By Isaac Black , 01 April 2021
A review of Nick and Mario’s Tramping Experience
Despite facing some troubles of Easter weekend traffic and finding the turn off, we made it to the track. On the plus side, the Friday public holiday allowed us to start in daylight. Friday’s journey featured a scenic traverse along the river. We did not have to do any trespassing (always a plus). On Saturday, we summited Kapakapanui. This was followed by our exciting bush bashing session to traverse the ridge, and subsequently hike back to the Otaki forks carpark (with a slight detour for a swim).
One of my favourite parts of hiking are river crossings. As it so happened, we completed 132.34 river crossings on this hike. All kinds of rivers; long ones, cold ones, smaller ones. At one point, someone told me “nah that’s actually a puddle”. In my opinion, that one still counted as a successful crossing.
If you wanted to buy an average meal in the CBD of Wellington, the cost would be around $20. Yet for that exact price (which also covered transport), Nick and Mario provided us with a culinary experience like no other. The first night’s meal featured fresh veggies in the form of a stir fry. The next night was a tantalising chili bean and rice dish. Truly unforgettable.
Although previously described as the worst hut in the Tararuas, this hut should now be called the Best Attempted Hut. It is still a work in progress (with signs of construction happening), but it is getting there. A stay in Waiotauru hut will take you back to simpler times. It definitely makes you question what you really need in life. All four legs on a table? Questionable. No classic doc hut mats but one squeaky air mattress? That’ll do. A fire? Nah don’t really need that either.
However, the next night in Kapakapanui hut definitely exceeded my expectations. It was a cute little hut in the bushline. This hut only slept 6 people, so it allowed Nick to erect his ultralightweight tent and Mario to test his Fly as a cover for the night.
A stay at Kapakapanui hut also provided a night time experience like no other. A campfire was of course provided, allowing us to meet the other hut-goers for the night. We even had a night sightseeing tour of the local wildlife, which included a sighting of a possum.
Nick and Mario were fantastic hosts that provided an unforgettable experience for our tramping group. I will be sure to recommend their tramping service to anybody else. As promised, we did play 500 and lose. Also, we were not the victim of any car break ins. So, overall it was a fantastic tramp. 5 out of 5 stars.