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Hawaiian Trail & Mountain Corp.


Historic 1931 account of HTMC by ATC Members

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Our Secretary and his wife writing while on board the “Matsonia” give a very interesting account of their trip through the Islands. They wish to be remembered to all and would like to hear from all good trampers. Very little seems to have escaped their notice, sugar mills, pineapple canneries, the Pearl Harbour naval base, Schofield Military Barracks and Depot are among the places visited. 

Of tramping he writes: – “One of the first things we did here was to look up the hiking club, Hawaiian Trail and Mountain Club, and go out with them. We went out three times to different places but the tramping is very different here. Not very much native bush but plenty of dense prickly undergrowth which renders cross country trips of the regular trails almost impossible. Men and women wear riding breeches or slacks and seem to carry their luncheon tied up in a big coloured handkerchief. One or two have packs and school bags, but they seem to be the exception. A long trip is about 14/15 miles and they range down to 2 miles. The procedure is to go by motor lorry or your own car to the commencement of the trail, either start off on the trail yourself or wait for the rest of the crowd, just as you please and eventually all join up together (perhaps). A scenic round trip around the Island is about 86 miles so you see the place is not very big. A range of hills about 1/3500 foot runs down one side and a shorter one on the other. Between the two is a plateau growing sugar, pineapples, rice, etc. The hills of the range are unbelievably steep and precipitous. The larger range rises sheer from the plateau and gives a wonderful background to the view. It would probably be very interesting hiking but you would need to be familiar with the country. People, more especially soldiers from the camp, have been lost and never heard of or found again. It seems incredible, but several people have told me so I suppose there must be some truth in the story. On one trip to some falls, we went up the valley to the foot of the range, the sides were towering almost perpendicular on both sides. The falls are “Sacred” Falls – not much volume – and I did not hear if there was any legend attached but the place was sacred to Hawaiian royalty. It is the home of the “Pig God” and to propitiate him so that he will not roll stones down the sides, you make offerings of green leaves placed on big rocks along the trail. This is apparently an old native custom and is observed by visitors to the falls.  


The big volcano of Hawaii one hears so much of is as big as Ngauruhoe and not worth going to see at present. We decided that 26 days in Hawaii would be enough and that we had better go on to San Francisco. Hence we are on the way.  We learnt that there is a big hiking club there, the Sierra Club, of about 2,000 or 3,000 members all over the States. It runs all sorts of trips, camps, etc., so it sounds very interesting. More about it later, closing down now. E. and N.”

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The above account was received via email from Auckland Tramping Club Members Ian and Anna Roberts in May 2022 with the following message: 

The Auckland Tramping Club has its 100th anniversary in 2025 hence there has been a big project ongoing to get all old club material online for preservation and easy access. There was an account in a 1931 club newsletter (the Hobo, a predecessor to the Wanderlust). The then secretary Eric Waters and his bride Ngaia took a 6 month honeymoon in the USA including a stop over in Oahu. Being trampers they sought out the local tramping club… above is Eric’s account of their experiences…