Feb 01 2017

Traquair Station Tramps

Published by under Both Hikers & Trampers,Farm

Not during lambing or calving. Permissions from Traquair and Horsehoof.
Location: 22 km.
 13. 1/2/2027. Both. Traquair Station and Old Dunstan Road circuit. M. Leaders: Ian and Doug for the Hikers with Arthur for the Trampers.
Our inclement summer weather allowed a window of moderate breeze and sunshine for a most successful tramp in Maungatua Range’s foothills. Twenty-eight turned up at the carpark, including (was it?) 5 guests, all of ability suitable for the day.

– What more to say? We all made it leisurely and easily up a moderate gradient slope through paddocks, (with a stop for a cuppa, – not to mention mushrooms – on the way)

Morning tea. (Helen pic and caption.)

to the Microwave.

Getting near the microwave. (Helen pic and caption.)

We sauntered down the grassy Dunstan Trail, stopping for lunch in the sun.

Click for … Video of lunch stop on the Maungatua foothills’ part of the Old Dunstan Road … lunch video.

We returned through paddocks and the two fords, (sorry, two, not one, as announced), the fords just a little engorged with extra water from an overnight rain. Over a steep ridge …

[View] Back up hill on way to end of tramp. (Helen pic and caption.)

… and back to cattle yards on Mahinerangi Road.
Our five able guests, (the number possibly a day’s tramp record for the club?), contributed towards interesting ensuing conversations on the day. Furthering the opportunities for social (yes, social) intercourse was provision along most of the tramp for four-and-more-abreast walking.
It wasn’t a long day. Distance just 12.5 km. Recourse to the Wobbly Goat  Cafe for coffee and chatter ended a very happy outing. – Ian.

12. 26/2/2014. Hikers. Traquair Station, Cattle yards, implement shed, Microwave, Old Coach Rd, Crawfish Creek ford, implement shed circuit.  Leaders: Ian, Janice.

GPS of Traquair circuit

GPS of Traquair circuit. Distance: 12.6 km, Total time spent: 5 hrs, 8 mins.

Leader Ian started the day by his car engine overheating and having to be abandoned about 2 km short of the tramp start. Fortunately a most helpful couple in a double cab ute delivered him and his passengers to the tramp start at a set of cattle yards. The leaders had calculated on a six hour tramp, so we pushed on up-hill at a steady rate, much faster than need be, as we later learned. We stopped on a convenient ledge …

Morning Tea IF

Morning Tea. (Red dot near 2 km on GPS route.)

for morning tea, continuing on through various gates. In one of the paddocks six horses showed lively interest by galloping up to and away from us again. The last stretch was through tussock with the Microwave looming ahead of us.

Just about at the Microwave.

Just about at the Microwave. (Near 4 km on GPS route.)

When we reached it, instead of taking the two hours predicted by the leaders, we had made it in one and a half. (Apologies to those at the back who felt a bit pushed.) Bravo. Well done.

From there, give or take the odd little rise, it was soon just a lovely stroll down the Maungatua Range foothills section of the old Dunstan coach road. (Mentioned in first sentence of Early History), a ridge skirting the head-gullies of Crawfish creek which we were to ford later on. We stopped for a leisurely lunch …

Lunch. (Red dot on GPS route.

Lunch. (Red dot beyond 7 km on GPS route.)

… on a hillock alongside the track. After that it was just a short distance down the attractive gently-sloping close-cropped grass path amongst the tussocks to reach an all-important gate (at right-angle between 7 & 8 kms on left of map) that was to take us on the return journey towards the cars again. So perhaps it was understandable that two members of the party (who will remain nameless), strolling on ahead failed to stop and only by dint of much whistling and shouting were eventually persuaded to return. (Just as happened on the last Trampers’ trek, whose failure to stay with the leader is indicated by the extra tail at the same spot on Ken’s GPS of the route below.)

The journey back to the cars was just as recounted in the report below.
Back at the cars, Ian’s passengers were fitted into other cars. Ian was ferried back to his car, which had now cooled and made it back to Outram. With careful nursing it got back to Ian’s car hospital where it awaits diagnosis and possibly replacement parts.
The day was perfect. All made it with no trouble. A good day out. – Ian.

11. 18/5/2011. Trampers. Traquair Station, Cattle yards, implement shed, Microwave, Old Coach Rd, Crawfish Creek ford, implement shed circuit. Leader: Ian

GPS of route, beginning from far back right corner. (courtesy Ken) Distance 13.9km. Moving ave. 4.5 km/h. Total ascent: 821 mtrs.

