Aug 02 2017

Chain Hills-Friends Hill Tramps

Published by under Hikers

No. 102 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Friends Hill Chain Hills Year Round”
Saddle Hill Hotel

36. 2 Aug 2017  Both. Fairfield to Friends Hill. M.  Leaders: Keith and Shona.

It was drizzly and cold as we gathered at the Bush Rd car park.

After considerable discussion 20 people caught the bus …

What does the Taieri Recreational Tramping Club do and a wet cold winters day – They catch a bus and head for the hills! (Clive pic and caption.)

… to Fairfield, where further discussion occurred before Keith led the group along and up Flower St to the morning tea stop in the trees.

Route Map, courtesy Ian. Remembered to start it only at morning tea stop! so add 1 km from Flower St bus stop. Tunnel diversion for the “8” added 3 km. Do your own math for your total.

We headed up the track to Chain Hills Road where we met Janine and her little dog Rocky.

After about an hour we made it to the top of Chain Hills Road that was covered in mist with constant rain. (Clive pic and caption.)

By then the drizzle had eased and after the first downhill, …

Among the gum trees on the descent of Chain Hills. (Clive pic and caption.)

… 8 went [yet further! – Ed] down with Janine to inspect the Wingatui tunnel …

Eight of the more intrepid trampers branched off to view [& walk! – Ed] the old [800m – Ed.] railway tunnel [end to end, return! – Ed.].  Several found the novel way down [the first track – Ed.] by sitting down in the mud (unintentionally)! (Clive pic and caption.)

… and the rest negotiated the muddy track, climbed the stile and moved into Janine’s home to eat lunch. (Thanks, Janine.)
As we left, the 8 appeared [back up! – Ed.] over the stile and we all meandered back to Mosgiel, 7 having coffee at Blackstone.The remainder had disappeared (?) home for coffee, showers or even lunch for some. – Keith and Shona.

35. 19 Jul 2017. Trampers. Chain Hills. Leader: M. Helen.

A nice tramp today. Starting from Gladstone Rd and walking up hill over the top of the motorway. Turned onto Chain Hill Road. Found a nice spot for our morning tea on the top of a hill overlooking Mosgiel.

Morning tea. (Helen pic and caption.)

View from top of inversion layer over Mosgiel. (Helen pic and caption.)

The 12 of us then proceeded along the ups and downs along to the end. Turning left over the stile and the down through the paddocks to Friends Hill Rd. Down to the racecourse where we sat in luxury in the grandstand for our lunch.

Lunch. (Helen pic and caption.)

Chen a leisurely walk along Gladstone Rd back to our cars. Coffee for 9 of us at Blackstone’s. Lovely day and a nice 12.2km tramp. – Helen.

34. 10/5/2017. Friends Hill, Chain Hills, Gladstone Road. M. Clive, Jay and Jan.

Nike app route map, courtesy Ian.

Autumn on the Taieri.   One of those Southern days of sunshine found an intrepid band of hikers (16) setting out from Wingatui racecourse to walk up Friends Hill and then across country to Chain Hills Road.   The going to start with was steep and a challenge for some,  but then it came to the stile to get onto the public pathway to Chain Hills Road; the step up to stile was about a meter and made for more limber people.   Well all rose to the challenge and made it over the stile to the sheep pens at the top of the hill where we rested for morning tea …

Morning tea. (Ian pic and caption.)

… and watched the fog in the valley roll away.    By now the temperature had risen to the promised 17 degrees and jumpers and fleecy jacket were shed to climb the next couple of hills to Chain Hills Road.   It was then we found that the first stile was just a taster for the next two stiles that were very high and over barbed wire.    Some gentleman from years past laid down his coat so that the ladies did not snare their stocking on the barbed wire. [’twas the reporter! – Ed.]    We gained Chain Hills Road by 11 o’clock so it was a nice walk along the ridge line to arrive above Mosgiel just before midday and a spot to sit and eat lunch.

Lunch. (Ian pic and caption.)

A herd of friendly cows watched from across the road and then when they realized we were not there to feed them showed their opinion in that unique bovine manner – pats all round.

