Archive for the 'Trampers' Category

Feb 14 2018

Cleghorn St, Signal Hill tramps

Published by under Trampers,Year round

Distance Chingford from carpark: 20 km.
Follow Old Main North Road to Cleghorn Street which has the best view of the harbour. Walkway sign.
Walk starts starts at the gate on right, up McGregors Hill. Beyond stile Pine plantation on 3rd stile at summit.
Gravel road 10 minutes to end. Locked gate. Last stile. Signal Hill road.
15. 14/2/2018. Hikers. Cleghorn Street to Normanby Pub via Signal Hill and Centennial Memorial. M. Leaders: Pam and Ian.

Route map, courtesy Ian.

Clive pic.

Clive pic.

14. 14/8/2013. Hikers. Chingford Park, Cleghorn St, Signal Hill, round trip. M. Leaders: Lex and Graham.
We parked near Chingford Park and walked up the hill on the Mt Cargill Rd to the turn-off to Signal Hill.  Morning tea on the side of the road about halfway up.  It was blowing a gale and pretty cold but with everyone rugged up well there were no dramas.  Margaret and Les chose to turn back – it was hard going and I don’t blame them!
Elaine in bath. (Judy pic).

Elaine enjoying bath. (Judy pic).

 Lunch in the shelter of the trees near the top …
Lunch. (Judy pic)

Lunch break. (Judy pic)

… then across to the masts, and down to the road.  135 steps on the steep descent and a few stiff knees. – Judy
13. 29/6/2011. Trampers. Chingford Park, Cleghorn St, Signal Hill, round trip.

GPS of route, courtesy Ken

We enjoyed the harbour view as we walked along the rather wet and muddy 4WD track after leaving Cleghorn Street.

The view down the harbour was wonderful

With younger members among the trampers now, we are making a faster pace than formerly and reached the ‘signals’ on Signal Hill a bit half an hour earlier than lunch time, so decided to carry on. We found a sunny calm spot on the Signal Hill Road side to enjoy lunch.

Lunch on Signal Hill roadside

12. 8/7/2009 Trampers Chingford Park, North Road, Cleghorn Street, McGregors Hill, Signal Hill, Signal Hill Road round trip. Medium. Leaders: Pat & Bill
Start

First view of harbour and Peninsula. Bill, Pat, Wendy, Ken.

 

St Leonards

St Leonards below.

Charles Cone

Mount Charles and Harbour Cone on Peninsula

Heads

Roseneath, Port Chalmers and Heads

Lunch

Lunch at top of hill. Doug, Arthur, Wendy, Ian, Pat, Bill. (Ken pic)

Dunedin

Down from Signal Hill with Dunedin beyond. Wendy, Ken, Arthur, Pat.

11. 13/5/2009 Hikers. Signal Hill, Cleghorn St. Leaders: Bev H, Joyce

10. 20/7/2005. Trampers. Cleghorn St, Signal Hill.
Harbour view. "Hi Shirley". Bob, Pat, Who?

Harbour view. “Hi Shirley”. Bob, Pat, Dot.

Dunedin from Centennial Memorial

Dunedin from Centennial Memorial

9. 14/8/2002 Logan Park High School, Signal Hill, Cleghorn St, NEV Road. Leaders: Molly, Hazel, Barbara McC
8. 22/5/2002. Alt. Chingford Park, Signal Hill. Leaders: Betty, Colleen.
7. 24/1/2001. Normanby, Signal Hill, Opoho. Leaders: Lance and Lois, Shirley R.
6. 16/8/2000 Bethunes Gully, Opoho. Leaders: Jack & Rosemary, Shirley R.
5. 26/4/2000. Chingford Park, Signal Hill. Leaders: Daphne, Betty, Denise.
4. 24/1/2000 Chingford Park, Old Brown House, Signal Hill, Opoho, Leaders: Lance & Lois, Peter R
3. 22/4/1998. Chingford Park, Brown House, Signal Hill. Leaders: Shirley McN, Shirley R.
2. 16/6/1993. Bethunes Gully, Signal Hill, University Observatory, Bennetts, Bethunes Gully. Round Trip. Easy. Leaders: Shirley, Doreen, Diana, Nel.
1. 1/7/1992. Bethune’s Gully, Signal Hill, University Observatory, Bennetts, Bethunes Gully. Average. Leaders: Ria L, Marie, June, Ray.

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Jan 24 2018

Spiers Road, Davies, McGouns Creek Extension

Published by under Trampers

Click Ben Rudd Article for background information.
Click Pineapple and Flagstaff walk for background information.
Antony Hamel in his Dunedin Tracks and Trails book has interesting information on the “Snowy Mountain Track” under his Spiers Road entry.
3. 24/1/2018. Trampers. Wakari Road, Davies Track, Flagstaff Walkway, Spiers Road Track, Wakari Road. M. Leader: Helen.

Tramp report.

 13 hardy trampers set off from the carpark and headed to the  bike tracks park in Wakari Road.
Started badly with the leader (me) taking the wrong tack. However quickly rectified and onto the correct one. It wound its way up to the top onto a gravel road and along to the start of the Davies Track.
As was 10am we had our morning tea there.

Morning tea at start of Davies Track. (Helen pic and caption.)

One of our nameless men accidently left his pole there and got it back at the end. Up the track we went which wound round in places  and steeper in parts. Ross Davies whose Grandfather developed the track took a turn at leading. Was very appropiate. Ended up on the Pineapple track

Group on the Pineapple track (Helen pic and caption.)

and after some rest time made out way to the top for our lunch stop.

Lunch at the top and views over Dunedin. (Helen pic and caption.)

On the way up passed various people and in particular a young lady who almost made the male members fall off the track. 4 tummy piercings I was told and a lovely figure. Made their day.
After lunch we went down a bit till we got to the Speirs Road track. Down through the tussock and flax some bits quite steep.Some grasdy areas as the gorse had been cut. Lots of markers except in one spot but we soon found our way to the road after passing two horses with a lovely baby. From there we wound our way round two streets back onto Wakari Road and along to the cars. Altogether we walked 10.8kms and I would grade it medium to hardish. Most people had not done this circut before so was very enjoyable.
 Coffee at Blackstone ended our day.  Helen.

2. 20/11/2013. Trampers. Wakari Road, Davies Track, Flagstaff Walkway, Pineapple Track, McGouns Creek Extension.

We started at the top of Tanner Road. We went west along a 4WD track and turned up into Davies Track. The track through the bush was average condition. We heard mainly bell birds. At the top of the bush was where we had our morning tea. The track from this point on was through tussock and flax. The higher we got on this track, the harder it was to find. The last two or three minutes we lost the track completely. At the flat stone which generally indicates the top of the track, Neil built a small cairn of rocks there.
Then we went west along Flagstaff walk, and across a short track to the Fire Break. Then we turned right along this track to the top of the Pineapple track. By this time we had seen three other groups in the same area. We turned down the Pineapple Track, and just before heading into the bush we stopped for lunch, with a light breeze and in the sun.
Carried on down to the junction of the Pineapple and McGouns. Went south on McGouns with its steps, bridges and boardwalks to the bottom with the seats around the cairn.
Back along the 4WD track to the cars.
We met one other group plus one Botanist who was very interested in the area as such. He obviously comes from England, by his accent. – Heb.

1. 11/11/2009. Trampers. Wakari Road, Spiers Road, Flagstaff Walkway, Davies, McGouns Creek Extension. Leaders: Ian, Ken.
For variation we parked the cars at the north end of Wakari Road and street-walked from there to Spiers Road via Gilkison and Salmond Streets, critiquing gardens on our way.
Up Spiers Road, over the first stile, through gorse and broom recently cleared, thank goodness, then out on a paddock bypass where we stopped for our cuppa.
Cuppa View

Cuppa View. (Ian pic and caption.)

 

Then up through more scrub, open but gorsed paddock following the white posts, temporarily onto the road past the communication tower and Ben Rudd’s stone dyke.
Route past transmission tower

Route past transmission tower. (Ian pic and caption.)

A little further and it was over another stile and through some dense scrub that could do with a pruning, through another gate up and into the waretah posted route that struck to the right and led on up to the Flagstaff Walkway.

Approaching stile. Ken, Ria.

Approaching stile. Ken, Ria. (Ian pic and caption.)

Bivvy just NE of Flagstaff trig. Ken, Sabina, Ria

Bivvy just NE of Flagstaff trig. Ken, Sabina, Ria. (Ian pic and caption.)

Near the end of the Walkway we turned off down the Davies Track. The good bit about going down rather than up was that we were able enjoy the views, and later, the lovely woodland vista. At the bottom, we lunched at the Dunedin City Forestry  2006 Plantings Centennial stone cairn plaque seating before making our way down the road and through the McGouns Creek Track Extension back to the cars. – Ian.

Track interest on McGoun extension

Just a bit of interest on McGouns Creek Track Extension. (Ian pic and caption.)

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Jan 24 2018

Jim Freeman and Ben Rudd

Published by under Trampers

Distance from car-park: 16 km.

3. 24/1/2018. Hikers. Bull Ring, Where Flat Road, Jim Freeeman,Ben Rudd, Flag Staff, Bull Ring. M. Leaders: Judy, Dawn.

Route map, courtesy Ian.

27 hikers gathered at the car park, but this number soon diminished to 26 as one member collapsed before we even started.  (He is okay). Two others waited to provide assistance, leaving 24 of us to head for the Bull Ring.

Here five opted to do a shorter trip to the summit and back, while the remaining 19 set off down the road to the Possum Busters turn-off.  This was an easy, half-hour, down-hill stroll, mostly in the shade of the trees.

Morning tea was had just inside the track, …

Morning tea break at start of Possum Busters. (Kevin pic.)

… and then we headed for the Jim Freeman turn-off and the long, slow, hot climb up to the Ben Rudd shelter.  With frequent stops for water and breath, this took just over an hour.  Not bad under the conditions experienced!  We were all glad to be in the shelter of the bush and even gladder to emerge and collapse at the shelter for a long leisurely lunch break.

Lunch at Ben Rudd. (Kevin pic.)

The two good Samaritans met us here, having come up the fire-break track and down to the shelter.  They informed us that the patient was okay and that the other five were on their way to the summit and would head straight back down.

After lunch it was up to the fire-break, …

Coming out onto fire-break. (Kevin pic.)

Junction of Fire Break and Ben Rudd tracks. (Kevin pic.)

… and another split, with nine heading straight down to the cars, and the rest taking the track towards Swampy and then around and up (again!) to the Flagstaff summit.  It was slightly misty with a welcome cooling breeze, but the views were great, and we enjoyed the leisurely descent to the cars.  A good number then enjoyed a social hour at Topiary.

The decision to do this trip in reverse made sense, as it avoided the long hot climb up the road at the end, and also meant that most of the climbing was in the bush. – Judy

2. 19/4/2017. Hikers. Bull Ring, Ben Rudd, Jim Freeman, Whare Flat Road return. M. Jennifer and Adrienne.

Seven ‘not-so-young-and-not-feeling-fit’ members decided on a shorter(?) version of the day’s trip.  While the others went up the fire-break track, we opted for the track to Flagstaff summit,with great views across the Taieri and then the city before the cloud came down.  Morning tea was had sheltering in the rocks just past the summit,

(Judy pic.)

before following the track down over rocks and through mud to the junction with the fire-break.  It was cold pushing into the wind and we were glad to reach the Ben Rudd turn-off and head down into the bush where it was more sheltered. (We could hear the main party somewhere down the Jim Freeman track below). The picnic shelter was much appreciated for a longish lunch as it was a bit wet outside.

(Judy pic)

Glimpse of end of six seater above Ben Rudd Shelter. (Ian pic and caption.)

View from the six-seater. Ben Rudd shelter roof top. (Ian pic and caption.)

The climb back to the firebreak was quickly dealt with and the descent to the Bull Ring was uneventful – almost.  (Chris explored a ditch quite closely at one point).  It seems we walked as far if not further than the main group – not sure how! – Judy.

1. 24/9/2008. Trampers. Booth Road, Jim Freeman, McQuilkin, Moon Track. Medium. Leaders: Ria, Hazel.

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Jan 17 2018

Post Office Creek, Reid’s Station

Published by under Trampers,Year round

 No. 27 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Mahinerangi – Post Office Creek. J Shaw. Year round.”
Impassable gorse-infestation beyond old Waipori School building (aft 2008).
33 km from car park..
15. 17/1/2018. Trampers. Post Office Creek. Leader: Jill.

Route map, courtesy Keith.

13 trampers met at Reid’s woolshed on Mahinerangi Road.  We walked down the hill to Post Office creek, and had morning tea at the “camp” before taking the track through gold mine sluicings to the top end of Lake Mahinerangi – a very low lake today!  After viewing the old Waipori school (which had been moved to this site to use as a musterer’s hut before Waipori village was drowned) …

School inspection. The “old” Waipori School moved to Post Office Creek before the raising  of Mahinerangi. (Phil pic and caption.)

… we backtracked about 1 km and shortly after went up a very steep stock lane …

Onwards and upwards to the trig. (Phil pic and caption.)

… and lunched by the trig there, enjoying expansive views of the area.

Trig A4GT -618 m altitude. (Phil pic and caption.)

We continued up the farm track towards the back of the Maungatuas – the intention had been to look over to Waihola, but it was decided that was a bit far on this occasion!  It was an easy return down hill to the bridge over Post Office creek – and to our cars.

 

Jill proudly displaying the new charging station for e bike travellers. (Phil pic and caption.)

An 18.5 km tramp enjoyed by all. – Jill.

14. 7/5/2014. Both. Reid homestead, Verter Burn to Post Office Creek and old school buildings. Leaders: Ken and Peter.

GPS

iPhone GPS distance: 12.1 km. Garmin stats: We walked 12.9km; Moving ave 4.3km/hr; Moving time 2h 58mins; Climbed 342mtrs; Max elevation 572mtrs. Allow a further km or two for the pedometer distance recorders, and then pick the figure that suits you!

21 of us parked in the Reid’s homestead backyard and made our way through one or two fences down to a bridge over the Verter Burn (near ‘1’ on the map) for morning tea.

Morning tea at Verter Burn crossing. (Heb pic, Ken caption)

Morning tea at Verter Burn crossing. (Heb pic, Ken caption)

We followed a road on the stream’s true left, which begs the question as to where originated the pond with its beautiful reflection on our left. (About ‘2’ on map.)

