Wangapeka, Karamea, Leslie rivers & Tablelands - Kahurangi NP - Aug 2017
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Heavy rain two days prior had the Wangapeka river peak at 10 times its average for that time of the year and left plenty of water and debris on the track. The ford across the Dart river was too high for a car and fortunately we had a 4x4 take us the last 8km to the road end. We started at Rolling River in a light drizzle but the weather stayed fine for the next week providing us with fabulous, fine weather winter tramping. The rain however made the going slower than expected and our party of five was reduced to three after one of us had a fall on slippery rocks at the chains above Venus hut requiring evacuation by helicopter from hut the following day.
Our seven day tramp took us up the Wangapeka river from Rolling River, over the Wangapeka saddle to follow the Karamea river via Hidden Valley to Karamea Bend. Then up the Leslie river and onto the Tablelands, over Gordons Pyramid with a side trip up Mt Arthur until snow conditions had us turn around and descend to Mt Arthur hut and then out to the Flora carpark. Since last doing this track 11 years ago the state of the all the tracks till we got to the Tablelands were now most rougher and poorly maintained. DOC have invested in a number of new huts on this track in the last decade but it appears either they don't have the budget or have other priorities.
Day One - Stone Hut, 20.5km, 7hrs
Day Two - Trevor Carter Hut, 17.2km, 7.5hrs
Day Three - Venus Hut, 15.8km, 7hrs
Day Four - Karamea Bend Hut, 15.5km, 6hrs
Day Five - Salisbury Lodge, 18.3km, 6.5hrs
Day Six - via Gordons Pyramid/Mt Arthur to Mt Arthur Hut, 12.2km, 5.5hrs
Day Seven - Out to Flora carpark, 3.5km, 1hr