A bloody awesome one-nighter just inland from Waikanae. Highly under-rated*.

Walking it clockwise the first day is a slosh through the upper reaches of the Waikanae River (about five crossings, some knee deep) followed by a sharp climb up 700m through dense beech. There are still scars from the 1936 cyclone.

Kapakapanui track map

The track flattens out after a couple of hours and another hour or so later Kapakapanui Hut is nestled in the trees.

Walking times roughly marry up to signposted times. Approx 3 hours to the hut.

Kapakapanui Hut


Port Report

This trip’s Port Report is CHEEKY QUAIL BLACK CURRANT PORT by Ruahine Ports.

Yep, seriously, Cheeky Quail. How flippin’ awesome is that!

The Quail is an awesome fruity drop. Very rich and dark. Kirk hit the nail on the head with this one and cemented his Karpet position in one easy pour.

Highly recommend.

The next day it’s a fairly easy hour long walk up to the top of Kapakapanui. Only about 20 minutes uphill from the hut you break the treeline and the view are amazing.

From the top it’s a sharp and pretty much constant descent down to the river again. Tough on the legs with a heavy pack. 4 hours or so from the top to the car. Again, roughly what the signs say.

Kapakapanui Summit

Things we learned on this trip:

1. Kirk is a good bugger: new addition to the Karpet, Kirk, was excellent company on his first outing, including top notch food contributions.

2. Shithead: a new card game (for me). Objective is to lose all your cards, like Arsehole.

DEALING: From a standard, shuffled deck of 52 cards, each player is dealt three ‘face down cards’ in a row. Players are not allowed to see or change these cards. On top of the ‘face down cards’, they are dealt the same number of ‘face up cards’. Three cards are again dealt to each player (face down), and this becomes the player’s ‘hand’. Players are then allowed to switch the cards in their ‘hand’ with their ‘face up cards’ in an attempt to produce a strong set of ‘face up cards’ for later in the game.

PLAY: After the cards have been dealt, players lay cards in turn onto the pick up pile, starting with the first player to lay a three. If nobody has a three, then the holder of a four must lay and so-on. If two players hold a four, the first player with a four after the dealer begins the game. Play will then continue in a clockwise direction until the cards dictate otherwise.


2 – Playing this wildcard allows the next player to play any card in his or her hand.
10 – Laying a 10 burns the pile and removes it from the game. The player who laid the 10 may then lay another card before play continues.
Additional wildcards: 
3 – This wildcard has two roles: it changes the direction of play until a 3 is played again and it also “mirrors” the previous card. For example if a player lays an Ace, and the player to their left lays a 3, then play returns to the player who played an Ace and they must then lay an Ace or a wildcard.
5 – A 5 is effectively a ‘see through’ card. The game continues based on the card below.
7 – Laying a 7 means that the next player must match or go lower than a 7 or play a 10. Subsequent play returns to the standard order.
8 – Laying an 8 means that the next player misses their turn. (Laying a 3 on an 8 also results in the next player missing their turn).
Four-of-a-kind – Any four of a kind acts as a wild card as well. For example, if a player lays two Kings, and the following player has two more, they can play them, and this burns the pile.

3. Contact: Another excellent new game we learned from a slightly intense hut companion.

PLAY: One player must think of a word, and reveal the initial letter. The object is for the other players to work out what the word is. To do so, they can only ask questions where the answer is a word with the same starting letter. 

Say the creator’s word is “apple.”  The creator says his word starts with the letter “a.”  The guessers try to think of words that also start with the letter “a.”  One of the guessers thinks of the word “apathy” and gives the group a clue, say “This is a symptom of depression.”

If the word creator can come up with a word that fits the clue, say “apathy” or “anhedonia,” they say “It’s not apathy” or “It’s not anhedonia,” and the guessers have to think of another clue.

If the word creator cannot think of a word, but one of the other guessers can, the other guesser says “Contact” and the guessers say the word together after counting down from 3.  If they both say the same word, the creator has to give them the next letter.  If they say different words, or if none of the other guessers knows what the clue means, then the guessers have to think of another clue.

Once you have two or more letters, the guessers can only use words that start with those letters.  For instance, once the creator gives the letters “ap,” the guessers can only use words like “application,” “aptitude,” or “apoptosis.”  After three or four letters it usually becomes obvious what the word is, and players can start guessing the word.

4. I pack far too much shit. After this trip I’m going ultralight!!!


*We rate it – heaps. Not sure who under-rates it. Apparently everyone. But not us. Honestly. It’s choice.