New Zealand Walk: Iron Gate Hut walk

Walking New Zealand - - Contents - By Bob Hodg­son

Twenty three hard core Wednesday Tram­pers mem­bers of the Manawatu Tramp­ing and Ski Club as­sem­bled at the car park in a chilly (7C) July, but fine conditions and at 9.15am for the tramp to Iron Gate Hut.

Af­ter the trip leader’s brief­ing that ended with “and boys and girls all be back here by three thirty,” we set off to make the 100m des­cent to the curved wooden bridge con­structed al­most 40 years ago by NZ Army En­gi­neers.

The grass track down was un­usu­ally muddy hav­ing ap­par­ently been churned by pre­vi­ous tram­pers. Tramp­ing up 78m from the bridge and then down 28m by 10.00am brought us to the Alice Nash Me­mo­rial Hut and dif­fuse sun­light for morn­ing tea.

For the first thirty min­utes or so be­yond the hut the track was easy go­ing then rapidly de­te­ri­o­rated to fully com­ply with ex­pec­ta­tions raised the DOC de­scrip­tion of it as "ad­vanced tramp­ing.”

The track down to the Cum­ber­field Creek was very steep and eroded in places re­quir­ing spe­cial care. The stream was read­ily crossed but the track up even more haz­ardous and de­mand­ing. The com­pen­sa­tion for the ef­fort needed to tramp the track was the ma­ture bush and mag­nif­i­cent views up and down the Oroua River.

The track did not im­prove be­yond this climb up but the hard core per­sisted and some reached the Tunupo Stream be­fore turn­ing hav­ing had to ne­go­ti­ate sev­eral fresh slips.

On the fi­nal one, a tum­ble was taken

Above: Up and over the curved Army Bridge.

Left: Morn­ing tea in the sun at Me­mo­rial Lodge.

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