Reflection

Reflection

Between 3 and 4 on the map, is where we approached the Verter Burn ford, into which we were to plunge later, but at this stage we swung off to our left to make our way through early gold-sluiced cliffs (8/4 on map) to finally cross the Post Office Creek and arrive at (5) the former Waipori School building (as reported to the writer) of the one-time but now submerged Waipori Township.

 

Waipori Township

The Township of Waipori. The valley is now flooded and the town site is inundated. Photograph taken in 1890 by Charles Kerr.

We climbed the steep hill alongside the Post Office Creek’s true left to skirt on our right a forestry of densely branched trees  (larches? [and unpruned!] with a scattering of eucalypt among them) for a lunch where the forestry road levelled out at the top (6).

Then it was back down to the school building and out to the aforementioned ford, which this time we crossed with variously successful attempts in keeping feet dry, (but mostly wet).

Beyond that, was the further challenge of the BIG CLIMB, of un-fond older members’ memory. A taranaki gate at its top was new to us, but Neil successfully unscrambled its complexity. Three more paddocks and gates took us out to the Mahinerangi Road ( 11) and along it to the homestead (12.1) again.

At Outram, the majority of the (now well-established) coffee club socialised at the Wobbly Goat, …

 

Apres-tramp coffee at Outram

Apres-tramp coffee at Outram

although some betook themselves to the No 8 w Herbs cafe across the road. And that’s it. – Ian.

13. 28/11/2007. Trampers. Post Office Creek, fishermen huts return. Skyline track was closed on the day. Working on roads, trees. Easy. Leaders: Bill & Pat.
The day was fine and not too hot for
13 of us to tramp the Lake Mahinerangi water-race track to the fishermen huts. We had morning tea at the Post Office Creek Old School.
Tea Break

Tea Break. Hazel, Wendy, Doug, George, Ken, Shirley, Pat, Joyce, Arthur L

Immediately beyond that, the leaders had found for us the clearest approach to the larch forest that borders the lake, the tussock and bog being now badly infested with gorse. A leisurely lunch in the sun at the fishing huts and the return back. The Verter Burn barring the way in and out, as always, inspired a variety of creative crossing techniques, from direct plunging through the water boots and all, to bare feet, to plastic bags over boots and even to gumboots carried in.
Crossing

Crossing techniques. Abe (bare feet), Peter, Pat (getting plastic bags), Doug (bags), Barbara and Wendy (boots on rocks), Arthur (gumboots)

The long hill climb back out of the Verter Burn gets no easier with age, but all agreed it was another good day out. – Ian

Back at cars. Pat, Barbara, Abe, Peter, Ken, Wendy

Back at cars. Pat, Barbara, Abe, Peter, Ken, Wendy

12. 8/11/2006. Trampers. Post Office Creek. Medium. Leaders: Ian, Doug M
11. 18/5/2005. Both. Post Office Creek. Leaders: Doug J, Bill M, Joyce S, Lesley G
10. 29/10/2003 Forestry roads return. Leaders:
Hut

Crib by the ford. Bob Peter Arthur Barbara Who? Molly

Crss

Crossing Verter Burn. Peter Who? Molly

gate

The gate beyond Verter Burn.

School. Arthur H Bob Peter Arthur L

School. Arthur H Bob Peter Arthur L

Art

Lunch stop. Arthur & Barbara on a tea break on forestry road back out.

9. 25/4/2002 Leaders: Joyce S Shirley, Wendy B
8. 30/1/2002. Post Office Creek. Medium. Leaders: Joyce, Bob H, Donny.
7. 25/4/2001. Post Office Creek. Leaders: Joyce, Shirley McN, Wendy.
6. 5/4/2000. Post Office Creek. Leaders: Joyce, Bill McL, Nancy.
5. 26/5/1999. Post Office Creek. Leaders: Joyce, Nancy, Patricia.
4. 26/8/1998. Post Office Creek. Leaders: Joyce, Pat.
3. 4/2/1998. Post Office Creek to Huts and return from Robert Reids. Leaders: Denise, Ria L, Nel K.
2. 30/4/1997. Post Office Breek (sic) to huts round trip. (Robert Reids). Leaders: Eric and Dot, Joan H.
1. 8/4/1992. Post Office Creek – off Mahinerangi Road. Average. Leaders: Hartmann, Ted, Barbara M, Mary M

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Jan 10 2018

Portobello, Clarks, Sheppards, McArthny, Varleys Hills

Published by under Trampers

Distance Portobello from car-park: 32 km.

Map of area

9. Trampers. Varleys Hill. M. Leader: Janine.

While the weather report was forecasting showers, my barometer just continued to climb towards ‘dry’ – so we had another rain free day which provided ideal conditions for our first tramp of the year .An eager 15 individuals set off from Portobello across farmland where we stopped for morning tea at an old milking shed site, allowing those mechanically minded to study remains.

Morning Tea. (Helen pic and caption.)

Continuing on we passed both live bunnies and dead ones! Then ventured back onto a gravel road leading us to Papanui Inlet,

Towards Papanui Inlet. (Helen pic and caption.)

such a busy piece of road – we stepped aside for one car! We detoured from the road into private farmland and began the uphill climb through the bush protected by a  QE2 covenant.

The traditional stone walls in this area are always amazing but the stone fortress around the top of Varleys Hill never ceases to astound all and constantly query ‘who and why?’ But dispite rigorous research into the history of this block of land and it’s history, present owners have been unable to answer these questions.

After lunch within this fortress overlooking the amazing views of Harbour Cone, Papanui Inlet. Hoopers Inlet and the Pacific ocean, most tried to detach bidi-bids from backpacks, socks, jerseys, gaiters etc. This proved a futile exercise as the tramp down the other side

Pretty Ragwort. (Helen pic and caption.)

of Varleys Hill proved to be a further tangle of this weed and most were unable to rid themselves of this attachment untill we reached the Hoopers Inlet Hall.

After another short road walk we cimbed up and over the ‘Leith’Track (I think thats what the sign referred to} back to Portobello.A lovely walk in mostly warm overcast conditions – covering just over 10 km – and finishing up at MacAndrew Bay for leisurely coffee/ ice cream and conversation. – Janine.

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

8. 8/2/2017. Hikers. Portobello, Sheppards Road, Varleys Hill, Leith Track. M. Pam and Dawn.

Route map, courtesy Ian.

We parked the cars in Allans Beach Road.  33 people set off and 3 people went as far as they could cope and went back to Portobello for lunch.   We walked from Allans Beach Road to Hoopers Inlet and turned into Sheppard Rd where we  had morning tea on side of road.  We then walked along Sheppard Rd turning right at Papanui Inlet Road.   At Parkers property, 150 Papanui Rd, we walked up their driveway to start of track up to Varleys Hill.

Varleys Hill driveway. (Clive pic and caption.)

Quite a steep climb up to top where there was a lot of very large stones forming a circle.   We had lunch there …

Lunch among Varleys Hill biddibids. (Ian pic and caption.)

… and enjoyed  magnificent views of sea and hills.

Adrienne pic.

After lunch we went down through the track (heaps of biddi biddis that we had ben warned about) …

Finding the path. (Clive pic and caption.)

… to Hoopers Inlet Hall, where some group photos were taken.

Obligatory photo at Hoopers Inlet Hall. (Ian pic and caption.)

21 people went back to Portobello via the Leith track and 9 people chose to return walking back via Allans Beach Road.  We arrived back at Portobello at 2.30 where we enjoyed a coffee at the lovely café.   A very enjoyable day. – Dawn

7. 9/3/2016. Trampers. Portobello, Clarks, Sheppards and Varleys Hills. Medium. Leader: -.

Once again we had a very nice day for our tramp around Clarks – Varleys Hill at Portobello. And it was another opportunity to show this area to some who had not been there before.
This is not a long tramp, so the pace for the day was a bit slower than we normally travel at, but it does give time to absorb the scenery.
We had to fill-in a form for Brendon at the first gate, but after discussing this with him over the phone when I was seeking permission, it was no problem, & only took a minute to fill out the necessary bits. We then had morning tea in the normal place by the willows, & made our way up the hill past the “twisted” tree, & through the hard to open gate [ which thankfully was already open] at the top of the hill.

Scene of Portobello from Clarks Hill (Helen pic)

Scene of Portobello from Sheppards Hill (Helen pic)

On reaching Weir Rd. we travelled down here to Papanui Inlet, & along the road to the private driveway leading up to Varleys Hill. Here we stopped to retrieve an information sheet from the letterbox, that the owners had left for us. This sheet describes the work they have carried out, & some history of the property. I will forward this sheet to Ian for possible addition to the website.

Varleys Hill Information Sheet, Page 1

Varleys Hill Information Sheet, Page 1

Varleys Hill Information Sheet, page 2

Varleys Hill Information Sheet, page 2

Some made hard work of the climb up to the top “ring of stone” where we had lunch among the bidi bids !!

Lunch on Varleys (Helen pic)

Lunch on Varleys (Helen pic)

Hoopers Inlet from Varleys Hill (Helen pic)

Hoopers Inlet from Varleys Hill (Helen pic)

Then it was off down the other side of the hill following a very indistinct track, to the turn off through the bush, which leads down to the Hoopers Inlet Hall.
Another lengthy road walk followed, till we reached Leith track end which goes over the hill back to Portobello. We stopped at the top of this before going down to the cars.

Once back at the cars, it was decide to continue the “coffee club” tradition, by calling in at the Macandrew Bay cafe for a chat, before moving off home.

The day was enjoyed by all, & we only had one problem with one member using new boots, & getting a blister on a heel, which was ably seen to by our nursing member.

Walked 9.6km
4km/h
climbed 376mtrs. – Ken.

6. 23/4/2014. Trampers. Portobello, Clarks, Sheppards and Varleys Hills. Medium.
The tramp around Clarks, Varley Hill area is one I have now done quite a few times, but always enjoy, especially when the other members of the party have never been there before, which was the case on this occasion.
The weather was not looking good when I got up in the morning, it was raining gently, but as the day progressed it got somewhat better, & we had a fine day for our walk, with hardly any wind, & mild temperatures. The grass in the farm paddocks was a bit wet, but not too long so we all stayed dry the whole day.
We had morning tea in the willows on the first farm, & lunch at the top of Varleys Hill…

Lunch on Varleys Hill (Ken pic)

Lunch on Varleys Hill (Ken pic)

… in the ring of rocks, after having a good chat with the lady of the property before we climbed up through the bush to the top. Lunch was a bit early at 11: 40, but that gave use the option of getting back to the car early, or just loafing around to fill in the time. As it turned out, we did a bit of both, before we took off down the hill to the Hoopers Inlet Hall. Then it was the lengthy walk around the road to the track leading up & over the hill, back to Portobello, which we reached at about 12:50pm. This allowed us [ the No 2 coffee club ] to stop at MacAndrew Bay for our ‘fix’ & a chat before heading home. – Ken

5. 25/5/2011. Trampers. Portobello, Clarks, Sheppards and Varleys Hills. Medium.

GPS of clockwise-tramped route, courtesy Ken. Portobello, Clarks, Sheppards, Varley Hills and Leith track over saddle back to Portobello.

Looking over to Quarantine Point – again (v. below)

Mount Charles from Weir Road

A break on way

Returning from viewing plaque

Closer look at the letter boxes

4. 16/6/2010. Trampers. Portobello, Clarks, Sheppards and Varleys Hills. Medium. Leader: George

Looking out over Quarantine Point from Clarks Hill

Descent from Varleys Hill ending at Hoopers Inlet Hall

New plaque at Sheppards Road corner

Track sign of route over saddle to Portebello

Still going? Shed in Hereweka Street.

A local told us distant object on hill was a Buddhist Temple

3. 25/3/2009. Trampers. Portobello, Clarks, Sheppards, McArthny and Varleys Hills. Medium. Leaders: George, Lex
A pleasant, mild, windless day with clear views to both sides of the peninsula were ideal for the 6 who set out to conquer Varley’s Hill, etc.  We parked in the centre of Portobello and then followed Harington Pt Rd for a short distance before ascending lush paddocks (with a few good mushrooms) to skirt the slopes of Clarks and Sheppards Hills which provided good views to Port Chalmers at the morning tea stop.
Tea break. Sheppards Hill

Tea Break. Lex, Sabina, Ria, George

We crossed Weir Rd at its summit and headed towards McArthny Hill.  Inadvertent deviation led us to short-circuit the circumnavigation of said hill, (in other words, we took a shortcut) and leader George directed our paths east around the hill and down to Dick Rd on the Papanui Inlet.
Gate

Gate. Sabina, George, Ria, Lex

Turning right, we passed the Sheppard Rd turnoff, with George trying the mudflats as the tide was well out,
but soon becoming “an old stick-in-the-mud”, according to Bob.  We turned off into the driveway up to Varleys Farm.
Track

Varley’s Farm driveway. Ria, Sabina, Lex, George.

At the farmhouse, we had another debate about the route, which led to some getting to the summit easily and others, “biddibid and bracken bushbashing” to reach it. At the top is NZ’s own ‘stone circle’ a dry stone wall with a ‘gateway’. One imagines it would have been used as a sheep pen, but over lunch, the talk was of ancient barrows and tombs and mysterious rituals. The plaque on one of the stones stating it was a QE II National Trust Protected Open Space added no further explanation.
Varley's Hill

Papanui Inlet and Sandymount from Varley’s Hill

Stone wall

Lunch on Varley’s Hill. Ken, George, Ria, Sabina, Lex

A pleasant descent on the other side of the hill
Cone

Harbour Cone & reflection coming down from Varley Hill

(past a mysterious, bush-surrounded, irregularly-constructed platform that no one could explain) towards Hoopers Inlet Hall led us to Allans Beach Rd, passing the other end of Sheppard Rd and thence into Hooper’s Inlet Rd.
To conclude the tramp, we turned into a farm road by some picturesque letterboxes,
Boxes

Picturesque letter boxes and thence right again onto Leith Track (an old road perhaps an extension of Hereweka St) which took us over the hill to join the top end of Hereweka St again and so down to the cars.

