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HVTC centenary 1923-2023

We're celebrating 100 years of tramping, mountaineering, biking, snow sports and other outdoor recreation.

Our members started out exploring our local hills, the Orongorongo Valley and Tararua Range. Over the past century, we’ve built tracks and huts, a ski lodge and a hall that’s our base in Lower Hutt. 

We’ve carried out conservation activities, advocated for access to the outdoors, and travelled throughout Aotearoa New Zealand, especially to the South Island’s more rugged areas. 

Our stomping ground has remained our local hills and valleys.

We’ve fostered the development of some well-known trampers but mostly we’ve given ordinary people opportunities to experience New Zealand’s natural beauty, to challenge ourselves physically and mentally, to enjoy friendship, and to share the outdoor skills needed to stay safe and have fun.

We’d love to hear from past members and their families. We invite you to join us in our centenary celebrations on the weekend of 3-5 November.

Contact 100th@hvtc.org.nz or register using the link.


- Online Event Registration HVTC 100th Anniversary 3-5 November 2023


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Centenary stories

As part of our centenary celebrations, we are sharing stories from some of our Life Members and other longstanding members.

They describe their most memorable tramping experiences, how the club shaped their lives and their thoughts for the future.



Thora Jones

Thora Jones

Thora joined HVTC in 1949.

My best friend, Rosemary was a member. My first trip was a working party on Anniversary weekend 1949 when a new aluminium roof was to be put on Baines Hut to replace the old malthoid one.

I enjoyed it so much I joined soon after and from then on enjoyed many trips over 60-odd years. Most enjoyable were Christmas trips, such as to Hollyford Pyke in 1949, Rakaia in 1950, and best of all Olivine Ice Plateau in1951.

The club was a real marriage bureau. I wed Trevor Jones in 1952 and we stayed tramping until our 80s.

Several members like Snow Dempsey had served in the territorials during World War 2, spending weekends in the Ōrongorongo area and Tararua Range practising for the invasion of New Zealand and learnt a lot of bushcraft, which they imparted to club members.

I also took part in building Waitewaewae Hut (mostly cooking), and I was on the social committee for a few years. There were no women on the club’s general committee then. Margaret White would have been a good chief guide but was not voted in. I was also editor for some years.

The club has been a wonderful source of lifelong friends. Snow Dempsey used to say he could get a bed anywhere in New Zealand.

I am glad to see the club is encouraging school pupils in tramping and hope some will join the club to boost the numbers of younger members.


Thora Jones

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