Tramp No (1171) Hunters Track Sunday 6 December 2020 Onboard: Lorna (leader), Tess(co-leader), Anna, Michiel, Ian, Tameem, Carl & Little Ted. Departed Mill Lane 7am with 7 trampers including 1 newbie. Just one no show! The weather forecast was mostly sunny. Lorna drove the fancy Merc van to the starting point on the Old Kaimai Rd in good time. On the way Anna pointed out more men than women on the tramp. Which is quite rare on a day tramp. While booting up at the back of the van, me and Ian had to retrieve bags which blew out, due to gusts of strong wind. Lorna gave a heads up and we were off at 8:25am. A quick look at the map on the DOC sign before descending a couple of animal absent fields via stiles. Another group of brisk trampers passed by as we entered the bush. We followed the well marked Henderson Tramline Track (North), heading for Hurunui Hut for mid morning tea. Within a few minutes of entering the bush we crossed a couple of streams with more to follow. Heading mostly upwards in the bush we warmed up, most of us delayered. The track was a little muddy and stream crossings slippery. We came across a young man with a magnifying glass. We enquired about his business, he showed us something very small. Orchids growing on the side of the track (spider orchids). At 10am a little further on we met up with the brisk trampers having a break at the track junction. We followed the South Track through bush and occasional open sunny clearings, until we reached the Hurunui Hut at 10:40am. We said hello to a young family who had just vacated the hut. A 20 minute mid morning tea went down well with a few photos taken, then back to tramping. This was the start of the hunters track which need care to follow markers in much thicker bush. After a few backtracks we came across what at first looked like a Christmas Tree, with 3 long branches sticking out of the top. Too big for Little Ted to climb. More thick bush with lots of bush lawyer, streams and clearings. We came to a wire fence and scaled it to go up steep farmland. Passing through a gate at the top we followed a short farm track to the start of a steeper hill topped with a rocky outcrop. Beyond that was a bluey green radar ball, our destination for lunch. We walked along a single track road passing various communication towers with hazey views over the Bay of Plenty & the Waikato Basin. At 1pm we reached the ball, which was made up of a patchwork of bluey green hexagons and looked a bit like a football. We had lunch which was well overdue. I shared a bottle of cold beer with Ian. Half an hour later we entered the bush via an unmarked track which followed the ridge heading north. It was muddy with lots of tree roots. The only good thing was it descended most of the way. At 3pm we returned to the South Track junction without the brisk trampers and had a break. Tameem found a GeoCan hidden in a nearby bush. Lorna told us about them, and what to do. The GeoCan was placed back and we started the last leg of the tramp at 3:15. One last look at the orchids, back over the streams and in the van for 4:50pm. I drove back with Ian riding shotgun. Stopped at a new place for ice cream but it wasn't opening until next week, to Michiel's disappointment . So we decided not to wait and carried on home. This was a great tramp with a bit of everything and quite challenging in places. Not hard but long. Tramp was 8hrs 15min ish. Falls 0. Injuries 1 (Ian got a cut). Ice cream stop NONE. Many thanks to Lorna (Leader & Driver) & Tess (Co-Leader) Tramp Reflection by Carl Richards & Little Ted.