Some great views, good terrain and interesting and varied scenes along the way.
Building

Scene en route

Thanks to George for getting the landowners’ permissions, and the leadership from Lex and George.  Bob M
2. 25/6/2008 Clarks, Sheppards and Varleys Hills. Leader: George
The scheduled tramp for the Hindon Pipe Line was cancelled due to 13cm of frozen snow in the area. Instead, under George’s leadership (co-leader Ria was too ill to come on the day), a small band of 5 trampers met at the foot of Hereweka St, Portobello for a previously perforce cancelled tramp. Here conditions were much milder than those up at the Pipe Line would have been, but there was still a cold northerly wind to wrap up against. We set off along the Harington Pt Rd for a short distance before turning up through a gate to skirt the slopes of Clarks and Sheppards Hills. A track further up led us through several gates. En route, we paused to admire the deeply furrowed trunk of a Ngaio tree, looking for all the world like a mass of thick entwining vines.
Plaited Ngaio trunk

Plaited Ngaio trunk

We eventually arrived at the summit of Weir Rd where McArthny Hill loomed directly ahead of us. George elected, for time’s and effort’s sake, to bypass that part of the tramp and take us down to Dick Rd on the Papanui Inlet. Turning right, we passed the Sheppard Rd turnoff and a short distance ahead reached the steep driveway up to Varleys Farm. We bypassed the farm up a track on the left stepped where necessary to reach the summit of Varleys Hill. Here we found a circular dry stone wall with a plaque on one of the stones stating it was a QE II National Trust Protected Open Space. We late lunched sheltered by wall and bush, enjoying spendid views all around.
Harbour Cone from Varley Hill

Harbour Cone from Varley Hill

Descending the other side of the hill we found ourselves at the Hoopers Inlet Hall
Hoopers Inlet Hall. George, Ian, Lex, Ken.

Hoopers Inlet Hall. George, Ian, Lex, Ken.

where we set off to walk along the Allans Beach Rd, passing the other end of Sheppard Rd.
It was here the highlight of the day occurred.
A cheeky grin (?) from a tagged seal.

A cheeky grin (?) from a tagged seal.

A frolicsome young seal swam up to us, reaching the stone wall of the road and looking right up at us. We remained there, fascinated at its twistings and turnings, for a considerable time.
It capped off its performance by steaming away across the water at a great speed, the water parting and streaming away on either side.
To conclude the tramp, we turned into a track roughly paralleling the sealed road turn-off to Portobello and on its left, which took us over the hill to join the top end of Hereweka St again and so down to the cars, passing a surprisingly well equipped Village Tourist Park and a sleek coastguard rescue vessel.

A great introduction to some Peninsula hills our club hasn’t experienced before. Thanks to George for getting the landowners’ permissions at a moments’s notice and providing this excellent alterative for the day. – Ian

1. 25/4/2008. Trampers. Portobello, Varleys Hill. Easy. Leaders: George, Ria.

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Nov 29 2017

Orbells Cave & Fiddlers Hut; ABC Cave & The Gap

Published by under Farm,Trampers

No. 10 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Lamb Hill to 3 o’clock creek. Farm. Lambing.”
Farm walk. Lamb Hill Station, Hindon Road, Hindon. Seek permission. Check at house before you do any tramping.
Lamb Hill: 43 km from car-park.
Bendoran: 75 km from car-park.
8. 29/11/2017. Trampers. Bendoran over-night, Orbells Cave. H. Leader: Art.

Route Map, Bendoran to Orbells Cave/3 O’Clock Creek/Fiddlers Hut, courtesy Art.

This tramp was a First Time for our club.
Two cars(six trampers) left Mosgiel at 8.00 a.m. rendezvousing at Cherry Farm before travelling together to reach the Bendoran Huts at 9.30. Morning tea was taken, and five eager trampers set out just after 10 am on the day’s adventure. One stayed in camp to heat water for showers later.
The day was sunny and warm enough. High cloud drifted across after an hour, but it remained hot. We stopped several times to take on water – and we were going downhill!
We descended down to Orbells Creek, and followed it for some distance, being on a grassy 4WD track all day. Tussocky hills surrounded us, with many interesting rocks, such beautiful country.
A mob of grand Hereford cows with calves (beef) moved in front of us for a time, before going up a side gully.
Eventually we came to the first ascent of the day, leaving Orbells Creek for a time, the 4WD track going up and over a saddle. At the top we had a short descent and then a climb up to a second saddle.
But from here it was downhill all the way to the cave. We met Barney, the Bendoran Farm Manager, out with his dogs shifting a mob of cows and calves – black with white faces this time (Angus Hereford Cross).
We came back to Orbells Creek by the cattleyards, crossed over, and in a few minutes were at Orbells Cave (with Orbells Garden flourishing in profusion in front (foxgloves). It had been hot work, but to our great relief found that it was very pleasantly cool in the cave. The time was 12.20 pm. We sat and rested for half an hour here, while eating our lunch.

In the cave for a cool place to have lunch. (Helen pic and caption.)

 Fiddlers Hut was our next objective, about 2 km further on. Was we left, bird calls from high above the cave alerted us to the presence of a N.Z. falcon circling there. We saw it – or another one –  later in the day, too. Crossing 3 O’Clock Stream, we arrived at Fiddlers Hut at 1.3. We admired the stone walls, very neatly constructed, and with a vey sound modern corrugated iron roof.

Fiddler’s hut. (Helen pic and caption.)

But sadly the interior had been badly neglected, birds obviously had been the only tenants for some years past.

As we began the homeward journey, a light and very pleasantly cool north-east breeze arrived to provide some relief, especially helpful on the uphill bits. Five tiny little Paradise duckings were on the water when we crossed back over 3 O’Clock Stream. All water bottles were refilled.
The same route was followed going back as we had travelled out earlier. It was a long climb back up to the two saddles. At the top of the first one, 10 minutes was well spent in resting, while taking on water, eating fruit, etc.
In time we came back down to Orbells Creek, and walked, the kilometres behind us, with an occasional brief stop (water).

One long hill awaited us – the climb out from Orbells Creek. The hill seemed to go on forever, but by putting one foot in front of the other, we found the top. But our legs were mighty tired now, and there was only a few hundred metres left to go. And so we arrived back at the Bendoran Hilton …

View of Bendoran huts. (Helen pic and caption.)

… just before 5 p.m. A good list down and rest seemed to be the logical thing to do now, so that’s what we did!

All five had thoroughly enjoyed the day. An energetic tramp to equal any other that our club has done. VERY SATISFYING.

Total distance was 20 km. Orbells Cave was approx. 8 km from Bendoran, and Fiddlers Hut a further 2 km beyond. Bendoral Huts are at an altitude of 500 metres, Fiddlers Hut about 200 metres. – Art.
On completing the tramp we had a lovely muffin and cup of tea before showers and liquid refreshments. Fire lovingly looked after by camp mum Jennifer. Eleanor our great organiser had Also arrived by this time.
Tea was prepared consisting of silverside, stuffed chicken, new potatoes, carrots and two salads. Dessert: chocolate brownie berries and yogert. All had bought some part of it.
Jill Arthur Phil Wyn and Helen the walkers.
It helped revive us. – Helen
75 km from car-park.

11. 8/3/2017. Trampers. The Gap, and ABC Caves. M. Leaders: Arthur and Eleanor.

After a one and a half hour drive from Mosgiel, we arrived at Bendoran Huts.  David Malloch the station owner arrived to welcome us and give us a brief history of the 5000 acre property.

Us with David Malloch. (Helen pic and caption.)

After unpacking and eating lunch, we walked in a cool s.w. wind, overcast with a few skiffs of showers to Mount Misery @ 714 metres.

Eleanor on Mt Misery. (Arthur pic and caption.)

A great view for those brave enough to tackle the wind on such a rocky peak.  From there we ventured onto “Terry’s Knob” (refer Hamel’s book page 7:13), …

Terrys Knob. (Arthur pic and caption.)

… before returning to Bendoran for drinks and muffins.  After lighting up the coal range to heat the water and apple crumble, we then enjoyed home baked Chicken, vege’s and salad.  Next job was firing up the open fire, sitting round chatting for the evening.

Before 8.30am next morning we were up and away tramping in ideal conditions for 3 hours to the “Gap” @ 670 metres.

The Gap from morning tea stop. (Arthur pic and caption.)

After numerous photo shots of surrounding valleys, peaks, ranges and the trig,  we then headed down onto a new track, where after a lunch stop, we approached the A.B.C. Caves.

Helen Janine & Eleanor at abc caves. (Arthur pic and caption.)

After a challenging tramp, we were impressed by the cave interior, …

From in ABC cave. (Helen pic and caption.)

… but were disappointed the “visitors book” left no room for our claims to reaching this  monumental milestone!   We then had to return steeply uphill a little before bush-bashing a track across a gully to join back onto our original track, leading us back to our cosy “Bendoran home”.

Bendoran where we stayed. (Arthur pic and caption.)

Arriving back @ 4.15pm, we found 2 members (who returned without going to A.B.C. Cave) had the coal range going with the kettle boiling for drinks and a HOT shower!!  All fresh and clean again, we dined …

Dinner. (Helen pic and caption.)

… in front of the open fire on beef casserole, new potatoes, peas and salad, followed by brownie and peaches—-not your average tramping food, and certainly above standard accomodation.

It was an exceptional tramping trip for Arthur, Neil, Carol, Helen, Janine and Eleanore, with new tracks and experiences for some of the party. – Janine and Eleanor.

10. 25/3/2015. Trampers. ABC Cave from Bendoran Huts.

On a day when the weather was a bit suspect, we arrived at the Bendoran Huts to see fog in the valleys, but clear around the tops. Because of the distance travelled to get there, we decided to have a late morning tea break,…

Late morning tea stop. (Ken pic and caption)

Late morning tea stop. (Ken pic and caption)

…at one of the high points on the track. After this, we walked around the road [farm track] to a point at the head of the valley leading to ABC cave, where we arrived for a late lunch in sunshine.
After lunch we more or less retraced our steps back to the cars, with a couple of refreshment stops on the way.
The day turned out ideal for tramping, with just a trace of breeze at times, a little bit of sunshine for lunch, & the temperature just right, & the fog actually lifted during the day.
Next time we do this, it would be a good idea to start early, as it’s a long way to drive, & the road in is all narrow gravel. – Ken.

9. 8/5/2013 Trampers. ABC Cave from Bendoran Huts.

GPS of route, courtesy Ken. We walked 13.6km, 4hrs moving, 2hrs stopped, total ascent 839mtrs, max elevation 701mtrs.

There have been MANY new tracks bulldozed in around the area, making it very difficult to know which track to take. The original idea was to go to the Gap, & then down to the ABC cave, but we were running out of time, due to the distance travelling there, getting held up for about 1/4 hr by a very large mob of sheep with no sign of humans or dogs anywhere. Plus as we didn’t know where to go, we ended up bush-bashing our way down a ridge on the top side of the bush, as you can see by the Google pic. We eventually got down to the DOC track leading between the GAP & ABC, so just carried on to ABC, had a quick drink/snack, & left there at just on 2pm. Then we struggled up another ridge that was a lot clearer than the one we had came down, but it was steep, & it took us an hour to reach the top. From there, it was a relatively easy walk back to the 4wd track that we had left to go down past the bush. One or two of the climbs on the track back to the car were certainly a bit ‘trying’, but we all made it back to the cars OK, & after the drive back to town, got home at just after 6pm.

George didn’t go down the ridge to the cave, so he sheltered for a while, then wandered back to the cars, leaving suitable signs that he had passed that way. There were 7 of us in the group, one of whom was heard to say on the way in, “you think this group is a serious walking group?” so by the end of the day when I asked if they still didn’t think we were a serious walking group, the answer was ” that was a serious walk”. – Ken.

8. 22/2/2010. Trampers. ABC Cave from Bendoran Huts.

GPS of route, courtesy Ken.

It had been many years since any of us had done this tramp, and memories were hazy. So much so, that we parked the cars at the end of Blucher Road, mistaking the shearing shed location there for the actual Bendoran Huts site about six kms further on. So we walked the farm 4WD route to the huts, instead of driving it!

 

A hut ruin on the route. The fog was round us all the way. But it was dry! A fog, not a mist, as one of us distinguished.

An pic of interest on the way.

Lunch across from one of the Bendoran huts. (Ken pic)

Lunch in lee of the hut. (Ken pic)

We walked on beyond the huts on the track we should have originally started on, for a further km, but there was nothing to be seen through the fog which accompanied us all the way, except for only one brief respite. We then retraced our steps to the cars. About 14 km walked that day. – Ian
7. 30/1/2013 Trampers. Lamb Hill to three o’clock creek. Old Stone Hut. Orbells Cave. Medium+.
Lunch at the old hut.

Lunch at the old hut.

Orbells Cave from the track.

Orbells Cave from the track.

Running repairs before we start the real climb back out

Running repairs before we start the real climb back out

6. 19/1/2011. Trampers. Lamb Hill to three o’clock creek. Old Stone Hut. Orbells Cave. Medium+.

Small scale GPS of route, courtesy Ken.

If you look closly at the small scale pic, you can see the shed at the Nth. end of the airstrip, right at the bottom of the pic where the track starts. As you can see from the spacing of the GPS squares, we were still driving for a while till the squares become very close together. this is where we started to walk from. You can also see the track going off to the left of the airstrip at it’s south end, going down to the ford where the track peters out, & then starts again on the other side. That is where the 2003 tramp went (see below).

Large scale GPS map of route, courtesy Ken.

The large scale pic shows the decent via the wrong ridge, we should’ve been one over to the right. Anyway, we ended up just a short distance from Orbells creek, so walked into that valley, & up to Orbells caves which is the track on the RH side of the pic.

Cute cave we found on the way down to Three O’clock Stream. (Ken pic)

Orbells Caves. (Ken pic)

Dermot in the obviously lived-in cave. (Ken pic)

We then retraced our steps back to Three O’clock Stream, and went downstream to a crossing, where Dermot and I went to the old hut to have lunch (which is the track on the left side of the stream in the GPS pic).

Hut on the other side of Three O’clock Stream. (Ken pic)

Relaxation area of the hut. (Ken pic)

Then after walking across the river flats, we struggled up the very steep hills back to the cars.
The weather was fine, but VERY windy, and I nearly lost my footing a couple of times coming back up the steepest parts. BTW, the hut is not on Lambhill Station, it’s on the neighbours property.
Everybody did very well, including George, who didn’t go to the caves, along with Hazel. They just went over to the hut to have lunch there.

