29 December 2011

Oroua river, Ruahine range

Yesterday morning in the Oroua river at Iron Gate hut. A friend had wanted for some time to do a tramp in the Ruahine and we finally managed it, walking in on Tuesday afternoon. I'd expected the hut to be full so had packed the tent, but to our delight we found no one else there — we had the place to ourselves the whole time. In the evening we explored the river; I'd hoped we might see or at least hear a whio (blue duck), particularly because my friend had never seen them in the wild.

We saw two not far downstream from the hut, and watched them for some time, sharing the 10x42s, listening to the calls — the male's whistle, the female's rattle. Of all possible returns to the Ruahine after four and a half months overseas, this was right up there with the best.

[28 December 2011, Panasonic Lumix GH1, 14–45 mm at 30 mm, ISO 100, 1/00 at f8]

All content © 2011 Pete McGregor


The Elephant's Child said...

What an amazing spot, and how lucky that you had it to yourselves.

Lesley said...

Pete, this reminds me of our trip. We also had the hut to ourselves, but were not lucky enough to see any whio. I loved it there.

It's quite an ... er... undulating walk in, isn't it?

Relatively Retiring said...

What a lovely welcome home for you.

(But 'doing a tramp' makes me smile. You could end up in police custody if you try it in UK - please be aware on your next visit.)

Happy New Year.

Maureen said...

Pete, Sounds like a perfect return.

Henry David Thoreau wrote: "Far travel, very far travel, or travail, comes near to the worth of staying at home."

What a beautiful place, the Ruahine.

robin andrea said...

A very fine welcome home from the Ruahine. It must be some kind of wonderful comfort for your feet to travel familiar earth.

Avus said...

Welcome home from your travels, Pete

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Pete,
I did not even realize you were back. Just returned from a little journey myself into the Maropea where I also had the company of a pair of whio. Interestingly I had considered changing my plans and heading into Iron Gate as well. That would have been quite a reunion to see you come along! Good to just know you back in the Ruahine at the same time, for some reason that makes me smile. Welcome home Pete - been awesome following your trip.

pohanginapete said...

Elephant's Child, I hadn't visited Iron Gate hut for quite a few years, but I'm sure I'll be back there soon, even if just for a day walk. We were indeed very lucky.

Lesley, yes, the track does seem unable to make up its mind whether to stay high or drop lower. Still, it's one of the easiest in the Ruahine — most are considerably steeper.

RR, I thought about using "hike" instead, but decided as this was to be a post about the return to Aotearoa, I'd stick with the kiwi term. Still, you're right — I know other terms that are innocuous in one country and highly dodgy in others!
    Happy New Year to you also — and many happy returns for the other day ;^)

Maureen, the Ruahine really is a marvellous place, particularly when the rivers are running clear. I'm keen to go back :^)

Robin, even though I hadn't walked that particular track for a few years, the journey did feel familiar and comforting. To see whio felt like being welcomed by great friends.

Avus, thank you :^)

pohanginapete said...

Robb(seems we cross-posted!), a reunion at Iron Gate would have been too eerie for words, given that's where we first met all those years ago. The Maropea must have been lovely, and I'm so pleased you got to enjoy the whio as well.
    Happy New Year — see you soon :^)