Te Araroa trail clearing continues

John Duggan, about to leave Dracophyllum hut, for Te Matawai

TA Trail clearing continues

A team of 5, including Mike Sheridan , Jeremy Collyns, Anton Marsden, John Duggan spent the week at Dracophyllum and Te Matawai huts clearing the tracks the TA Trail follows. 6 days were spend cutting from Kelleher to Te Matawai and on to Richards Knob. The team flew into Dracophyllum with Amalgamated Helicopters NZ Ltd and works towards Nichols and then Te Matawai.

At Te Matawai, the overgrown track up to Pukematawai was cleared. Including the thick sub alpine vegetation over the track. 2 and half days were spend on this section of track. The Dora track was also cleared to Richards Knob. weather was good first 5 days but fortunately we had completed the job. Most of the team walked out to Poads roadend. And after a few days of rain, pilot Jason Deidrichs collected the gear when the wind dropped a bit.

John removing cut tussock using the pitchfork

Other TA tracks cleared have been Pukeatua and Waitewaewae. To date approx 40 kms of the route cleared. Still a bit to do around Waiopehu and Nichols huts.

The project was made possible by funding provided by the @Te Araroa Wellington Trust and also the Huts and Tracks – Home of the Backcountry Trust and a grant from the DOC Wairarpa office.

Next stage was the waiopehu end of the track. @Alistair Barr and Bruce Julian helped over 5 days clearing the route used by the TA Trail, this time on the Waiopehu track. This was a bit of an oldies trip, with an average age of 77 years.

The team on Twin Peak

Amalgamated Helicopters NZ Ltd again provided transport of equipment etc, fuel up to Waiopehu from the roadend, along with getting the Nichols hut team on site. The sub alpine section from Richards Knob to below Waiopehu hut was dealt with first, with about 30 hours was spent over 2 and half days widening the track and cutting vegetation.

One day was heavy rain mostly and spent recovering from up to 11 hours days solid cutting the previous day.

Last day was cutting windfalls and some scrub bar work out to the roadend. which resulted in a 9 hour day carrying the equipment and rather heavy packs. We were all pretty pleased to get to the vehicles at Poads road.

This trip was funded by the GWBN To date, we have completed approximately 50 kms of the TA route from Mangoane road to Poads road, with a bit more to do at Nichols hut and Poads road.

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