Hazel packing prior to leaving. (Ken pic)

George got a dose of cramp on the way back up the hills, but managed to overcome it ok, and carry on. – Ken.
5. 21/5/2006 Lamb Hill to three o’clock creek. Old Stone Hut. Orbells Cave. Medium+.Leaders: George, Keith, Glenice, Hazel
4. 21/5/2003. Both. Lamb Hill to Three O.clock Creek. Medium. Leaders: Wendy B, Bob H, Nancy & Molly
View when we first arrived.

View when we first arrived.

Morning tea break.

Morning tea break.

Descent to creek

Three O'clock Creek

Three O’clock Creek

At creek ford.

Lunch at top of climb.

Lunch at top of climb. Pat, Lex, Doug J, Evelyn, Doug M, Bob, Arthur.

3. 17/5/2000 Lamb Hill, Three O’Clock Creek. Leaders: Wendy, Colleen, George
2. 15/4/1998. 3 O’Clock Creek, Lamb Hill. Leaders: Nancy, Wendy B
1. 8/11/1989 Lamb Hill to Three O’Clock Creek and old stone hut. Harder grade. George, Mary M, Molly, Catherine

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Nov 22 2017

Allans Beach, Cape Saunders, Puddingstone Rock, Mt Charles

Published by under Farm,Trampers

No. 99 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Mt Charles Mr Neil Farm”

27 km from car-park.

Click here to read about Cape Saunders Lighthouse and the two graves

9. 22/11/2017. Trampers. Mount Charles. M. Leader: Phil.

Mt Charles – 22 November 2017 – Leader: Phil.

Following a quick rendezvous of 4 vehicles at Macandrew Bay it was follow the leader via Allans Beach Road, with the leader doing a feint turn the wrong way at Hoopers Inlet, just to test the following car drivers, before arriving and parking under the pine and macrocarpa at the end of the road.  There was then a few recounts on the numbers of intrepid trampers as I was reliably informed we had 16 when we left Mosgiel, but now we had 18!  Wow Mt Charles must have a reputation!

So off we set at 10 to 10 back down the road to the gate with ‘closed’ on it; there was a promise of the most well earned morning tea for the year at the stile at the top of the first paddock….this was achieved comfortably by all but clearly the steep start had an affect,

Up, up, and more up. (Helen pic and caption.)

with everyone sitting for a good 20 minutes…maybe it was the views?  This was said to be about ‘halfway up- yeah right!’

We then set off up a variety of knobs and farm tracks, and following the fence lines to ridges and little saddles and then via a track – commented to be the stairway to heaven –  that dissected some remnant native bush (and where the level of craic was very low), before we emerged on a little plateau, and veering left and with the help of some gentlemanly fence lifters to get under the barbed wire arrived and ‘summited’ Mt Charles at 11.30.

 

Group at the top. (Helen pic and caption.)

On the last part of the ascent we had been accompanied by a herd of inquisitive and very well conditioned cattle, that set about corralling and dividing us before realising we had no barley sugars to give them so off they bashed through the forest. At the summit we were greeted by the mist clearing and revealing 360 degree views, only to be tested by a swarm of bush flies and other flying objects, so after admiring the views and taking the obligatory photos

View from the top. (Helen pic and caption.)

we headed off through the fences and along the ridge to start the descent down the sea side (East) of the mountain. Around half way down the lumpy and steep hillside we found a spot for lunch, where someone had nicely placed boulders and logs for us all to be comfortably seated and take in the surroundings,

Lunch stop. (Margreet pic and caption.)

including a top dressing plane, piloted by Snoopy. The plane  made numerous and continuous sorties along the coast

‘’Snoopy buzzing the team’’ (Phil pic and caption.)

and around the mountain for the duration of the rest of the walk. At about this time the sea mist moved back and the summit was shrouded in….

Gradually we descended and returned along the ‘flat’, parallel with the coast, and then over a small saddle and down to the road end and carparks, where we were warmly met at 1.15 by Jill D and Clive, who having completed 90% of the ascent, returned and undertook a walk along the beach.  Well done folks for the inspiring effort.

We then had sometime at the beach, walking to the headland, dipping toes in the sparkling seas, or just lounging and taking in  the peace and tranquillity, but for Snoopy! Then onto the Mac Café, where as a sign of the season, and in very Mediterranean like conditions,  there were probably more ice creams, and cold drinks consumed  than coffees and tea.

Although the walk was ‘only’ 5.7km it was 403 m up a mountain, and of course 403m down!

This was NZ walking at it’s best; a mountain, 360 degree views of land and sea scapes, and lovely weather followed by a walk on the beach and admiring wildlife, with great company. – Phil

 8. 8/4/2015 Trampers. Mount Charles M.
GPS of route, courtesy Ken.

GPS of route, courtesy Ken. We walked 7km; 2 hrs moving time; 3.1km/hr; climbed 452mtrs; max elev.412mtrs

Having met up with the others at the meeting place in Andy Bay, 6 of us travelled to the end of Allans Beach Rd. where we parked under the pines, & geared up for the climb up Mt. Charles. We walked back along the road for the 3-400m to the stile over the fence at the start of the climb, then it was up, up, & more up!
We stopped just after 10am for morning tea break, then resumed the climb. An hour later we reached the trig on top of Mt. Charles,…

1 At top of Mt. Charles. (Ken pic and caption)

1 At top of Mt. Charles. (Ken pic and caption)

…where we spent some time admiring the view, which was fantastic.

2 View from Mt. Charles, with Harbour Cone on left. (Ken pic and caption)

2 View from Mt. Charles, with Harbour Cone on left. (Ken pic and caption)

4 Allans Beach, & Hoopers Inlet from Mt. Charles. (Ken pic and caption)

4 Allans Beach, & Hoopers Inlet from Mt. Charles. (Ken pic and caption)

We also found the trig station was falling to bits, with all of the bolts securing the stays to the legs missing.

3 looking at he damaged trig. (Ken pic and caption)

3 looking at he damaged trig. (Ken pic and caption)

As there was a bit of a breeze blowing up there, we decided to go down the seaward side, & walk back around that area to the cars. So we set off following sheep trails through the bracken, & Onga Onga, down a steep slope until we were approx halfway down, where we had lunch in a pleasant spot with a great view.

5 Lunch stop with a view. (Ken pic and caption)

5 Lunch stop with a view. (Ken pic and caption)

6 Allans Beach with Sandy Mount in the background

6 Allans Beach with Sandy Mount in the background. (Ken pic and caption)

We then finished the descent,…

7 The clay road down there was our destination for the walk back out. (Ken pic and caption)

7 The clay road down there was our destination for the walk back out. (Ken pic and caption)

…& made our way back past Belmont House out to the cars.
As it was still quite early in the day, we then went out to the beach, where we had to detour around a sleeping sea lion on the track. There were others on the beach also, ignoring the presence of humans.
The trip up Mt. Charles is a serious climb to get to the top, but I think we all enjoyed the experience. And we stopped off at Mac Bay for a coffee & chat before driving back to town. – Ken.

7. 10/8/2011. Trampers. Allans Beach, Belmont, Cape Saunders, Kaimata Road, Puddingstone Rock, return. Medium.

GPS of route from Allans Beach to Puddigstone Rocks, return, courtesy Ken. 13.8 Km. Total metres climbed: 690.

It was a brilliant winter’s day as can be seen from the pics.

Looking South at Allans Beach. (Ken pic and caption). – Sandymount beyond.

Looking north towards on Cape Saunder’s coast. (Ken pic and caption)

Cape Saunders ‘LightHouse’. (Ken pic and caption)

The site of the old Lighthouse Keeper’s house which was vandalised and later destroyed by fire. Site very tidily cleared.

Our intention had been to return via Mount Charles, but an early evening appointment of one of our party indicated a return by the way we had come would be more prudent than risking the – perhaps over-time commitment – of tackling Mount Charles as well. (Note: Making this a summer tramp would lessen such time constraints.) – Ian
6. 11/2/2009. Trampers. Allans Beach, Belmont, Cape Saunders, Kaimata Road, Puddingstone Rock Cape Saunders Road, Mt Charles, round trip. Medium. Leader: Bill

45 minutes’ drive to Alans Beach by Hoopers Inlet. 37.5 km from car-park.
(Click to enlarge thumbnail pics)

Route Map
The trip this time was enhanced by a group from the Christchurch Over Forties Tramping Club joining us for the day. The day was pleasant as we made our way from the Belmont homestead over a ridge or two to our tea break spot with a fine view of a small beach and the Wharekakahu Rock islet.

Down to tea break

Down to tea break

Beach and Whatekakahu Rock Islet at tea break

Beach and Whatekakahu Rock Islet at tea break

A bit of a climb from there brought us to the experience of an abrupt cliff face

A cliff edge

A cliff edge

before climbing a fence line to make our way across to the Cape Saunders road and down to the Matakitaki Point lighthouse.

While there we showed our visitors the ancient grave site of two young children (see information at bottom of this post)

Picket fence grave site

Picket fence grave site

before climbing back up to the Kaimata Road and down to our lunch stop.
click to enlarge

Lunch time

Lunch time

Then it was down a paddock or two to view the seals on the Puddingstone Rock ledge,

Seal and offspring?

Seal and offspring?

Seals frolicking

Seals frolicking

before climbing the road back out to the Cape Saunders Road and along to the NE of Mount Charles to climb through paddock and bush to the trig.

Sandymount from Mount Charles

Sandymount from Mount Charles. Hazel, Angela

Last climb to trig

Last climb to trig

After that it was down the conventional ascent route, much steeper than the one we had climbed, and along to the cars.

5. 23/5/2007 Trampers. Allans Beach, Belmont, Cape Saunders, Kaimata Road, Puddingstone Rock Cape Saunders Road, Mt Charles, round trip. Medium. Leaders: Bill, Pat
Keyhole in rock

Keyhole in rock (31/3/2004)

click to enlarge
Lunch time

Lunch time

4. 29/11/2006. Trampers. Allans Beach, Mount Charles, Cape Saunders. Medium. Leaders: Bill, Pat

click to enlarge

Off-shore islet

Off-shore islet

Surf on Cape Saunders

Surf on Cape Saunders

Cute gate

McLeods’ gate

Victory Beach from Mount Charles

Victory Beach from Mount Charles

Struggling against the wind up Mt Charles Pat, Wendy, Hazel

Struggling against the wind up Mt Charles Doug, Pat, Wendy, Hazel, Glenice.

Cresting Mt Charles. Who? Doug, Ian, Pat, Wendy, Hazel

Cresting Mt Charles. Who? Doug, Wendy, Pat, Hazel, Glenice.

Cautious descent in wind. Pat, Wendy.

Cautious descent in wind. Wind, Glenice, Pat, Hazel, Wendy.

Allans beach from Mt Charles. (Bill pic)

Allans beach and Sandymount from Mt Charles. (Bill pic)

Papanui Inlet, Otago Harbour from Mt Charles.

Papanui Inlet, Otago Harbour from Mt Charles.

3. 7/12/2005. All. Cape Saunders from Allans Beach. Leaders: Bill, Pat, Bob, Nadia
2. 26/1/2005 Mount Charles Hoopers Inlet, Allans Beach. Leaders: Dorothy S, Shirley
Prospect. Before the climb.

Prospect. Before the climb.

Mount Charles summit. Dorothy, Pat.

Mount Charles summit. Dorothy, Pat.

Lunch

Lunch lee Mt Charles. Peter, Lex, Ian, Dorothy S, Dot B, Ria, Pat Wendy, George, Margaret, Tom

1. 31/3/2004. Trampers. Cape Saunders, Puddingstone Rock. Easy+. Leaders: Bill, Pat
Tea Break. Pat, Molly, Bill, Joyce, Nancy

Tea Break. Pat, Molly, Bill, Joyce, Nancy

Peter, Bob & Bill on edge

Peter, Bob & Bill on edge

Wave surge. Lunch. Margaret, Who? Bev H, Peter. Old grave.

Wave surge. Lunch. Margaret, Who? Bev H, Peter. Old grave.

Keyhole in point.

Keyhole in point.

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Nov 15 2017

Walrus Bridge. Nardoo Scientific Reserve. Little Peak.

Published by under Trampers

Distance from Bush Road Car-park: 50 Km.

Tramp area map

8. 15/11/2017. Trampers. Nardoo Reserve Walrus Bridge. Leader: Art.
3 vehicles conveyed 9 Trampers out past Lake Mahinerangi to the Nardoo Reserve, for a day in the tussock. It was an hour’s journey.
On the last few kilometres up the farm road on Waipori Station we were able to admire all the ewes with their lambs. They obviously wanted to keep up their fitness, as instead of moving off sideways, they preferred to run uphill on the road in front of us!
From our car park we walked for 10 minutes to have smoko by the D.O.C. sign, as we entered the Reserve.
Up the zig zag and into the tussock. There was a faint trail to follow all the way, but concentration was needed at times so as not to lose it.
We stopped a few times to regroup and have a rest, uphill all the way. But our precautions taken to guard against sunburn were wasted as we remained under low cloud all day.
At one of the rest stops it was noticed the cloud was flowing up the gullies on either side of us, converging, and then going upslope in front of us. The cloud was close above us further up, but we had good visibility of several hundred meres on the group in all directions.

‘’ come on up Bruce, there’s a better view of the mist here”. (Phil pic and caption.)

And so we came to Walrus Bridge, some time being spent on admiring and photographing it, before drawing up to the festal board (we ate our lunch).

Walrus Rock. Dave up on top. Rest underneath. (Helen pic and caption.)

A swallow arrived, and to our pleasure began flying backwards and forwards over the water and under Walrus Bridge, no doubt looking for a snack.
Before turning for home, some time was spent by the botanists among us, in studying the large area of mosses, etc, just beyond Walrus Bridge.

There was a lot of interest in the flower. ‘’Possibly the buttercup ranunculus gracilipis (slender) ( A Mark ‘ Above the treeline’)’’. (Phil pic and caption.)

We retraced our path in the beautiful tussock, downhill now of course, and eventually arrived back at the D.O.C. sign for a photo opportunity.

The group. (Helen pic and caption.)

