Nov 11 2015

Weka Falls

Published by under Both Hikers & Trampers

Abt 20 km from carpark.

8. 11/11/2015. Hikers. Weka Falls on Smugglers Stream. Leaders: Peter and Wendy.

Route. Weka Falls on Smugglers Stream.

Route. Weka Falls on Smugglers Stream. (NB: Began tracking half a paddock too late!)

About 25 of us parked at the wool-shed. After Jim Sime had welcomed us, he invited us to share a moment’s silence as it was Armistice Day and a suitable occasion was unlikely to occur later at 11.00 a.m. Due to some hip trouble Jim led us off in his Kobotu four wheeler. We took the customary route first through the tree-lined paddock, through the gate, turning off to the left along the ridge of the next paddock and down it to the gate at the bottom. Here we took the sharp turn to the right down the steep slope (acute  turn right below 4 km indicator on map of route)  into the dip,

Down the steep slope. (John pic)

Down the steep slope. (John pic)

then up again to the left at its farther end and up up up a long slope to the eventually ease-off at its top. Then slightly diagonally to the left, now sloping down to stop at a part-wired fence for the morning cuppa.

Morning cuppa at the top.

Morning cuppa at the top. (John pic)

Beyond the fence, it was a long gradual descent to a bush-lined gully in the distance. Jim had opened the track down through the bush, adding many well-dug-out steps on the steeper parts. Half an hour went by before we reached Smugglers Stream at last.

Down at the stream, everything was covered in slippery moss and great care was necessary to avoid slipping over. Alex nobly stood by slippery rock face on the track and was not one to shirk the the task of having to rescue three fair maidens in his arms as their feet slid away beneath them..

Alex ready to catch people sliding on slippery rock face. (John pic)

Alex ready to catch people sliding on slippery rock face. (John pic)

We crowded where we could find a safe footing and gazed in wonder at the Weka Falls of Smugglers Stream. Jim had said as it was likely to be his last visit to the Falls that he intended repeating earlier ventures under the falls for the last time. Judy, our President, freshly return from an extended North Island break, elected to go with him lest any mishap to befall the venturer.

The rocks were heavy with moss and the two had to take great care in negotiating the route.

Going under Weka Falls. 1. The scene. (Liz pic)

Going under Falls. 1. The scene. (Liz pic)

It obviously wasn’t easy.

The scramble begins. (Liz pic)

Going under Falls. 2. The scramble begins. (Liz pic)

Careful does it.

Going under Falls. 3. Entering Falls. (Liz pic

Going under Falls. 3. Entering Falls. 3. (Liz pic)

Made it!

Immodest show-offs! (John pic)

A pair of immodest show-offs! (John pic)

The way out was a surprise. Jim suddenly disappeared down behind the next mossy rock ahead of him with Judy waiting to make the plunge down too.

Exiting Falls. (John pic)

Exiting Falls.  On and out! – or down! (John pic)

Beyond here was impossible to photo. The route was out of sight. It lead up and into the bush and via a contoured route reached reach the track we had come down at a point about half-way up it. Bravo!

We climbed our way back out again. Jim offered the chance to harvest young lancewoods or totara and a few accepted his offer. He also provided a few freshly cut manuka sticks as trekking poles for any who wanted them.

We lunched at the bush side.

Lunch at the top of the bush. (John pic)

Lunch at the top of the bush. (John pic)

Sheltered from the wind, we dozed in the sunshine until at last it was time to begin the trudge back up the slope above us. It’s never easy to have to climb immediately after a lazy lunch break, but climb we all did – with one exception. John took advantage of the opportunity of accompanying Jim in the Kobotu.

The Weka Falls day is not a long one, but makes up for it with many many energy-sapping ups and downs. We arrived back at the cars it was not the end. Jim expressed his pleasure being able to share his property with us. And to finish the day off, he was prevailed upon to sing us his famous song about the egg (well, the slightly-off egg), consisting of a medley of some six or more tunes cleverly matching the words. This was met with much applause.

Twenty-one or so of the Hikers resorted to the Topiary Cafe for a convivial coffee stop. Thanks to Peter and Wendy for an enjoyable day.  Weka Falls had been a surprise of a delight to all the ‘newies’ in the club. – Ian.

7. 18/4/2012. Hikers. Weka Falls. Leaders: Peter, Fred.

6. 2/12/2009. Both. Weka Falls. Easy. Leaders: Ian, Fred.

We parked our five cars at the wool-shed where we were met by Jim, our guide. He first led us along a tree-line to a double set of gates.
Tree line at start.

Tree line at start.

Through the left gate and down left along the paddock ridge. At its foot, we turned right and carefully descended a very steep slope down into a gully. From there it was steeply up to the left onto a top. They it was continue diagonally left with a shed in the distance as a guide point, we took the ridge to left of a gully featuring two broadleaf trees.
Following the ridge, we eventually reached large gorsebush clump adjacent to the bush. Here we stopped for our morning tea break.
Immediately behind the bush was the entrance to a steep but well-cleared track which took us down to the amazing hidden gem of the Weka Falls.

Gut at top of Weka Waterfall

Weka Waterfall.

Weka Waterfall.

Pool at foot of Weka Waterfall.

Pool at foot of Weka Waterfall.

Down-stream pool.

Down-stream pool. Lesley, Arthur, Wendy, Barbara, Fred, Susan, Sabina.

We accomplished the steep climb back up the track in a shorter time than we thought it would take. Then it was back out to the paddock ridge, but this time diagonally across to our left, and back around through another paddock or two to lunch in the shelter of an implement and hay barn.
After lunch in the barn.

After lunch in the barn. Jim, Arthur, Fred, Who?, Molly, Lesley, Evelyn, Who?, Peter, Margaret, Bev, Wendy, Barbara.

An easy downhill walk completed the circuit back to the cars. An enjoyable if drizzly and cold  (at times) day. – Ian
5. 26/7/2006 Trampers. Weka Falls. Hindon Road. Easy. Leaders: Ria L, Doug J
4. 8/2/2006. Trampers. Weka Falls. Ria, Doug J.
3. 28/7/1999. Craiglea, Weka Falls. Leaders: Ria L, Catherine, Molly.
2. 11/8/1993. Weka Falls – Hindon Road. Medium. Leaders: Ria L, Peggy M, Mairie
1. 10/4/1991 Weka Falls, Lee Stream. Average. Leaders: R Lippers, Batchelor, Koot, L Smith

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