Earlier this year we had made a disappointing effort to conquer this summit, however due to rain setting in we had turned back about half way. The night before had brought heavy consistent rain to the area and the track was becoming boggy underfoot, so with safety in mind we had abandoned ship. On Anzac day without the usual work obligations stopping a mid week activation, we set off early and made good time to arrive at the summit….and much kinder weather conditions too – Bonus!!
The first part of the track goes up over and up a short walk over marked out farm land, to the base of the mountain, its a good walk to prepare you for the tramp through the bush, which although not overly hard, it had been a while since we had done a hike, which was probably a bit of a shock to the ole system, because the walk to the top seemed to go on and on for much longer than the sign post’s suggested it would take. It didn’t help that we came across a few energetic souls running the track to the summit, who naturally made it look so easy, even running back down as we were still heading up! The track is fairly well marked for those who wish to visit in the future, though good footwear is advisable as it does get steep in places, with some big step up’s and down’s.
As you near the top, you come to a fork in the track. To the left is the true summit, we carried on a little further to where everyone seemed to be heading and had our lunch before doing a U turn and heading back to the signpost and on to the summit. From the sign it is only a short walk to either point, only around 10mintues.
The weather station at the summit created some noise on HF which made it a little tricky. First contact was with Soren ZL1SKL on a summit in the Brynderwyns. On 14 MHz I just managed to work John ZL1BYZ on Puketutu for a second summit to summit. Later we also worked on VHF much easier. I worked Kyle ZL2KGF who was portable in Auckland on VHF as well. By this point I was getting the 3rd contact nerves but finally managed number 4 from David ZL2OK on 7 MHz much to my delight. 4 contacts was all we managed but it was enough to qualify for an activator point and a unique number 85.
Summit – ZL1/AK-005 Tamahunga
Height –445 m (height gain of 400 m)
Access – Entrance off Omaha Valley Road. Follow orange triangles to track junction. Right to helicopter pad and lookout. Left to weather station and summit.
Nominal time to summit – Signed at 1.5 hours it took us closer to 2.5 hours.
Mobile and internet coverage from the summit – Vodafone is OK at the summit.
Repeater coverage – 670 and 6625.
Summit Marker – Weather station / radio tower.
Land Access Permission – Not required – DoC track.