And so it came to pass the 9 very happy trampers returned to the cars after a very enjoyable day in the tussock.

A brief stop was made at the Waipori Cemetery on the way back. A tranquil place. And Lake Mahinerangi was very low, we could see.

Back at Outram refreshments were obtained at the “Gobbly Woat”.

A few figures now – our day’s tramp distance was 8.7 km. We parked the cars at an altitude of 624 metre, and Walrus Bridge was at 934 metres.

My thanks to all my fellow “tussock jumpers” for such a good day out. – Art.

7. 28/10/2015 Trampers. Nardoo Reserve.
On a cool morning, 11 trampers, 9 who had not been there before, set off to visit Nardoo Reserve,
After a tentative drive along the road from Lake Mahinarangi, past the old Waipori cemetery, desperately looking for any sign that I remembered where we were, we finally arrived at the parking spot where we would start walking from.
As it was already just after 10am, we decided to have morning tea before setting off on our walk. Then it was off along the old 4WD track around to the boundary fence of Nardoo Reserve, where we were puzzled by the fact that the gate was open into the reserve. This was later explained to me by the owner of the surrounding land, who had a legit reason for it being open.
On the way up…
Some great scenery (Heb pic, Ken caption)

Some great scenery (Heb pic, Ken caption)

… the long climb to Walrus Bridge, I let some of the group take turns with the GPS so they could follow the track on the GPS display of our previous trips here.
Taking a break on the way up (Heb pic, Ken caption)

Taking a break on the way up (Heb pic, Ken caption)

I also did this on the way home again, as I think it wise to let others see how the GPS can guide you in this type of featureless country, which is all tussock, with no track showing in most places, as it’s many years since anybody has had a vehicle up there. Most agreed that they had no idea how to return to the cars, & I think there would’ve been a lot of head scratching going on if they had to find there own way back.
After having lunch at Walrus Bridge,
Lunch at Walrus Bridge (Heb pic, Ken caption)

Lunch at Walrus Bridge (Heb pic, Ken caption)

where everybody was suitably impressed by the sight of the pool under it, we decided to go on a little further as it was still quite early. Se we trudged across to another rocky point where we had a rest & a good look around, trying to decide in which direction Lawrence, & some other towns were. Then we made our way all the way back to the cars,
Exiting the reserve (Heb pic, Ken caption)

Exiting the reserve (Heb pic, Ken caption)

where some expressed amazement that the walk was quite short, but felt as though they had walked much further.
There were some appreciative comments made about the trip, so I think everybody enjoyed the day out on the open tops. And I for one have some sunburn on the back of the hand I use with my Trekking Pole.Walked 9km
3.1km/h
2h 54mins moving
climbed 382mtrs
max height 972mtrs.
6. 27/10/2010. Trampers. Nardoo Scientific Reserve. Little Peak. Medium. Leader: Ian.

GPS of Tramp. 10km. courtesy Ken.

The day was hot. Tempered by a strong but pleasant cool wind. Five of us enjoyed a return to Little Peak. To access Nardoo Reserve we had to drive through part of Waipori Station, whose permission was kindly given. The protected tussock of the Reserve was as long as ever but the 4WD track was still detectable. We stopped early at the customary zig-zag for the tea break.

Morning tea on the zig-zag. (Ken pic)

Then it was on up, across to the left, then right, along a bit of a gully before climbing to top the wee hill to our left, (see the first left point of the two major zigs on the GPS map.

View of Little Peak just discernable on skyline. About to climb wee hill on our left. 4WD track visible in tussock.

Then the swing down to our right, across a wet mossy decline, and up again, angling on a long reach to our left to reach Little Peak, (see the second major left point on the GPS route). Here we rested beside Walrus Bridge rock.

Break at Walrus Bridge. (Ken pic)

We had made good time and it was too early for lunch. We decided to head in the direction of Peak No. 2. The tussock on the top here shares pride of place with a large variety of mosses, and a profusion of celmisias. We made our way across these to a solitary rock on a bit of a rise and decided to lunch there.

Rock where we had lunch. Little Peak rocks in back-ground.

We were struck by the deep blue of a group of able 5 tarns in a dip, looking towards the Lake.

Deep blue of tarns viewed from lunch spot. Lake Mahinerangi. (Ken pic)

Then it was back down and across to Little Peak and to retrace our steps back to the car. Ken let us take turns with holding his GPS navigator to note just how accurately we were keeping to the track it had marked out on the ascent. (A good tool were we ever to get lost.) Only five of us, but good company. Wish there were more to share our enjoyment of yet another brilliant Wednesday. – Ian
5. 16/1/2008 Trampers. Walrus Bridge, Red Rock, Nardoo Scientific Reserve. Medium. Leaders: Ian, Bill M
Today, which saw the mercury rise uncomfortably high , 10 of us travelled in 3 very different cars to the start of the tramp, well past the turnoff to the Waipori cemetery beside Lake Mahinerangi.
This was going to be the day we all needed a large supply of water. Luckily it was only a slow leak from the water bladder and Ian did not run out of water. Ria, who is very fit, found the slow pace hard to take , although the rest of us appreciated the regular breathers Bill allowed us on the rather hot, tussocky ascent. Wonderful views surrounded us over the nearby slopes of the Lammermoors, and back over lake Mahingerangi. The area we were in was a scenic reserve called Nardoo and had been fenced off from the stock which roamed over the rest of Waipori Station.
Nardoo sign

Nardoo sign. (Bill pic)

This had allowed regeneration of the native plants and tussocks and on the summit of Little Peak 1 the Celmisias were everywhere and a real treat to see their lovely silver foliage and white, daisy like flowers. Walrus bridge is a large rock spanning a deep dark tarn and it was here we sought shelter from the midday sun and had our lunch.
Walrus Bridge

Close-up view under Walrus Bridge/ (Bill pic)

We posed. Emma, Marjorie, Tash, Doug, Hazel, Ian, Bruce.

We posed. Emma, Marjorie, Tash, Doug, Hazel, Ian, Bruce.

Bruce suggested it was called Walrus because a walrus moustache is shaped like a bridge over the mouth and droops down the sides rather like a walrus’ long incisor teeth. Hazel needed a good wake up call
Lunch snooze.

Lunch snooze. Ken, Doug, Bruce, Tash, Emma, Marjorie (Bill pic)

Overhang rock

Rock overhang. A walrus? (Bill pic)

Mahinerangi view

Mahinerangi view

as we headed back down after lunch and Ian managed to end up fighting to get up from the tussocks after falling dramatically into them. And so back the way we came, but this time all down hill.
Us on way back down. Ria, Hazel, Doug, Tash, Emma, Bruce, Marjorie, Ken, Ian

Us on way back down. Ria, Hazel, Doug, Tash, Emma, Bruce, Marjorie, Ken, Ian

A great day out in beautiful, wild country with blue skies, and white shaped clouds.
Cloud effect

Cloud effect (Bill pic)

A quick visit to Waipori Cemetery and memorial on the way out, and we still hadn’t seen a living soul.- Tash
4. 15/2/2006. Trampers. Red Rock, Nardoo, Walrus Bridge. Leaders: Ian, Bob H, Judy G.

Walrus Bridge.

3. 20/4/2005. Both. Nardoo, Walrus Bridge. Leaders: Helen S, Ria, Lance and Lois.
2. 19/3/2003. Both. Lake Mahinerangi, Red Rock, Walrus Bridge, Nardoo. Medium. Leaders: Ria, Evelyn, Molly, Mary M.
1. 14/4/1993. Lake Mahinerangi, Red Rock, Walrus Bridge, Nardoo. Medium+. Leaders: Ria L, Ria H, Jean, Lesley S.

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Nov 08 2017

Rollinsons, Swampy, Swine Spur

Published by under Trampers

Location: 15 km.
Click Swampy ridge track for background information.

6. 8/11/2017. Trampers. Swine Spur. M. Leader: Dave.

Last Wednesday’s tramp could have been called a number of names and probably was!!

(a) Swine spur – was it the pig rooting or the steepness of the trail in a gale?

(b) A walk on snow in wintery gale conditions in November    or

(c) How many differently named tracks can you do in a day?

Ten keen trampers’ left the car park having some idea what the weather might be like for the day ahead. We parked in Rollinson’s road just below the bridge adjacent to the entrance into the bush with the sign ‘swine spur’.  The bushes and trees were wet from the rain the night before. It was pleasant walking through the Kanuka with lots of clematis flowering.  However it wasn’t long before the colour of the track resembled the colour of the clematis! SNOW WHITE!!

Started off in snow.!! (Helen pic and caption.)

As we wandered up the track the snow got thicker and the wind got stronger. We decided to have morning tea in the last bit of shelter before the track upwards became exposed. The wind was very strong – we could just stand up! Keeping together we supported each other, through flax and dracophylum, up to the top to the green building on Swampy. The wind was so strong that there was little shelter even behind the building.

A very short break and then we followed down ‘swampy ridge road’ until we reached ‘Porkys track’ – this faced into the gale. We slipped and slid where the snow lay on the grass. Gradually we headed down to where the shrubs became trees. After a while we came to a track junction and then followed ‘possum busters track’. There were a number of creeks, full of water, from the rain the night before. To cross – you had to get wet again!

 

Tricky creek crossings. (Helen pic and caption.)

A welcome lunch was had amongst the trees in the shelter.

It was then on to the junction with ‘smithies track’ which we followed for a while through attractive natives.  ‘Whare Loop track’ was then followed to Whare lake.

The group at Lake Whare. (Helen pic and caption.)

At this spot the Maoris of the past used to soak the flax in the lake – later making both twine and linen. See Flax in New Zealand – Wikipedia. The remains of a stone house were inspected before completing the loop and out onto the road where the cars awaited.  A distance of approximately 10.2 km was covered.

The group decided to go for a well, deserved coffee at a usual coffee shop but alas the power was off, probably because of the winds. We soon found another where we recounted our adventure which was enjoyed by all.

Many thanks to Neil M and Arthur for the track clearing they have done, this was very evident. Others have volunteered to help them.

– Dave M

5. 12/3/2014. Trampers. Rollinsons Rd, Swine Spur, Swampy Ridge, Rollinsons Rd, Picnic Tables, return to cars.
Swine Spur route.

Swine Spur route done. Red indicates the heavy Swine Spur work, yellow the faster road work!

At the car park, the trampers lacked a leader knowledgeable of the Swine Spur track programmed for the day, so this hiker was dragooned into going with them, with his traitorous act objected to strongly by one of the hikers (who shall considerately remain nameless) with his friendly invitation for the writer to never go with the hikers again.

A careful inspection of the access road roadside eventually elicited the heavily grassed over entrance to the Possum Busters track. We made it through Manuka-Kanuka wood and the two steep guts of Mckenzie Creek and the other unnamed one, to stop for the cuppa at the traditional stop at the intersection of Possum Busters and Swine Spur tracks.

Then we turned left up the Swine Spur through the easily graduated track that was to inevitably bring us to the foot of the near vertical strenuous climb to Swampy Ridge roadway.

A word of appreciation here of the sterling track clearing from the route of all the impedimenta the once-in-a-life-time wet snow storm of last August brought down across it. Bravo, you track clearers! It was obviously a massive job.

Anyway, we reached the small concrete-block aerial navigation building sitting there at the top and turned left along the road to pass the Airways Corporation combined VOR (VHF Omnidirectional Radio) and DME (Distance Measuring Equipment – where’s an easier name?) setup to head down the access road. We forewent going on through Swampy to Hightop, as had been programmed, indulging in an easier day instead. (A concession to the hiker, the writer suspects.)

Well, that was to be just a boring road walk back to the cars, but most pleasantly interrupted with a lunch stop at the 0ld-trampers’ picnic area at the head of the Steve Amies track. With all the time in the world, we just lazed there around the tables before eventually deciding to head back out and down to the cars. We arrived back at the car park BEFORE the hikers! One for the record book? – Ian.

4. 20/10/2010. Trampers. Rollinsons Road, Possum Busters, Swine Spur, Swampy Ridge, Rollinsons Track, Rollinsons Road. Leaders: Ria, Hazel.

Navmap of tramp, courtesy Ken. Rollinsons Track at top, part of it hidden on slope behind Swampy Ridge

Ria and Hazel led us into the start of Possum Busters from off Rollinsons Road. The two deep gullies were still there, but with the steep banks provided with wonderful sets of steps. Bravo, track-clearers. We stopped for a tea-break at the Swine Spur junction, wishing we had the tools to re-attach Les Murcott’s track signs to the remaining-standing manuka trunk. Then it was up the gentle incline of the Swine Spur track before it steeply climbed onto the actual Swine Spur.

Snow on track near top of slope of Swine Spur.

We were delighted to find the last bit onto the Spur was now a well-defined route, replacing the half-dozen or so attempts through the over-grown area. Reaching the top, we stopped for a brief shelter from some cold wind.

Sheltering from wind at building at top of Swine Spur.

Then it was along the road to Swampy Summit.

Snow on Swampy Summit

The Swampy Summit Track beyond the summit led us down through slippery frozen snow and on to our next turn-off. The Rollinsons Track was well-indicated and its route well-defined with copious track markers. Another good change from a time when it was really hard to detect parts of the track. Again, thanks to some excellent recent work by some good people, added to by our leaders on their recce.

Lunch scene. Foreground: track marker on bush, background: left to right, Pulpit rock, Silver Peaks No. 2, Rocky Ridge, The Gap.

The track kept high on the slope, avoiding the wetter parts of Swampy.

Tarn at heart of Swampy

The track wound its way back up and out of Swampy to join with the Rain Gauge track. Again, the track sign had been clearly renamed “Rollinsons” instead of the “Swampy Tarns” sign that had been put over the old faded sign. Then it was just out to Rollinsons Road at the hairpin bend and on down to the cars.
Thanks to Ria and Hazel for this lovely tramp over the whole Rollinsons again – a replacement for the trip into Jubilee Hut that  had been thoughtlessly scheduled for during lambing. – Ian.
3. 15/3/2006. Trampers. Rollinson, Burns, Swine Spur. Medium+. Leaders: Doug J, Ian, Shirley.
2. 30/4/2003. Both. Access Road, Rollinson Track, Swampy Saddle, Swine Spur Track. Medium+. Leaders: Ria, Bill and Pat, Denise, Anne R.
1. 19/9/2001. From Access Road, Rollinsons Track, Swampy Saddle, Swine Spur Track. Medium. Leaders: Ria L, Doug and Myrie, Joyce.