Thanks for the view too, Clive, as well as all the above. (Clive pic, Ian caption.)

The walk off Chain hills had the leader focused on road safety and the safest way to negotiate Morris Road (a busy road), down to Quarry Road.   Then it was along the flat back to Wingatui to pick up the cars for afternoon tea and Blackstones cafe.   I think we got a suntan on the way! – Clive.

33. 18/5/2016. Flower Street, Friends Hill, Wingatui, Car Park. M. Leaders: Keith and Shona.
Hikers' Route.

Hikers’ Route. Morning Tea stop in rain at about 1 km. Lunch in sun at 6 km. Coffee at 10.6 km.

18 Went by bus from outside the Mosgiel Post Office, arriving Flower St, Fairfield about 9.30 a.m.

Wandered up to the top of Flower St to have morning tea in the gum trees, as there was still drizzly rain falling.

Rain eased and we progressed over the stile and up the grass track, exiting onto Chain Hills Rd. After turning right, followed it to the end. Negotiated the stile there safely and followed the fence line down, up, and around, …

Green Island(?) from Flower Street. (Sharyn pic.)

Green Island from a ‘down’ paddock. (Sharyn pic.)

Wingatui from Friends Hill. (Sharyn pic)

Wingatui from above Friends Hill. (Sharyn pic)

… eventually exiting onto Friends Hill Rd.

Walked to Wingatui Race Couse for lunch, where there were toilets and dry seats in the grandstand for the rain had stopped. Made our way down Wingatui Rd, through track, across Haggart Alexander Drive, down Green st to end at Blackstone Cafe for a coffee. – Shona and Keith.

32. 11/6/2014. Chain Hills, Flower Street. M. Leaders: Pam, Dawn.
GPS of route

GPS of route. Cars parked foot of Coalstage Rd, Morris Rd overpass, Chain Hills Rd, Flower St, Kennedy Rd, Walkway, Main Rd, Park by Fairplay St, Main Rd, Saddleview Pl, Underpass, Saddle Hill Rd, Coalstage Rd again. Distance: 8.93 km; Fastest 4.78 kph; Slowest 3.73 kph.

Pam and Dawn led us, thirty strong this trip, on a route largely familiar to most, but a little less so to this reporter. We took the SH1 overpass, stretched out indian-file, making quite a picture no doubt to motorists passing underneath, to judge by the horn toots we got.
Bridge

Overpass. (John pic)

Down Morris Road to turn sharply up Chain Hills Road.

We ‘morning-teaed’ at the red spot on the map between kilometer marks two and three on the GPS map.
Panorama

The customary morning tea spot on Chain Hills Road. (John pic)

A little further on as we took the Chain Hills Road right fork taking us down to Fairfield. The top of Flower Street lay through private land, guarded by locked gates provided with not-very-accommodating styles.

Style queue

The style at the Flower Street top locked gate. (John pic)

Further down again (or was it higher up?) we came across this mock farmyard, complete with tractor, water wheel, cow, et al.

Glove

A rubber glove udder for a tinny cow. (John pic)

Down in the paved part of Flower Street we were taken with a letter box making industry operating out of a private property.

Letter Boxes to order

Letter Boxes made to order.

Then it was into Kennedy Road, out through a walkway to emerge on the Main Road and on to lunch at a park abutting Fairplay Street.
Collage

Collage of lunch groups (John collage)

From there it was further up the Main Road, then to be pleasantly surprised by the leaders taking us not via the customary Morris Road but by Saddleview Terrace and through the SH1 underpass and up, very steeply up, Saddle Hill Road to Coalstage Road. A short distance along and we stopped to admire Janice’s house and to farewell her down the driveway. Then it was just on down back to the cars.

A good day out, despite an icy edge to the light wind at times. Thank you, leaders. – Ian.
31. 12/3/2014. Hikers. Friends Hill. Leaders: Fred, Elaine.
We parked our cars  up Quarry Rd to the right of the overbridge on the north side of the
Saddle Hill.
25 fit and healthy Hikers started up over the bridge and up Chains Hill Rd.
We were met early on by a very fit brown lab dog who followed us all the way …
Dog

Dog (Pic John)

… to the morning tea stop.

