The Parawai Tramping Club is getting ready to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

The club is honouring the significant milestone in early November with a trio of events including a trip to Parawai Lodge, in Ōtaki Forks, a celebration dinner and guest speakers at the Otaihanga Boating Club, and a walk along the Paekākāriki Escarpment from Pukerua Bay to Paekākāriki.

A book is also being produced and will be called Parawai: 50 Years of Tramping.

The club held its first meeting in July 1969 with Graham Hedley elected president and Ray Ede chief guide.


The aim of the club was simple — cater for tramping needs of locals.

It has gone from strength to strength and has 75 members, most of who are active.

The famous Tararua ladder.
The famous Tararua ladder.

The club, whose name is a breakdown of the names Paraparaumu and Waikanae, meets every first and third Wednesday of the month at Kāpiti Primary School from 7.30pm.

Discussions involve past and future activities as well as guest speakers.

The club organises various trips, most weekends, predominantly in the nearby Tararua Ranges and Ruahine Ranges as well as further afield to places like Ruapehu, the West Coast, Nelson Lakes and so on at various times of the year.

Tramping is the main aspect but there is skiing, kayaking and mountain biking options among the mix.

"Tramping is like a general term now for people who share an interest in the outdoors," said Steve Hudson, who is co-ordinating the club's jubilee.

Tramping along the Mungo River, West Coast.
Tramping along the Mungo River, West Coast.

Mr Hudson, a Fire Emergency senior station officer, joined the tramping club in 1978 when he was at college.


"I went along and became quite keen.

"Tramping has always been an interest of mine.

"I enjoy getting out and seeing parts of New Zealand that most people don't see.

"You're getting away from the comforts of home and facing different challenges.

"There's also the camaraderie and also the experience that you gain."

Past and present members are invited to celebrate the jubilee which will be held over November 8, 9 and 10.