This trip was always going to be cruisy (a stroll rather than a tramp) with the incentive of brunch or lunch at the Rhubarb Café in Arapuni at the half-way point.  Unfortunately, the aforementioned café decided to take a mini mid-winter break this particular weekend, so an alternative had to be found.  Read on to find out more ….

We started the walk at Jones Landing, a few kilometers past Arapuni.  From there we climbed up to a lookout point with great views back over Lake Arapuni.  It wasn’t much of a climb, but it did warm us up, so we were happy to shed a layer or two at this point.

From the lookout the trail is gently undulating all the way to Arapuni, where we took advantage of the picnic tables for a snack and cuppa.  We then took a short loop walk over the Arapuni swing bridge, looked down on the Powerhouse, and rejoined the track a few hundred meters downstream.

From this point on the trail is almost flat, and therefore much more popular with cyclists than the previous section. It includes the Huihuitaha Boardwalk over a wetland area and takes you right by the river’s edge for most of the time.  It’s only about 5.5km from Arapuni to Little Waipa Reserve, so we made it there by early afternoon and chatted away amongst ourselves while we waited for the van to collect us.

We then headed back towards Hamilton, taking a detour at Karapiro to visit the Boatshed Café for coffee and snacks; a very smart establishment, right on the banks of the lake. The menu was enticing and reasonably priced so while some of us enjoyed a coffee (or a wine!) others tucked into some of the more substantial dishes on offer. A very nice way to end a pleasant day in a very pretty part of the Waikato.

Participants: Anne, Janice, Kathy, Carl, Ian, Sharon, Annie & Tony, Lynda, Lea, Christina and Lynne.