Morning tea

Morning tea. (John, pic.)

It sat down and waited while we ate and sipped our tea and water.

Continuing on, we arrived at the Chain Hills Rd end. I thought the dog would have gone home. The DOG sat down and waited till we all leaped over the stile (some climbed carefully).
The DOG then left and went home.
Lunch was at a cosy spot …

Sheltered lunch spot

Sheltered lunch spot (John, Panorama pic.)

… out of the wind.
Fred gave out chocs.
The ground was even and not at all muddy. The views are worth stopping for to catch a breath.
When we reached Gladstone Rd North, we walked to the Wingatui Hall where we had cunningly had a car parked for those who needed a lift back  to the cars up saddle hill. Several Hikers took up the offer and Fred transported them up to their cars. We continued down Gladstone Rd North to the z station, then up quarry rd back to the cars.
Several hikers took up the offer of going for coffee to Wals at the end of the day. (Can’t guess who. – Ed)
A very hot day enjoyed by all. – Elaine.
30. 11/12/2013. All.  Friends Hill, Chain Hills. End of Year finger-food lunch at Wingatui Hall. Leaders: Peter and Wendy.
GPS of route

GPS of route from Friends Hill to Chains Hill road, return.

Our leaders had to change our end of year location. Berwick Camp had been already booked. Where to plan the tramp? A brilliant choice. From the Hall, up Friends Hill to the stile and across the poled route to the Chain Hills road end for morning tea. It was the first time this reporter remembers doing the route UP from ‘Friends’ to “Chain’. He discovered how much easier it is doing the reverse route DOWN. The trampers among us were not disappointed either. Bravo, leaders. Our shared lunch was  another successful end-of-year treat. Thanks to Bruce for leading us in a sing-a-long. Happy holidays. – Ian.
29. 28/3/2012. Hikers. Chain Hills. Leader: Graham.
28. 23/11/2011. Hikers. Fairfield circuit, Fairfield. Leaders: Graham, Wendy.
27. 29/6/2011 Friends Hill. Leaders: Fred, Elaine.
Start Carpark at Saddle Hill overbridge,
to end of Chain Hills road,
across farmland …
Single

“Single File please people.” (As if we could do anything else.)(Bob pic and caption)

Downhill

Pleasant downhill walking. (Bob pic and caption)

What

Lunch queue? A good spot actually with shelter, sun, and log seats laid on. (Bob pic and caption)

Fred

Fred jealously guards his chocolates. (Bob pic and caption)

… down to Friends’ Hill Road.
Good leadership – except that Quasimodi challenged for the leader’s role, …
Quasi

Quasimodo joins the group. (Bob pic and caption)

… the leader threw down the gauntlet (ie orange jerkin), and the usurper reigned, …

gauntlet

Quasimodo surges into the lead. (Bob pic and caption)

…  and misled the people at one point,
at which the the old guard led the errant followers correctly.
Along Gladstone Rd, and
up Quarry Rd to cars.
We started with 18 and with defections reduced to 6!!
A lovely walk. Great weather. – Bob.
26. 26/1/2011. Hikers. Chain Hills Road, Flower Street, Fairfield. Easy+. Leaders: Frank and Lesley.
Some 18 of us (the number varied a little at points in the walk) set out from the bridge carpark on Saddle Hill on a fine and calm morning, continued up Chain Hills Road with morning tea at the “potato planter” (pictured),

Morning tea by the potato planter. (Bob pic and caption)

Ditto. (Bob pic and caption)

across a small piece of farmland by the reservoir (where there was the possibility of a confrontation with a cattle beast

Does he want to have a beef with us? (Bob pic and caption)

– but avoided because of the amiable nature of all on two or four feet ) and so onto Flower St, Fairfield, and past several novel garden ornaments, one of which is pictured.