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Oct 25 2017

Careys Creek track, Black Gully Dam to Evansdale.

Published by under Trampers

Distance from car-park: 40 km

Black Gully Dam. Accessed from Semple Road. Black Gully Dam/Seacliff Dam. Av Time 1 hr; Route. Manager: DOC.
Click http://trtc.blogtown.co.nz/1980/12/14/seacliff-dam-historical-track/ for information on the Creek and pipeline.
Extension of Route to Black Gully Dam/Seacliff Dam. to Honeycomb track  junction. return. 4 hours return. Managed by DOC.
Best done in summer when Careys Creek is low, as there are many crossings. Attractive bush surrounds, which give good shelter from a hot sun.

8. 25/10/2017. Trampers. Black Gully Dam, Careys Creek, Evansdale. M. Leader: Keith.

Nine trampers left the car park and after delivering one vehicle to the tramp end,we left the car park at Semple road at 9.50am.

We made good progress on an times slippery and steepish track and stopped for smoko at 10:15.
As we followed the old pipe line down, the creek crossings became more frequent…

River crossing. (Helen pic and caption.)

 …and the track more muddy.
Lunch was had at 12:15…

Lunch. (Helen pic and caption.)

…and soon after the rain began, so it was on with the coats.

The hairy goat and his kids. (Helen pic and caption.)

Every one was quite wet by the time we got to Evansdale Glen but it was a good tramp and a great coffee at Blueskin cafe.
Distance Semple Rd car park to Evansdale walk bridge 11.6 km – Keith
7. 16/3/2016. Trampers. Black Gully Dam, Careys Creek, Evansdale. Leader: ?
On a day that didn’t promise much weather wise, we had 9 trampers on the Careys Creek tramp. For a change, the women outnumbered the men as well !!!
After doing the car shuttle thing, & having morning tea,

1 Packing up after morning tea (Ken pic and caption)

1 Packing up after morning tea (Ken pic and caption)

we all met up not far down valley from the Black Gully Dam,

2 Black Gully dam (Ken pic and caption)

2 Black Gully dam (Ken pic and caption)

3 Black Gully dam (Ken pic and caption)

3 Black Gully dam (Ken pic and caption)

& continued on at a leisurely pace,

4 track (Ken pic and caption)

4 track (Ken pic and caption)

being careful  of the quite slippery conditions.
The many creek crossings …

5 Crossing the creek (Ken pic and caption)

5 Crossing the creek (Ken pic and caption)

6 An easy crossing (Ken pic and caption)

6 An easy crossing (Ken pic and caption)

… were also treated with great care, as the boulders were mostly treacherous to stand on. It was pleasing to see the new much larger orange triangle track signs that have been installed along the places where it is necessary to walk the riverbed.
We had lunch alongside the creek at a suitable place, & then continued on downstream, where we met up with a quite a large group of Kings High School boys with two supervisors. They were making a lot of noise, & could be heard from some distance away. We spent the rest of the trip mixing with these boys, as they would race ahead, then stop to pick Blackberries, which they were going to make into a Blackberry Pie later that night.
We had some of our group who had not done this tramp before, & all agreed that it was a good day, which most of us finished off with a coffee & chat at Waitati.Walked 11.7km
3.6km/h
3h 13mins
climbed 173m – Ken.

6. 1/10/2014. Trampers. Black Gully Dam, Careys Creek, Evansdale.
Careys Creek track was the destination for this tramp, & 6 trampers turned up for the day out. We drove to Evansdale, & left one car there, & then drove up to the top of the track at Black Gully Dam track. Morning tea was taken at the wooden seat part way down this track just before the steep steps leading down to the creek. The dam was inspected, along with the old hut that is situated there, & then we made our way downstream over the many slippery creek crossings to a late lunch spot, not far from the signposted junction of Rongomai track. We then made our way back out to Evansdale Glen via the ‘new’ track, where two of us left the others to have a spell, & a look around the area, while we went & retrieved the two cars, so we could ferry everybody back to town. Once again, this tramp had not been done by some, & for others it had been a long time [many years] since they had been there, so even although most got wet, or damp feet, it was enjoyed by all, & the weather was brilliant !
We walked 10.8km
2h 45m moving time
ave 3.9km/h
climbed 163m – Ken.
5. 18/9/2013. Trampers. Black Gully Dam, Careys Creek, Evansdale.
Seven trampers gathered at the top of the Careys Creek track after leaving a vehicle at the Evansdale end.  The descent through the bush was pleasant easy going, with a stop to view the Black Gully dam and then another in a patch of sunlight for morning tea, where George shared his birthday goodies.

The creek was low so the numerous crossings were made with dry feet, except for one member who measured her length over slippery rocks and now sports a bruised cheek and knee, not to mention scratched specs.

The party then split, with three opting for an early lunch and the rest pressing on to the Rongomai junction.  Here the others caught up again, for an easy ramble out to the road.  – Judy

4. 26/1/2011. Trampers. Black Gully Dam, Careys Creek, Evansdale. Ken, Ian, Sabina.

GPS of Careys Creek track route, Semple Road to Evansdale, courtesy Ken.

With two cars between only three of us we nevertheless decided to do a car shuttle between Semple Road and Evansdale and to do the entire Careys Creek track. Ground conditions were wet and slippery, which would have ruled out the steep Honeycomb track anyway.
We were reminded again of just how many and how steep the steps down to the dam were. But they are well benched-in, so not too bad.

One of the more level parts of the track down to the Dam.

We took Sabina up to see the Dam and the slightly greater overflow didn’t auger well for the many creek-crossings and creek-wadings ahead, where the track is just the actual creek-bed. But again, things weren’t too bad.

The Dam waterfall was slightly heavier than usual.

Along the way we met up with several small groups of the Green Hut Track Group. They have almost completed clearing the entire track. Bravo! We were delighted to find several areas modified. These were where difficult parts of the track had, where occasion warranted, been either better benched, stepped or even completely re-routed. Again, bravo!
And then, just past the foot of the Rongomai, behold, a track now mown where  at all possible, all the way down to Evansdale Glen.

An example of the mown track nearer Evansdale.

This had been the first time the club has done the entire 10 km of creek in a long time. And it felt good. – Ian
3. 31/12/2009. Holiday tramp. Black Gully Dam, down Careys Creek some distance and back. 4 hours. Ian, Ken, George.
The weather forecast had promised a fine day but it turned out overcast. Rain on the previous wet day had left the track muddy and slippery necessitating great care not to slip. Exposed parts of the track produced lush rank grass and buttercups, and rain during the day left steep grassy slopes extremely slippery. The track is well-cleared for a considerable distance but from near its highest point and onwards, it was much more heavily overgrown than when we did the recce. First of all, of course, we climbed the track to the old Seacliff dam.
Looking across dam. Ken, George.

Looking across dam. Ken, George.

Dam and overflow.

Dam and overflow.

Peering through foliage to see extent of dam pond.

Peering through foliage to determine extent of dam pond.

Then it was down the Careys Creek old pipe-maintenance track. As mentioned above, this part was well cleared.
Track down Careys Creek. George, Ken.

Track down Careys Creek. George, Ken.

Of course there were very many stream crossings, some entailing a walk quite a distance down the creek before entering the track again. These were well-marked with indicators suspended from branches overhanging the stream-bed.
One of many stream crossings. George, Ken

One of many stream crossings. George, Ken

There was a restriction on time as George had belatedly discovered he had to be back home mid-afternoon, so although we managed a short-notice early 8.15 a.m. setting out, we were unable to make the full distance down to the Honeycomb Track turn-off before having to turn back. A memorable part of the tramp was a (unnoticed at the time but decidedly stinging later on and into the night) brush with some concealed onga-onga, Ken on his left wrist, George on a finger and Ian on his right knee. But all in all, a very enjoyable way to finish the old year off. – Ian
2. 5/12/2009. Recce of Black Gully Dam, Careys Creek, Honeycomb, returned Mountain Road, Semple Road. 5.5 hours. Ian, Keith, Glenis.
Track is well-cleared for most of its length.
The road-walk back is about 8 km.
1. 19/10/1994 Evansdale, Black Gully Dam/Seacliff Dam, Double Hill. Medium. Leaders: Ria L, Marie F, Jack R, Bob H

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Oct 18 2017

Grahams Bush, Organ Pipes, Buttars Peak, Mount Cargill.

Published by under Trampers

Click Grahams Bush history for background information.
Click Mount Cargill history for background information.
No. 19 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Sawyers Bay – Grahams Bush. M Deuchrass. Summer.”
Sawyers Bay Road 28 km from car park.
18/10/2017. Trampers. Grahams Bush – TV Mast. M. Leader: Helen.

Only eight trampers today. Lots away. Started at Hall Road in Sawyers Bay. Parked cars at the start of the Grahams Track. Lovely walk up through bush and also some muddy areas. Had our morning tea stop on this section of the tramp. Up the steep steps to the Mount Cargill Road.

(Margreet pic.)

Across that and up to the Organ Pipes most which have fallen down now.

Organ Pipes. (Helen pic and caption.)

Continued on up to the top of Mount Cargill going past Buttars Hill. Had our lunch up there in the shelter as was quite windy on the top. Down we went again after conversations with other hikers and workman on our way down to the road. From there we decided to walk

View from road. Roseneath Quarantine Island and Portobello. (Helen pic and caption.)

in a large loop back to Sawyers Bay and cars. Distance was 16.5kms. Coffee at Blackstone in Mosgiel. A very enjoyabld day with lots of chatting. – Helen

10/6/2015. Trampers. Grahams Bush – TV Mast.M.
We had a good turnout of 10 trampers for todays assault on Grahams Bush — Organ Pipes, & track up to the transmitter mast on top of Mt. Cargill.
We had morning tea break at the junction of the private road, & the left turn onto the track. I should’ve waited till a bit later as once into the bush the ground was nearly dry, whereas where we stopped was quite wet.
We made good time up to the road at the top of the Grahams Bush track, & after a short rest stop where we learnt that a couple from the Czech Republic had their car broken into, in the Organ Pipes car park, & a backpack stolen, which contained their passports along with other items, we carried on up to the Organ Pipes.
Those that had not been there before, or for a long time took the opportunity to view the tumbled down remains of the once great landmark, before we set off for the junction with the track leading up to the transmitter mast. We found a reasonably sheltered spot among the bush edge to sit down for lunch,
Lunch stop. (Ken pic)

Lunch stop. (Ken pic)

before going up the rough track [in places] with the big steps up to the top, where it was very windy.
After having a good look around up here, & admiring the great view, we started to retrace our steps back down & along the Organ pipes track to the Mt. Cargill Rd. I was very pleased to see that the boardwalks that I built in the mid ’90’s are still like new after nearly 20 yrs.
Once at the road, two of the women members decided that they would walk back via the road down into Sawyers Bay, instead of negotiating the Grahams Bush track in reverse direction.
The walk back out to the cars was uneventful, with everybody making it safely.
A good workout for the lungs, & legs, with almost 1 KM climbed, but I didn’t hear any complaints, so I guess they all enjoyed the day.
Walked 11.6km @ 3.6km/hr.; moving time 3h 15min; Climbed 891mtrs. – Ken.
9/2/2011. Hikers. Old Mt Cargill Rd car park, Organ Pipes, Mt Cargill, return. Leaders: Bev. and Lesley.
The title of the walk was “Tracks and Trails” – which allowed our leaders licence to take us anywhere. And so the 15 of us climbed to the organ pipes and continued past Butter’s (DOC signboard) or Buttar’s (expert Lex who remembers the family farming there from when he lived in Leith Valley) Peak and on to Mount Cargill …

And so on the Mt Cargill. (Bob pic and caption)

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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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Sep 20 2017

Waipori Gorge to Meggat Burn, Berwick Forest

Published by under Trampers

5. 20/9/2017. Trampers. Berwick Forest – Meggat Burn, Shaw Road. M. Leader: Arthur.
There were 14 keen Trampers out today for a walk in the forest – one member of the group used the word “intrepid” in describing us.
It must be a few years since our Club has tramped this track? Anyway, the cars parked at the usual spot by the old woolshed on the road into the “Berwick Forest Lodge”.
It was noticed that the toilet facilities by the carpark were absent, as about a month ago some “empty head” had burned it down!
There was a brief paddock walk in the sunshine (sunny all day) before crossing the footbridge over Boundary Creek, to the beginning of the track up into the pine trees. After about 150 yards we came to 6 large trees down over the track, which were successful negotiated by going under, over, or around.
Smoko was taken in a sunny trackside spot, at the appropriate time.

Gathering on way up. (Helen pic and caption.)

Continuing uphill we soon came to and crossed a Forestry Road (Prentice Road). Now descending slowly we eventually came to the Meggat Burn, which was crossed without mishap using a variety of techniques. Electing to just plough through, not worrying about wet feet, and some crossed on the shallowest part of the rock ledge where it was maybe only 3 inches deep. The burn was only slightly up after all of the rain a few days ago.

(Margreet pic.)

While the track was muddy in many places, it was surprisingly good after the quantity of rain that had fallen. Further up there was vegetation, especially gorse, beginning to encroach but not impeding our progress.

The track came out onto a forestry road, Tobermory Road; and in 10 minutes more we reached Shaw Road before 12 noon. Down Shaw Road for a few minutes took us to our lunch spot in a sunny area under the Pole Line that parallels Shaw Road. There was a limited view down on to the Taieri from here, with Hope Hill in the background. We could even see the sea.

Lunch spot. (Helen pic and caption.)

The sunshine was most enjoyable, ideal for lying back forma little nap after eating – one tramper having to be roused to begin the return journey!

Our return followed the same route, some care being necessary descending a slippery clay section before arriving back at the Meggat Burn. All crossed in safety again although a piece of equipment may have been lost?

It was uphill for a little while, and then it was down all the way. It was very noticeable that the leaders were in a hurry to get home (I was at the back of the group here), and not wasting any time – probably they could detect the aroma coming from the coffee shop? But it was just their imagination!

We were back in the lovely sunshine at the cars by 2.30 pm, having tramped 13.5 km for the day’s effort.

