8-12 November 2007
From the Psychotic to the Sublime
The Lake Waikaremoana Track
Day 3, Page 1 Waiopaoa to Marauiti
Today's walk, to the Marauiti Hut, is the longest distance to be covered on our trip - about 11.5km - and in addition we are planning a 2.5 km side trip to the Korokoro Falls.
Many people skip Marauiti, which is an older hut, and carry on an extra 2-3 hours to Waiharuru Hut, the latest and probably one of the most extravagant in the DoC collection. Don't do that. Marauiti has a special charm of it's own for trampers, including a truly effective heater.
DoC time for the walk is 5 hours with an extra 90 minutes to include the side-trip to Korokoro. I reckon about 8-9 hours at least for me, and set off early.
This time, Dakin is taking our packs and heavy gear by boat to the hut. We have a day pack with food, drink, wet weather gear and light first aid, plus our camera bags, just about the heaviest item. Miranda is continuing to hump a full pack in training for some slightly more demanding tracks she has lined up for the second half of the month.
Lesleigh is walking the first part with us to the Falls, and then joining Dakin at Te Korokorowhaitiri Bay for some trout fishing.
(Some of the Maori names here are an extravagant delight and it's worth a moment or two to slow down and get them rolling off the tongue correctly.)
I grab a shot of the hut sign and head off down the track. You can see already what sort of a day it's going to be. Miranda is coming a little later. The early morning light on the lake is worth exploring a little and she is doing a bit of Tiki Tour with Dakin and Lesleigh in the boat.
The track is initially somewhat scrubby
with biggish patches of water fern
and it's not a native, but I couldn't resist its near perfection sitting in a bed of mouse ear chickweeed with the dew still on the grass around:
I was a bit saddened to see that somebody else, a little earlier than me, had seen a bunch of other such pieces of perfection as targets for his/her stick.
For a boat name, I've seen far worse
A large shrubby mingimingi is in flower beside the track
I head on round the edge of the inlet
A morning scaup poses for a water shot.
My feet are nearly as wet as the scaup's after a few hundred metres of this:
A flowering lawyer supports itself on a shrubby beech.
I cross a bridge at the head of the inlet. DoC bridges on the Waikaremoana track are on the whole sturdier than the open mesh variety found elsewhere around the country.
They're not messing around in this neck of the woods.
For a while the track is open
and then leads into bush
From a stump, a flowing clump of Asplenium flaccidum mingles with a native orchid.