Oct 11 2017

Nicols Creek, Swampy, Moon Track, Booth Road

Published by under Trampers,Year round

(David Nicol was an early settler and dairy farmer. He reputedly bought land here in the hope that the railway line woould be routed north through Leith Valley.)
Click Pineapple Track for background information.
Click Pineapple and Flagstaff walk for background information.
Click Swampy ridge track for background information.
Click here for an EXCELLENT MAP of Nicols Creek showing the location of The Basins (called the Cup and Saucer on the map), and the 5 waterfalls. (It also shows the Pepper Tree track location.) Scroll further down below the map and click on the truncated video of all five waterfalls!)
No. 17 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Nicols Creek. D McCabe. Year Round”
 Nicols Creek circuit Maintained by Green Hut Track Group.
DCC land.
15. 11/10/2017. Hikers. Nicols Creek, Pepper Tree Track, Pineapple circuit. M. Leaders: Ian, Clive.
The programmed Deep Creek Tramp was out because of Lambing. Where to go instead? Well, Nicols Creek had not been programmed since 2004, (Except for one calendared for mid-winter but not carried out). So a last minute recce, relying on one old man’s 13-year-old-memory, (helped by an above-listed clickable excellent map q.v.), rediscovered the route, – a new tramp for most of the club’s current hikers. Contrary to last month’s Trampers’ route, ours was up the Nicols Creek true right side, uncomplicated by the newer Mountain Bikers’ zigzag track on the other side.
18 Hikers had turned up, after some unnecessary precautions taken by the leaders about helping drivers locate the parking spot.

We set off, and there we were, after first stepping out of the wide smoothy graded Glow-worm route, (nostalgically for the writer) on the old, steep, boulder- and root-strewn track, taking us up and yet up. But it wasn’t too long before we could gratefully turn off to the right and follow an easy side track taking us down to the first of the stream’s 5 waterfalls. We morning-teed there,…

Unpacking for tea break. (Ian pic and caption.)

…drinking in the scenery of this local rival to Fiordland’s fabled attractions. A 15 metre bush waterfall!

(Clive pic.)

Refreshed, we forewent the opportunity afforded to us by the track continuing on across the stream that would have led us up the further side and out into the zigzagged area. Such a venture to disentangle the original track from the new zigzags could wait another day.

So we returned back out to our original track, which was now taking an easier grade. Soon a fork ahead gave us an option of continuing ahead on the original track or swinging level and wide on a newer one to our left. We took the latter. Both would lead out into open grassland on our left, with our choice swinging out further before returning into the bush. Now it was just steady up and up and up, with many regrouping stops for rest and recovery, but there was plenty of day ahead of us, anyway. Eventually we were on a part of the track that was newer and wider, and that just alluringly continued on straight up. However, an old memory had prompted the writer, on the reece, to turn off this, when discovering an insignificant narrow side track on the right, which he recognised as the actual original track, the other newer one leading who knows where.

At this point, stern reminder to the writer! On realising an intended regrouping immediately following the turn-off was proving impracticable due to broom restricting vision, he neglected leaving a guide at the fork for any late-comers.  This oversight led to a potentially serious consequence, because a little further along the track, we noticed the absence of 3 of our number. Back-marker Clive went back and eventually found them, returning back down the newer track. They had become distanced from both us ahead and those yet further behind being looked after by Clive, and, seduced by the newer track, had carried on up it, failing to notice the side track’s orange marker, its significance. and with no guide there to prompt them.

Reunited again, we went on. Here, the writer’s memory failed him at a critical point. He was looking for yet another  fork, this time to the left, and in his mind had pictured it as an obvious T-junction, but which in reality was much less significant, and he led right past it! It was only when descending to cross one of Nicols tributary crossings that he realised his oversight. About turn! Retrace!

Back at the aforementioned junction, we lunched…

(Clive pic.)

.. and the leaders did a short reconnoiter of the turn-off and reassured themselves it was indeed the route they had planned.

Lunch consumed, legs rested, it was now Clive’s turn to take up the leadership. So it was along, through, and eventually up, out of the forest, past the bushes of the well-named Pepper Tree Track, across the grass…

(Clive pic.)

…and onto the wide well-paved Pineapple Track.

(Clive pic.)

All downhill now and out onto the Booth Road entrance. A few here opted to wait for Bob to drive back and pick them up. The rest of us carried on, down Islay Street, out onto Leith Valley Road, up past the Old School Building and around a last corner to the Nicols Creek Bridge and the cars. And  to the start of the afternoon’s rain! We had completed our 8 kilometre tramp in the dry.
A wet drive to Mosgiel and a coffee-break finish. And behold, just as we were draining our last mugs, in trooped the Trampers, who, poor things, unlike us, had had to finish their tramp in the wet! – Ian.
14. 27/9/2017. Nicols Creek, Pineapple. M. Leader: Jill.