A blustery cold gale buffeted us right from the start, and all the way up the steep climb to the Microwave. There was talk of whether it would be wiser to turn back and cancel the tramp.

Sheltering in the lee of the Microwave

The old coach road was a welcome change from the climb and the buffeting wind was showing signs of easing.

A distinctive small loop around a hillock.

The unbroken fence on the right at last yielded to the critical barb-wired top gate. The place through which to take to the paddocks.

Paddock route lower left to upper right

In navigating the above cross-paddocks route the trick was to keep to the right of the fence as the  track, surprisingly partially coach-road in appearance, swung left and right and left again as it took us to the L-shaped pair of gates decision point.

The twin gates ahead.

The gate on the right leads down the RHS of a gully before tracking down into it to lead to the two fords, the sole crossing-point over the Crawfish.

After the fords, the track led steeply up and up again. Three of us took to the level contoured stock tracks winding in and out around ridges and gullies while the others tackled the tracks steep climb up and over.

Looking back at the high ridge we had negotiated by one means or another.

Past that hurdle, we were clearly on our way past the implement shed and on back to the cars.
It had been a testing tramp, but worth pushing through on. A triumph for the seven trampers on the day. – Ian
10. 10/12/2008 Traquair Station, Microwave, Old Coach Rd, Crawfish Creek ret. Leaders:Ian, Bill M Farm and tussock country.
click to enlarge
Curious horses.

Curious horses.

Seven of us parked our two cars on Mahinerangi Rd  a little away from the Traquair cattle-yards as there was to be considerable cattle activity there that day. We walked across a large paddock, passing to the left of a large shed and and proceeded up a ridge directly in line with the microwave. We made it easy for ourselves by beginning slowly – and then easing up!

We morning-teaed  on the way

Morning tea

Morning tea

and arrived at the microwave some time after 11. We then made our way down the old coach road to the right and lunched among large tussocks which made good Little Miss Muffet seats. Then it was yet further down the lovely smooth grassy Coach Rd until we turned off to the right through a rare gate in the fence line. We then  crossed two or three paddocks following a fence line  before reaching the gate that marked for the leaders a gully that would take us down into  Crawfish Creek.

An ideal ford of Crawfish Creek.

An ideal ford of Crawfish Creek.

Near the crossing, we paused to admire the beauty of stream and gully slope before climbing up the other side.

Crawfish Stream scene. (Bill pic).

Crawfish Stream scene. (Bill pic).

Halfway up the steep hill, we elected to take a stock track which followed a beautifully level contour line around the hills ridge making for a longer but far easier way to the hill’s farther side. Then it was over to the shed we had passed earlier in the day, completing the loop of the round  trip, and back to the cattle yards and cars.

Several commented that it was easier than the hilly McNally track of last week, well within the ability of the hikers and a beautiful new tramp present members don’t recall ever having done before. It does appear though that Traquair Station is listed on tramping programmes of 1993 and earlier. The walk was basically a tramp up a ridge on Crawfish Creek true right, a skirting across the top of its head-water gullies, and then a return back down its true left to cross the creek lower down. Despite the small water flow of the creek, steep gorges in places lower down from our crossing indicated the powerful eroding work it has carried out in the past. – Ian
9. 29/7/1998. Traquair Microwave round trip. Leaders: Barbara McC, Mary L.
8. 31/1/1996 Traquair. Medium. Leaders: Ria L, Catherine T, Nel, Irene
7. 23/3/1994 Robert Reid Farm, Mahinerangi Road. Medium. Leaders: Ria L, Catherine T
6. 17/11/1993 Robert Reid’s Farm. (Mahinerangi Road). Medium. Marie F, Ria L, Ria H, Nel K
5. 17/3/1993 Manugatua – to Microwave from Traquair. Medium. Round Trip. (Walking week.) /strong> Leaders:Molly, Peggy M, Catherine, Ria L
4. 18/11/1992 Foothills of the Maungatuas. Round Trip. Average. Leaders:Ria L, Catherine, Jean, Ria H
3. 9/10/1991 Foothills of the Maungatuas. Traquair to Micro-Wave Station. A nice hill tramp – tussock country. Average+.Leaders:Catherine, Molly, Ria L, Peggy M
2. 12/6/1991 Traquair  – Microwave station – Maungatuas. Round trip, nice tussock tramp. Average+ Leaders: Dave & Jean, Molly, Peggy M
29/7/1989 Traquair Station Leaders: Barbara M
1. 5/4/1989 Microwave Trig from Traquair. Open tussock country. Another good tramp for everyone. Leaders: Daphne, Peg A, Hugh D

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