Neill admonishes the little people. (Bob pic and caption)

Lunch stop was at the park with shelter from the hall wall against the strengthening wind, and chocolates from Fred, and the last part of the round-trip was up the old main road (Morris Rd) in gathering drizzle. A frequent topic of conversation was the ailments (and recovery) of various people present or absent, and the name of Don who used to come out with us but whom we haven’t seen for some time and whose name eluded several. [Donny Hunter? – Ed] ( I am reliably informed that there are no longer “senior moments”, but rather “intellectual pauses”.) Two new faces, Jim and Betty, came to ‘try us out’. Thanks to Frank and Leslie for leadership. – Bob M
25. 9/6/2010 Hikers. Chain Hills Road, Flower Street, Fairfield. Easy+. Leaders: Frank and Lesley.

I guess that the residents themselves are their best critics. (Bill pic and caption)

24. 22/4/2009 Hikers. Chain Hills Road, Flower Street, Fairfield. Easy+. Leaders: Frank and Lesley.
23. 28/5/2008. Hikers. Overbridge, Chain Hills, Fairfield. Easy. Leaders: Frank and Lesley
22. 23/1/2008. Hikers. Chain Hills to Fairfield. Easy. Leaders: Frank and Lesley.
21. 27/9/2006. Hikers. Chain Hills, Fairfield. Easy. Leaders: Eleanor W, Dot T.
20. 17/8/2005. Hikers. Overbridge, Chain Hills, Fairfield. Leaders: Margaret S, Carmel.
19. 28/7/2004 Fairfield Tavern, Chain Hills, Fairfield. From over-bridge. Leaders: Les W, Ray, Mary M.
Dunedin from Mount Grand

Dunedin from Mount Grand

Mosgiel from Friends Hill

Mosgiel from Friends Hill

18. 16/7/2003. Hikers. Overhead Bridge, Flower Street, Fairfield. Easy. Leaders: Lance and Lois.
17. 19/2/2003. Chain Hills Circuit from Fairfield Tavern. Medium. Trampers. Leaders: Donny, Graham.
16. 19/6/2002 Alt. Winter walk from Fairfield Tavern. road walk. Leaders: Joyce S, Eleanor
15. 29/5/2002. Chain Hills Circuit from Fairfield Tavern. Medium. Leaders: Donny, Wendy, Graham.
14. 23/5/2001 Friends Hill. Leaders: Bev McI, Mary M, Val
13. 26/7/2000. Fairfield via Flower Street from carpark. Leaders: Lesley and Frank, Margaret D.
12. 24/5/2000 Fairfield Tavern, Chain Hill Circuit. Leaders: Ronny, Irene, Hazel
11. 17/5/2000. Chain Hills – Circuit. From Fairfield Tavern. Leaders: Donny, Irene, Hazel
10. 10/6/1998. Wingatui, Friends Hill, Chain Hills. Leaders: Peg C, Molly.
9. 1/3/1998 Friends Hill, Chain Hills. Leaders: Margaret D, Lance, Lois
8. 25/6/1997. Maurice Road, Fairfield, Chain Hills. Leaders: Betty B, Judith D, Mary Y.
7. 20/11/1996. Friends Hill and beyond. Meet at Wingatui Hall. Leaders: Mary Y, Betty B, Judith D.
6. 1/11/1996 Friends Hill, Chain Hills. Leaders: Mary Y, Betty B
5. 19/6/1996. Chain Hills – Fairfield Tavern for lunch – Return Main Road. No fare. (Alternative to Pole Line) Leaders: Daphne, Evelyn M, Colleen.
4. 16/8/1995. Saddle Hill, Old Brighton Road, Taieri Lookout, Chain Hills, Fairfield. Medium. Leaders: Bob Q, Dot and Nelson, Molly.
3. 16/9/1992. Wingatui Friends Hill Rd Halfway Bush Rd Three Mile Hill Rd Dalziel Rd Brinsdon Rd return
2. 6/5/1992. Walk from Glasgow Street car park, Saddle Hill, Chain Hills, Wingatui. Easy. Leaders: Jack M, W Bathgate,
1. 9/8/1989. Wingatui Racecourse. Over the Hill. Easy+ Leaders: Betty, Molly, Ria.

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