15 trampers set off up the Switchback Nicols Creek Mountain bike track from Leith Valley on a mild overcast morning. Originally we were going to visit the waterfall but the track was suffering the effects of the recent stormy weather we’ve experienced. The MBT was of  a gentle gradient with some very narrow areas following washouts but generally in good condition. We walked through native bush and often accompanied with pleasant birdsong.

Note the rock that looks like a Kea!!!(Margreet pic and caption.)

Morning tea was in a open area a  with lovely vista over  Dunedin all looking pristine.This mountain bike track continued for approx 6 kms up,  round and round again, at 1 stage  passing through a glade of very gnarly old macrocarpa trees. .Eventually the mountain bike track disappeared and is being prepared for a further extension of same so very much like a mini river bed at present. There was much evidence of pig rooting at the higher end of the track. Eventually we traversed tussock land coming along the Moon track to Swampy ridge track. The sun came out to allow a pleasant lunch break…

Lunch on the tops. Swampy.(Helen pic and caption)

…before continuing in a southerly direction to the junction of the Flagstaff, Pineapple track. Down the Pineapple track provided us with again amazing vistas of Dunedin. 2pm saw us back at the cars having completed approx 14.5 kms. The day finished with our coffee fix

Coffee at Roslyn Fire Station.  (Helen pic and caption.)

(and a  big  thanks to Eleanor’s Uncle) at the Roslyn fire station. – Jill.

13. 22/4/2015. Trampers. Nicols Creek, Moon Track.
Nicols Creek Swampy Ridge track Pineapple track

Nicols Creek Swampy Ridge track Pineapple track. (GPS courtesy Ken)

A good turn out of eight trampers, including one new member, met up at the car park on Leith Valley Rd. to start the tramp up Nichols Creek. We walked up to where the glow worms hang out [pardon the pun], but of course there were none to be seen at that hour of the day, so we then went & had a look at the Nichols Falls, which were really quite spectacular, after all the recent rain.
1 Dermot with Nicols Falls behind

1 Dermot with Nicols Falls behind. (Ken pic and caption)

We crossed the creek here & made our way up the track on the other side, to find ourselves on the cycle tracks that had been made in this area.
The original idea was to go up Nichols Creek, onto Moon Track, then along to the pole line track, & back down there. After making our way up the numerous cycle tracks in the bush above Nichols creek, where none of us really knew where we were going, except we all agreed that UP was the correct way. We eventually found ourselves on what Dermot assured us was the Moon Track, which is badly overgrown, has lots of gorse, & has very deep ruts in it, many containing water, which caught a few members out, as it was very slippery, & easy to slide off the sides into these pools. 
On arriving at the top, at the junction with the Swampy Ridge Track, we had an early lunch, while I contemplated the weather over Swampy, where we would be going. It was completly covered in cloud, almost down to where we were sitting at times, & I decided that it wouldn’t be much fun going that way, so after a consultation, it was decided that we would go over to the Pineapple Track, & back down there. I think this was a good decision, as when we got down to McGouns Track, we went along there to the seating area with the monument, & had a lengthy break sitting in the sun.
3 Happy group relaxing in sun

3 Happy group relaxing in sun. (Ken pic and caption)

Then it was back out to the road, & along to the cars.
A reasonable day, & a bit of a challenge in places.
 Walked 10.1 km
3.7km/hr
2 3/4 hr walking
Climbed 463mtrs. – Ken.
12. 22/8/2007. Trampers. Booth Road, Moon Track circuit. Medium. Leaders: Lex, Sabina.
11. 25/10/2006. Trampers. Nicols Creek, Swampy, Moon Track. Medium. Leaders; Ian, Arthur H
10. 3/11/2004. Both. Nicols Creek, Basin. Leaders: Lex, Ria L, Val and Brian, Irene.
9. 24/9/2003. Hikers. Nicols Creek, Moon Track, Skyline, Pineapple. From Booth Road. Medium. Leaders: Donny, Irene.
8. 27/11/2002. Both. Nicols Creek, Moon Track, to Skyline. Medium. Leaders: Irene, Ria L, Eleanor, Joyce.
7. 17/3/1999. Nicols Creek, Basins. Barbara McC, Sabina, Irene.
6. 20/2/2002. Alt. Nicols Creek – Moon Track to Skyline Track. Start Booth Road. Medium+. Leaders: Betty, Denise.
5. 28/5/1997. Leith Valley, Nicholls Creek return Skyline. Leaders: Bob H, Bev H, Molly.
4. 9/10/1996. Nicols Creek, Basins from Booth Road. (Park Booth Road.) Average. Leaders: Jack R, Dot T, Patricia J.
3. 18/10/1995. Nicols Creek, Swampy. Medium. Leaders: Jack R, Barbara McC, Mairie and Doug.
2. 6/7/1994. Nicols Creek/Moon Track, Alternative – Pineapple Track.  Medium. Leaders:Nancy, Bob H, Shirley R, Joyce.
1. 26/7/1989. Swampy round trip from Pineapple Track carpark. Average+. Great views. Leaders: Denise P, Mary McG, Peggy M.

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