wainui hut

The weather forecast was light drizzle and light drizzle is what we got. Five out of the nine persons who had originally signed up decided to go anyway because drizzle sounded quite a bit better than the hard rain of the previous days. We left the carpark at the Canaan Downs campsite at 09:30 and headed up the track towards the Wainui saddle. This part of the tramp has pretty views of open farmland to the South and bush to the north - on sunny days that is. It was not sunny. From the Wainui saddle we continued uphill in an easterly direction until we found a side track to a great lookout place - again, on sunny days.  Low hanging clouds and drizzle led us to decide to have morning tea in the bush rather than the exposed lookout. Fortified, we continued east, got our feet wet in the first creek we came across (the main feeder to the Wainui river) and from there on we squished and waded our way to the Inland Track where we turned north and continued on the wet trail a little over an hour through some beautiful bush until we came to the track leading down to the river and the Wainui hut. There we descended and, after about half an hour, reached the waterlogged valley floor where we followed the river for a little while to the place where we had to ford the river.

wainui water

The river was wide and flat there and only came to our knees but the current was strong and some of us linked up for extra stability. On the other side we had a dry hut to have a late lunch in, which we welcomed. Around 14:00 we waded on – this part of the valley floor was particularly watery. But spirits were high and it was kind of fun not paying any attention to how deep the water was on the track. Splish, splash! At the end we climbed out of the valley and back onto the Canaan Downs loop track back to the car where we arrived at about 15:30. We enjoyed it – there were even thankyous for not cancelling the trip. And we were back in Richmond/Nelson before dark!

Participants: Diane, Anthea, Allison, Kerry, Maaike.

Photos: Diane. Trip leader and scribe: Maaike .