Difficulties trampers and the many Te Araroa Trail walkers have endured on the Waitewaewae track should be sorted now. Going by hut book entries, more than just a few have found the 14 km tramp heavy going.
A team of 4 GWBN volunteers – Murray Presland, Jeremy Collyns, Nic Blair and Derrick Field, went into cut the Waitewaewe track over 6 days. The Hutt Valley Tramping Club(HVTC) have a long history of hut upkeep at Waitewaewae, and Murray is a long time member of the club and spent a couple of days doing repairs and cleaning mould off the hut (photo above).
Plan was to start at Waitewaewae and cut until halfway, then relocate gear and food via Amalgamated Helicopters Ltd to Parawai Lodge at Otaki Forks. The trip took advantage of the first decent weather window for a while and the weather was excellent until the last day. The track was a 7 to 8 hour tramp for many, and some longish days were spent getting the track back into shape. Jeremy operated the chainsaw, and worked constantly using the Stihl MS 261 C-M and our MS 201 TC-E arborist chainsaws until we reached the old tramline in the Waitatapia stream. The last day of heavy chainsaw work resulted in 12 hours of cutting and carrying chainsaws to get job done. The Tramline section was over grown and heavy going for the Stihl MS 461 Scrub bar. (the Chainsaws and equipment has been provided at reduced cost by local Stihl Shop Masterton )
A detour route avoiding a large slip that has confounded many TA walkers, was cut. (an permanent alternative sidle route was to be surveyed, but couldnt be completed).
The team worked for 5.5 days totalling 57 hours. Chainsaws and scrub bar were operating for approximtely 50 hours. Track distance cleared measured was 14 kms
The hut woodshed needed repairs, and Nic being a builder, did an expert job with Murray doing the paint job. The heli pad and hut surrounds had become overgrown with regenerating trees and ferns and a long overdue trim was done. The view from the hut of the Otaki river that used to exist, has now been restored, and the heli pad is safer to use now. A handy dead tree fall was sawn up providing a few years wood supply for hut users. Murray also gave the toilet its annual clean. A task that often gets neglected at our huts.
Further work on the hut including roof clean and hut repaint will be done by the HVTC probably in the next couple of years.
Transport to Waitewaewae hut by pilot JD of Amalgamated Hellicopters
Builder Nic telling Murray what to do next.
The Waitewaewae track
Jeremy and Murray on the old tramline
Typical going on the Tramline down Waitatapia stream. Murray removing cut vegetaion off the track
The MS 201 TC-E arborist chainsaw was handy for dealing with the Japanese Honeysuckle that is taking over some of the open areas on the track and the Otaki Forks walks