn and Val along with visitors Anne, Christine, and Stephen.