The Leader was most gratified to hear that all of the party had thoroughly enjoyed the day’s walk (and talk). Considerable birtdsong was heard in the forest.

As per the usual custom, a stop was made in Outram for refreshments and  discussion. And then back to Mosgiel, and then home for boot cleaning duty. – Art.

4. 7/6/2006. Old Woolshed to Shaw Road, return. Leaders: Bob H and Arthur H.

3. 26/5/2004. Old woolshed at Berwick to Waipori Return. H. Started from the old woolshed, through the forest, Meggat Burn to Shaw Road, and down the track to the picnic ground near the Waipori River Bridge to have lunch there. Returned the same way. It must have been a long, tough tramp to do that. (Recalled by Art.)

2. 19/3/1997 Waipori Gorge to the Megget Burn stream, Berwick. Leaders: Molly, Diana and Ray
1. 14/5/1989 Waipori Gorge to Meggetburn stream, Berwick. Bush and Pine walk. Leaders: Daphne, Helen W, Mavis

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Sep 13 2017

Bethunes Gully, Mt Cargill, Buttars Peak, Organ Pipes,Old Main North Road, Brown House corner, Norwood Street, Bethunes Gully.

Published by under Trampers,Year round

Click Mount Cargill history for background information.

No. 11 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Bethunes Gully to T.V. Mast Organ Pipes. Wiggins. Year Round.”

No. 100 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Bethunes Gully – Brown House – Signal Hill – Chingford Park Year Round”

Cars meet at Bethunes Gully. A broad gravelled track from picnic ground. NB. Opposite Brown House corner is an RSA Memorial to First World War servicemen the old Junction School.

21 km from car park.

21. 13/9/2017. Trampers. Bethunes Gully. M. Leader: Eleanore.
A record number (9 female and 8 male) trampers drove to car park at Bethunes Gully and started the steady climb up, up and up some more on a well maintained track.

Firstly, alongside Lindsay Creek.  The track climbs steadily up the flank of Mt. Cargill, first through pine forest and then regenerating native forest.  We found a cosy spot and enjoyed a smoko break.  Once again we climbed steadily to the top of the ridge between Mt. Cargill and Buttars  Peak.  The intersection to the Organ Pipes Track was reached, by now we knew the mast was getting closer.  Only to find we had to climb steps to reach the top!

(Margreet pic and caption.)

The weather was calm and the views fantastic.

On top of Mt Cargill looking towards Taiaroa Heads. (Phil pic and caption.)

For quite a few members it was a first time visit to this track.  Also, the company of the intrepid adventurer Judy Knox was enjoyed.  We continued onto the A.H. Reed track where lunch was had.

Lunch view. (Helen pic and caption.)

The beauty of this track is the downhill—all the way to the car park!
We chose the little coffee shop near Baldwin Street for coffee, cake and a chat.

Coffee. (Helen pic and caption.)

We travelled 10.9km and climbed 676 metres to the mast on top of Mt. Cargill
Another great outing had by all. – Eleanore Ryan.

20. 28/9/2016. Hikers. Bethunes Gully. H. Leaders: Adrienne and Judy K.
Route map

Route map of trek only to the top. (Sorry, jammed up the app.)

21 hikers with an age range of 12 to 89 (is that a record?) gathered at the car park at the start of the Bethunes Gully track. It was fine (well, not raining anyway) when we left Mosgiel, and dry at the start of the track, but a nasty creepy little drizzle hung round us the higher we went. Loud bird calls accompanied us for the steady climb up the gully on a well-formed track, slightly muddy in places, across several bridges where the creeks were running a bit higher than usual, to a welcome morning tea break on the side of the track.

Morning Tea. (Adrienne pic.)

Morning Tea stop. (Adrienne pic and caption.)

Slow and steady was the order of the day, with plenty of stops to get breath back. Up – and up – and up. Several fell by the wayside – first two, then two more. When at last the junction for the Organ Pipes and the Mt Cargill summit was reached, 10 more subsided and declared “Lunch!”
An intrepid 7 continued another half hour to the summit (a first for some), up the steps in annoying drizzle. No views available from the top.

Cloud Mountain. (Adrienne pic.)

The misty summit. (Adrienne pic and caption.)

so it was down to the junction again for lunch.

Lunch in cloud. Where had the others gone? (Ian pic and caption.)

Lunch in the cloud, back down from the summit and at the junction. Where had the others gone? (Ian pic and caption.)

By which time the other 10 had departed, it being a bit cold and damp to hang around.
Down – and down – and down – collecting strays as we went. Fred wasn’t present but his chocolates were, and much appreciated, thanks Fred. It was warm and sunny back …

Our welcoming crowd at the end. (Adrienne pic and caption.)

Our welcoming crowd at the end. (Adrienne pic and caption.)

… at the cars so parkas were discarded for the ride to the Botanic gardens and a well-earned (we think) coffee stop.  – Adrienne and Judy K.

19. 30/9/2015 Trampers. Bethunes Gully, Mt Cargill, Organ Pipes return.
Bethunes Gully track was the destination for the day, & 9 keen trampers arrived at the car park in Bethunes Gully, ready to tackle the continuous climb up to the transmitter mast at Mt. Cargill.
We arrived at the picnic spot about 3/4 of an hour up the track, but the leaders misread the sign, & decided that it wasn’t the correct place, but they were called back, & we all had a relaxing morning tea break in the sun. Then it was up the track some more, with a few rest breaks till we reached the junction with the Organ Pipes track, where we had another short break before heading off up the terrible track with the very large steps to arrive at the transmitter mast on top. This section is getting worse as time goes on, or is it just the mind thinking that way ??
After a good look around…
Top photo One (Ken pic)

Top photo One (Ken pic)

Top photo Two (Ken pic)

Top photo Two (Ken pic)

… & a chat with a guy from the university language department who had a group of very well dressed [all in black suits] Chinese visitors to the city, we made our way back to the Organ Pipes track. After a regroup here, we walked down to the Organ Pipes …

Eric (Ken pic)

Eric (Ken pic)

 … where I could see how my handiwork on the boardwalks was standing up from nearly 20 years beforehand. We had lunch at the Organ Pipes, then retraced our steps back down to the cars at Bethunes Gully. It was a very nice day for a tramp, with only the slightest breeze at the top, & some weak sunshine all day. I think everybody enjoyed the day, despite the grumbles about the steep climb, & those terrible steps !! We stopped off at the new cafe in the shop at the bottom of Baldwin Street for a coffee, just to keep up the tradition of the Trampers Coffee Club. This cafe is owned by the former owner of the ‘Flax’ cafe in Caversham.
Walked 10.9km
2h 53m moving
3.7km/h
climbed 679m
max height 672m – Ken.
18. 21/9/2011. Bethunes Gully, Mt Cargill, Buttars Peak, Organ Pipes, Old Main North Road, Brown House corner, Norwood Street, Bethunes Gully.

GPS of tramp, clockwise, courtesy, Ken

Nine of us did this tramp, the most we have had out for a while, and one that the club had not done since 2006!
We were surprised with the new (?) bike barriers, although we still met a biker further on up the track.

Cycle barrier

Doug (nice knees?) and this reporter (the eldest two in the group) elected to remain at the track junction, letting the others (one or two who had never done it before) go on up to the top.

Relaxing in sheltered comfort

Their only reward was to reach the summit. Mt Cargill was entirely cloud-capped. Too bad! Doug and I rested in complete shelter from the cold Norwester. Even down where we were, we could see the mist still briskly blowing across the saddle below us. See Moving Mist
It was a surprise later on, on the former main road and nearing the old Brown House site to see the lovely-but-misleading external sight of the cloud cover we had bracingly experienced from the inside.

Cloud over Mt Cargill. Mast just peeking above cloud, barely discernible to the left of the cloud’s apex..

Another good tramp. Bethunes Gully track is still no less steep at the beginning before easing off further up. – Ian
17. 27/10/2010. Hikers. Bethunes Gully, track junction with summit/Organ Pipes. Medium. Leaders: Lesley G, Joyce.
16. 5/5/2010. Both. Bethunes Gully, Bike Tracks. M-. Leaders: Bob and Evelyn.

We parked cars at by the toilets at the end of Cluny Street (that’s  what the Map said. Didn’t know that before.) in Bethunes Gully. Bob and Evelyn were  to turn on a delightful surprise for us all. They led us back down the road to the gate to discover for us on the left a bike track leading up through the trees. We admired the loving attention lavished on the system of tracks by bike devotees as we climbed up through the un-pruned Oregon plantation. After a morning tea stop we ascended yet further to reach the plantation’s NE corner. Then it was down to our left back into the gully.

Looking up at the tops

The tops of the tall Oregons.

Looking up at the tops.

Looking up at the tall Oregons. Wendy, Sabina, Peter, George, Lex, Ken.

We emerged at the head of the grassed part of the gully at the bridge across the Lindsay Stream.

Sturdy bridge
From here it was up the Mount Cargill walking track, stopping for frequent rests, one of which was by a small track on our left promising to lead eventually to Campbells Road in Pine Hill. (Bob and Evelyn had recced it, but it ends in dense gorse.) Eventually we reached the Lookout down on the right of the track where we stopped for an early lunch.
Bush view from the lookout.

Bush view from the lookout.

After the leaders had ascertained all seventeen of us were back up onto the walkway from the Lookout, (with Ken obtaining dispensation to carry on on his own to Mount Cargill, as he had come in his own car), they took us part way back down the walkway before striking off on the right up a rutted vehicle track through the bush,

Rock on rock

How did they lift the smaller on top of the larger? Leader Bob strikes a pose on the vehicle track

… from which eventually a track led off to the left and down to parallel the walkway back down the bridge and then it was just a short walk to the cars.

Thanks to Evelyn and Bob for finding us a new set of tracks in a Bethunes Gully we had thought we knew all about already. – Ian
15. 24/5/2006 Bethunes Gully, Mt Cargill, Buttars Peak, Organ Pipes,Old Main North Road, Brown House corner, Norwood Street, Bethunes Gully. Leaders: Judy, Tash
14. 15/6/2005. Trampers. Bethunes Gully, Mount Cargill. Leaders: Hazel, Ria.23/5/2007. Hikers. Bethunes Gully, Mount Cargill. Medium. Leaders: Betty, Dot T.
13. 5/11/2003. Trampers. Bethunes Gully, Buttars Peak, round trip. Medium. Leaders: D Jenkins, B McCabe
12. 10/9/2003. Trampers. Bethunes Gully, Buttars Peak, Round Trip. Medium. Leaders: Doug J, Barbara McC.
11. 28/8/2002 Bethunes Gully to Mount Cargill, Organ Pipes return. Leaders: Ray & Diana, Val
10. 16/5/2001. Bethunes Gully. Leaders: Nancy, Dot and Nelson.
9. 19/4/2000. Bethunes Gully, Mount Cargill. Leaders: Judy C, Mary M, Bev McI.
8. 27/5/1998. Bethunes Gully, Organ Pipes, North Road. Leaders: Hugh and Judith.
7. 25/3/1998. Bethunes Gully, Organ Pipes return. Leaders: Betty, Denise.
6. 25/3/1998 Bethunes Gully to Mount Cargill, Organ Pipes return. Leaders: B Bryce, D Pearce
5. 30/7/1997. Bethunes Gully, Mount Cargill. Leaders: Diana and Ray, Catherine.
4. 9/7/1997. Norwood Street, Bethunes Gully, Opoho. Leaders: Shirley McN, Pat, Wendy.
3. 27/9/1995. Pine Hill, Mount Cargill Track, Waitati Road, Bethunes Gully, North East Valley. Medium+. Leaders: Ria L, Catherine, Ria H, Shirley R
2. 12/5/1993 Pine Hill Road, Cowans Road, Mt Cargill, Old Mt Cargill Main North Road, Return Bethunes Gully, North East Valley.  Back to Pine Hill Road. Leaders: Ria L, Catherine T, Penny & Peter
1. 11/4/1990 Bethunes Gully, Mt Cargill, Buttars Peak, Organ Pipes,Old Main North Road, Brown House corner, Norwood Street, Bethunes Gully. Leaders: Margaret S, Hartmann, Bev H, Peter R



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Aug 30 2017

Government Track and beyond

Published by under Trampers

32 km from carpark.
2.5+ hours from road to pole-line and Styx Road.
No. 22 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Government Track Waipori Rd. Year Round.”
Link:  DCC: Mountain biking on Government Track
Link: DCC: Government Track map.
[DCC brochure extract: Government Track. 4 hr 30 min, 17 km (return).
The track entrance is 5 km down Waipori Falls Rd on the right; parking is 100 m further on the left. Traversing the slopes of the beech-and mānuka-forested Waipori Valley south of Dunedin, the Government Track was built in the 1860s to provide access to the central goldfields. For mountain bikers there is an option of riding up and returning the same way. Alternatively, once at the top follow the pylon track left and steeply down into Waipori township, then follow the road back to the start.]

26. 30/8/2017. Trampers. Government Track. M. Leader: Dave.

14 keen  trampers met at the carpark near the start of the Government track on Waipori Road.  We soon started on the track noting the 4 twisted manuka trunks at the side of the track.  The track has a gentle grade and is 8.5km long.

The reason for the gentle grade and generous width of this track lies in its origin as the original “road” from Berwick through to the Waipori gold fields. Over 20 men were employed during the 1860’s to form this publicly-funded work, which was never much more than a bridle track unsuitable for wheeled traffic. When completed, it provided a cheaper alternative route to bring in supplies (horse drawn) from Dunedin, which previously had to be carted round via Lawrence.

Morning tea was had over the style, up the ridge, in the sun and on time at 10am!

(Margreet pic.)

We continued up the track which is through native bush, mainly manuka, kanuka and silver beech

(Margreet pic.)

. There were occasional views out to the Waipori valley and surrounding hills. A number of big tree trunks lying over the track were either scrambled under or over. There was plenty of talking and hilarity on this trip which was great!

Lunch break was at the top of the track, again in the sun.

(Margreet pic.)

We then continued along the forestry road and stopped at the highest point (580 metres) where there were great views all around,

(Phil pic.)

particularly Maungatuas, Lammerlaws and Rock and Pillar range.  Moving on to the top of the kowhai spur we stopped to get panoramic views of the Taieri plain, very clear because of the fine day. The kowhai spur is aptly named as it is steep and feet can move to the front of your boots! The next break was at a farmer’s workers hut

(Margreet pic.)

before heading down the ridge, through some bush and back on to the bottom of the Government track.  A number of birds were heard and sighted including kereru (wood pigeon) and bellbirds. On getting back to the cars we found we had covered 18.5km. A fair walk!

