Tramping is now officially illegal. https://www.odt.co.nz/news/national/new-law-officially-bans-hunting-surfing-and-swimming-during-lockdown
maybe depends where you go, i've done dozens of trips covering all the tararuas, been in the kawekas, ruahines a fair nit, all around tongariro all over the coromandel. mt taranaki i still get out every holiday mainly all over the south island these days.
Aorangi, tararua, ruahine, kaweka all full of pig. Not sure about 20 years ago.
Hut books in the Takitimus were all blank since early march on Thursday-Friday. And given the depth of ratshit on the bench at Lower Wairaki I don't think anyone TA or otherwise had been there. A couple of TA walkers SOBO through Apirima over the weekend. But mainly the accessible eastern range packed with hunters. As usual the central ranges were empty. @Yarmoss the last visitor at Upper Wairaki, Telford - forgot to check Spence. Only 1.5 pages of hut book used - 15 visits - since my last entry at Redcliffe. And that was 2011! Last entry in the book was february. February 2019 that is!. And yes - Redcliffe hut is still there with a shiny new DOC sign - despite having vanished off DOCs map.
TA goes through eastern Takitimus. i think most of the southerly TA walkers were sitting around wanaka qtown area during lockdown
@Madpom yeah I got the impressions not many folk head up to Upper Wairaki, too far off the beaten trail of the TA. Unlike Aparima Forks where plenty of TAers would pop up for a look, judging by the hut book. My friend Chris should have been in the Redcliff hut book from November last year! Really disappointed I didn’t get there, but the weather was nice so I camped on Spence Peak instead.
somewhere down there, there were a farmers complaining about TA walkers not following the track and taking shortcuts through their land and using private huts... The TA winds around a fair bit through the Takitimu's, it doesnt always follow the straightest trails...
@waynowski The TA has been routed down the western side of the main valley (The Waterloo Burn) between Princhester Hut and the Aparima Huts. There's a DOC hut on the eastern side of the valley called Becketts Hut, with a 4WD track running down the eastern side of the valley past the Aparima huts. It used to be far easier, and faster, to walk down that eastern side then battle the tussock on the western side, I've done it myself, pre-TA days. But the problem is most of the valley floor is private land belonging to Waterloo Burn station, so the farmer probably had something to say about the increased foot traffic on his land. The thing is, following the river is still the only way to get to Becketts Hut which is a DOC hut. According to the Walking Access NZ website there is no public access along the river to Becketts. The topo map says there's a track there, branching off the TA from near the had of the Waterloo Burn, but this is false, there's no track or track markers. It's a popular hunters hut, they probably all just come in via the river.
Thanks yarmoss the TA CEO's have the odd online rant about the problems some walkers cause them with the landowners and how they can end up loosing access to land... but with around a thousand of them going through every year the chances of getting more problem walkers increases, they keep encouraging more of them to walk the track to try and get more revenue from them, but they are making it harder for themselves to keep the landowners onside. landowners might allow them to transit their land, but not want them to stop on it... so theres already a limitation for the walkers that they cant afford to break.
I remember reading a story a while ago about a track along an easement across a farm. Farmer was complaining bitterly about rubbish and having to go out regularly to extinguish camp fires despite a no camping and no fires sign at each end of the track and it being closed fire season. It wasnt all tourists. If any of those fires took hold how quickly would that easement be gone?
Re Becketts access. Both WAMS and DOC show a DOC track along the 4WD track that goes to Becketts. DOC call it: APARIMA HUT TO PRINCHESTER SADDLE TRACK The track was there (in DOC's brochures) in 2011, and is still on both DOC and WAMS websites today.
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