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The Great Whirinaki

Updated: Nov 14, 2021

Date: Sat- Mon 25-27 October 2014

Location: Whirinaki Forest Park, Bay of Plenty

Trip leaders: Anna Luo, Carl Barnhill

Trampers: Nalini Singh, Sebastian Kalkoff, Craig Smith, Rory Gardner, Chandelina Toala, David Stone, Edan Lyons, Thomas Skate

We met Saturday morning, punctually at half-seven.

... Most of us.

*New Message from Carl:

0748: HURRY!!!!

*New Message from Carl:

0806: FIRE

*New Message from Carl:

0813: Save us Anna

(We all did arrive eventually).

Whirinaki forest is green and bushy, much like the facial hair of a leprechaun. Like a leprechaun who acutely develops severe diaphoresis, rhinorrhea and continuous lacrimation on the second and third days; as the track merges carelessly with rivers of liquid dihydrogen oxide.

It is highly recommended you fret about the very first stream crossing and make herculean efforts to cross the river dry; it will provide gleeful entertainment to your team when you eventually soak your feet (and/or face).

David: “I learned not to faceplant into river banks”.
Rory: “Enjoyed the stream bashing, lentil curry and amazing views of the night sky.”

Because the days are short, detours to the waterfall and caves are recommended. Also, carrying extra “food” items will please your trampers. Chan: “Thought “Vodka Cruiser” was an energy drink. Yummy dinners!”

You’ll also want some quality evening entertainment. Card games such as Saboteur are fun, as the huts are comfy and spacious. Often however, your trampers are perfectly capable of entertaining themselves after the leaders have gone to bed… (see photo spread) The cave.

Sebastian: “Walking into the forest, drank dank vodka, took pictures of milky way, then got nude with a bunch of dudes. Call me crazy but Whirinaki really opened my eyes.”

Thomas: “Amazing first experience in NZ. This trip is beautiful. The craziest thing it was in Maungamate hut. Sofus naked in the bench.

The Cave

Eventually, Labour Weekend drew to a close and we headed home.

Overall, Whirinaki was a super-hardcore trip full of extenuating physical hardship. If not for the meticulous planning, organisation and good looks of the leaders, it is likely we would not have all survived. :)

Nah, seriously, it’s a really relaxed trip. Why not consider the Great Whirinaki for your next tramp- to make it more interesting, you should put boots on your hands and walk it upside down.


Edan: “Drop your pants! - Seb”

Nalini: “Tommy asked, “Did you not take a camera?” I replied: “ My heart is a camera. Each beat is a shutterclick. My soul will remember what counts.”

Craig: “I like cheese.”

Carl: “I like vodka!” :)


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