It was then off to the wobbly goat (with some wobbly legs) in Outram for a well, deserved coffee and more chit chat.

A great group to be with – Dave M.

25. 23/11/2016. Hikers. Government Track. E. Leaders: Jim and Betty.

Route map courtesy Ian. (N.B.) Used shortcut route on return. Regular route a bit longer.)

Route map, Government Track, courtesy Ian. (N.B. Used old shortcut route on return. Regular route a bit longer.)

The party consisted of 23 people.

The weather’s appearance was indifferent.  But the Government track up the Waipori Gorge afforded good shelter in the bush.  The condition of the track was excellent [thanks to track-clearing by the leaders on their recce, especially on the zig-zag beginning – ed.] and this track has a very moderate consistent gradient.  The return was a slight downhill grade & a total of approximately 9.5 kms was covered. Lunch stop …

Lunch. (Ian pic and caption.)

Lunch on Government Track. (Ian pic and caption.)

… was brief as there was drizzle approaching.   On the return to the car park some hikers took an old short cut which gave them a minute advantage.

Hot drinks were enjoyed at the Wobbly Goat in Outram, …

Last of the Summer Wine. (Adrienne pic.)

Last of the Summer Wine. (Adrienne pic.)

… before returning to Mosgiel. – Betty and Jim.

 24. 17/2/2016. Trampers. Government Track. Leader: Various.
At the car park, Bush Road, we looked towards the silver peaks. It was raining. We were told the wind was 50k plus, so we changed our mind and decided on the Government Track.
Arrived at the lower Waipori car park. In front of us was bright blackberries. To the left a tree full of apples, and a deafening sound of crickets.
Five of us set off up Government Track. Morning tea at the grass clearing. No wind, little sun.

At the top of the Government Track, we had lunch in the sun.

Lunch in the sun. (Helen pic)

Lunch in the sun. (Helen pic)

After lunch, walked along …

Along the pole line (Helen pic)

Along the pole line (Helen pic)

… and down the pole line to the hut.

Down the pole line to the hut (Heb pic and caption)

Down the pole line to the hut. (Heb pic and caption)

Turned right, found a tape marker which led us over and down to the style on the track just below where we had morning tea. Carried on down the track to the car park.
Heard lots of wood pigeons and bellbirds. A great day’s tramp. About 17k, and quite warm temperatures. – Heb.

23. 21/10/2015 Hikers. Government Track. Leaders: Betty and Jim.
22. 27/5/2015. Trampers. Government Track, return part Kowhai Spur.
GPS of route, courtesy Ken. Government Track-part of Kowhai Spur (Ken pic and caption)

GPS of route, courtesy Ken. Government Track-part of Kowhai Spur. Walked 17.1 km; ave 4.4 km/hr; moving time 3hr.54min; climbed 480mtrs. (Ken pic and caption)

The day looked suspect, with some light drizzle, but the turn out at the carpark was very good, & we had 6 members on our adventure for the day. We motored out to the carpark at the Government Track where it was cold & still drizzling, so it was on with the rain jackets before we set off. Once into the bush, the rain became a non issue, but everybody kept their jackets on to combat the cold.
We had a short stop for morning tea,
1. Packing up after morning tea. (Ken pic)

1. Packing up after morning tea. (Ken pic)

then pushed on towards the very muddy part of the track, just before the open grassed area, where we hoped that our planned route would bring us back to on the return journey. The track was in excellent condition, as it had just been cleared, apart from some large trees down across the upper part, which we had to crawl under.We stopped just short of the top for lunch, as there was a cool wind blowing, & the bush gave us shelter. Then it was onto the Poleline track…
2. Looking back along Poleline track. (Ken pic and caption)

2. Looking back along Poleline track. (Ken pic and caption)

…which had some snow remnants lying on it.
3. Trudging through the snow grass. (Ken pic and caption)

3. Trudging through the snow grass. (Ken pic and caption)

We estimated the distance to the top of Kowhai Spur to be about 1Km, but were surprised to find it was actually over 2kms, but when we got to the top & looked down on the amazing views of the Taieri & surrounds,
4. View from top of Kowhai Spur. (Ken pic and caption)

4. View from top of Kowhai Spur. (Ken pic and caption)

5. another view from top. (Ken pic and caption)

5. another view from top. (Ken pic and caption)

it was worth the trudge through the snow. We made our way down the steep track till we came to the hut on the true right of the spur,
6. Hut where we turned off Kowhai Spur. (Ken pic and caption)

6. Hut where we turned off Kowhai Spur. (Ken pic and caption)

where we left the spur, & went down through a very steep paddock heading back to the Government Track. This part of the trip was quite hard, due to the steepness, & the muddy tracks formed by cattle movement. However, we were soon within sight of the Government Track, & didn’t even have to climb a fence to get back onto it. We came out at the first fence with a stile over it, [the boundary of the privately owned land] on the uphill side of the grassed area. Then it was a brisk walk back to the cars, & the trip home, punctuated with a stop at Outram…
7. Latest Cafe footwear fashion. (Ken pic and caption)

7. Latest Cafe footwear fashion. (Ken pic and caption)

8. Trampers coffee club. (Ken pic and caption)

8. Trampers coffee club. (Ken pic and caption)

…for the “Trampers Coffee Club”. – Ken.
21. 12/6/2013. Trampers. Government Track. Styx Rd return.
6 trampers ventured out for the walk up Government Track today. We stopped at a “dry area” for morning tea, at about 10am, then carried on to the top at Styx Rd. where we had lunch in the sun. The sign at the bottom had said 2 1/2 hrs to the top, & that’s very much what it took us.
Lunch

Lunch at top of Government Track. (Ken pic and caption)

After lunch we had a discussion on whether we tried Kowhai Spur, or just go back down the way we had come. The unknown condition of Kowhai Spur [very steep & slippery] meant that the decision was made to go back the way we had come, so we set off, & arrived back at the cars at 3:00pm.
Thanks to the earlier start time of 9:00 instead of 9:30, we were able to complete this 18.5km walk before it got too cold in the afternoon, & it gave us a time buffer if somebody had injured themselves.
We walked 18.5km
moving time 4hr 15mins
climbed 364mtrs
– Ken.
20. 3/10/2012. Both. Government Track. Leaders: Graham, Judy.
There were 17 of us, (but one turned back before the paddock). We did between 8-10 km in total, getting up to the beech section for lunch (much further than the Hikers did last time). The wind across the farm paddock was as severe as the last time the Trampers had done it. Several in the group were doing the track for their first time and were equally amazed at the ease of the gradient, and appalled at the muddy section just prior to the paddock. (They didn’t know how much better the present marked route was than some earlier routes through the slough.) This, and some other tricky bits took careful negotiating for those unsteady on their feet.
Four of the Trampers left early and did the whole track. Ken’s GPS record shows that they did 18.2 km at 4.4km/hr average. Moving time was only 4hrs 9min.Total ascent was 523 mtrs. They took an extended lunch break, making stopped time 1hr 19min. – Ian.
19. 6/4/2011. Both. Government Track. Medium. Leaders: Les and Margaret.
There is no comment from the hikers on this one, so here is a report from the trampers.
It mitigated against the intended ‘bothness’, but the leaders generously permitted three appreciative trampers to set off to do the whole track. The sign posts indicate 2.5 hours up and 2 hours down. The trampers almost made the 2 hours down but fell well short of the time up. 19 km there and back!
When we arrived at the ‘paddock’, the predicted wind was there in full force and it was a real battle to make our way across and around its slope and back into the shelter of the bush. The sloppy muddy gully just below the paddock gets no better as time goes by, despite the many attempts to re-route the track to avoid it.

GPS of Government Track from the road to the Pole Line. Courtesy Ken. Depicts how close Kowhai Spur is to the track. The multitude of gullies traversed by the track are clearly depicted. 19 km ret.

The track was well-cleared and the gradient as usual beautifully steady.

A shot of beech trees taken looking across one of the upper gullies.

Track disappearing up into the gully. Taken from the same spot as the one above.

The above pic shows only a modest amount of pig rooting. It was much worse in other places with us having to tread a new path amongst the upturned soil.
Temperatures were cooler up at the Pole Line so we retreated from it back from the gusty wind into the shelter of the manuka bush to munch a quick lunch. There was nothing tempting us to linger long.
Doug set a good pace on the return trip and the clear track allowed us to step it out with a good swing.
Back at the exposed paddock, we found the wind had lost none of its force, but fortunately it was a tail-wind this time. Then it was the atrocious gully again. The paddock and its gully had to be the worst features of the tramp. – Ian
18. 3/2/2010. Hikers. Government Track. Medium. Leaders: Neil, Lex.
Location: 30 km.
17. 9/9/2009 Government Track, return Kowhai Spur. Leaders: Ian, Sabina.
Starting Government track. George

Beginning Government track. George, Susan

A bit further along the track. Susan, Sabina

A bit further along the track. Susan, Sabina, Glenice

Morning tea on the paddock.

Morning tea on the paddock. Susan, Ken, George, Glenice, Sabina

Through the silver beech section. Ken.

Through the silver beech section. Ken, George, Susan, Glenice, Sabina

Lunch at the pole line. George, Glenice

Lunch at the pole line. George, Glenice

Lunch on other side of track. Sabina, Susan

Lunch on other side of track. Sabina (showing her colourful hat), Susan

DOC sign pointing back down the track.

DOC sign indicating back down the track.

Start Kowhai Spur. Ken.

View from top of Kowhai Spur. Waipori Lake and Taieri River gorge beyond. Ken Susan, George, Glenice, Sabina.

Further down.

Shaws Hill road and ridge from a little further down Kowhai Spur. Sabina, Susan detectable.

Rest by former hut site. Glenice, Sabina

Preparing to rest near site of former hut which had been moved up the hill behind camera.. Glenice, Sabina

16. 17/9/2008 Waipori Gorge Area, 1860s Government Track, Waipori Leaders: Bill H, Peter B
The 'disturbed' kanuka

The ‘disturbed’ kanuka

The ‘disturbed’ kanuka

The programme said ‘Waipori’, but it really meant Bill H’s traditional walk up the “Gummint Track”. As a past long-serving employee in the area (both on a farm and in electricity supply) he was the ideal leader.  As slips had made the upper reaches of the track difficult, the 15 of us began walking from the end of the seal up the Waipori road, then crossing farmland and having morning tea beside the river. After that we were following the route taken by early prospectors up the steady incline of the old 1860s Government standardised track for drays and horses to the Central Otago Goldfields. After an initial 3-minute climb, the track maintains a remarkably consistent, gentle gradient considering theodolites were not used and the construction teams used handtools!  The day was calm and mild, and spring growth was evident in the lovely mixed broadleaf forest, with signs of fuschia flowers and kowhai. The track was carpeted with innumerable ’skellingtons’ of fuschia leaves (the fuschia is one of the few deciduous NZ trees) which made it soft and springy and patterned.There were also Kanuka, Matai, Totara and juvenile Lancewood. At one point there were 4 Kanuka alongside the track that must have had a disturbed childhood as they all had right-angle bends in them! The sound of the river gradually receded, and at lunchtime we came out onto cleared farmland with cattle and a good view up the gorge to look at while we ate. We returned by the same route.  There was some birdlife to remark upon– paradise ducks, bellbirds, warblers- but the most remarkable was at a willow tree on the river flat in which Arthur counted 13 wood pigeons, all greedily gorging great gulps of green tips.  A very pleasant walk of about 16km through lovely local terrain.  – Bob

15. 12/12/2007. Hikers. Government Track. Medium. Leaders: Bill H

Resting among the trees

Only seven hikers took advantage of the ideal place to be on a very warm & humid day, the lovely bush of the Government Track in the Waipori area. It is a lovely place for a hike. Beautiful bush and beech forest. Lots of birds singing in the trees and great views of surrounding bush and road to Waipori Falls. The track is not too difficult and although you go fairly high it is a relatively gentle climb most of the way. With only a small number we took our time and lapped up the cool and pleasant conditions of the track. Morning tea sitting by the track just after 10am, and then, about 12noon, 5 of us decided we would stop for lunch. Two of the group thought they’d like a bit more of a challenge so went further up the track and had lunch before heading back. Those of us in the larger group found a really lovely spot in the beech forest to sit, chat and enjoy our lunch break. Then it was back down the track, (down hill all the way!) to the cars. All agreed we had had a very enjoyable days hiking. – Bev.

14. 29/11/2006. Hikers. Government Track. Medium. Leaders: Arthur and Barbara.
13. 5/7/2006. Both. Government Track. Leaders: (Easy+): Doug M, Bob H; (Easy):  Arthur & Barbara
12. 21/9/2005 Arthur & Barbara, Bill H, Lance & Lois
11. 22/9/2004. Hikers. Government Track, return. Easy. Leaders: Jack and Rosemary, Frank and Lesley.
10. 26/5/2004 Lesley S, Irene, Les W, Mary M, Ray
9. 22/10/2003. Both. Government Track. Medium. Leaders: Trampers: Helen S, Kerri; Hikers: Mary M, Barbara L.
8. 13/2/2002. Combined. Government Track. Leaders:
7. 6/12/2000. Government Track. Leaders: Jack and Rosemary, Mary Y.
13/9/2000 Bill H, Bill & Pat
6. 7/7/1999. Government Track. Leaders: Les W, Mary M, Ray.
5. 7/10/1998. Government Track. Leaders: Lance and Lois.
4. 16/7/1997. Government Track. Leaders: Hugh, Bill H, Lesley S
3. 23/10/1996. Hikers. Government Track, Waipori. Leaders: Jack and Rosemary, Ted.
2. 14/12/1994. Government Track. Easy. This is a morning walk only, and as it is our last official tramp for the year, please bring some finger food to share for lunch, to be eater at the picnic ground. Leaders: Denise, Mary Y, Les and Mavis.
1. 13/3/1991 Government Track, Waipori Gorge, return Kowhai Spur. Nice bush and tussock walk. Average+. Leaders: Denise, Hugh and Judith, Ria de J

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