Archive for the 'Trampers' Category

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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Aug 23 2017

Taieri Ferry and Finlayson Roads, Bells farm, Kennedys, Millennium.

Published by under Trampers,Year round

Click Taieri River Geology for background information.

Wardell’s/White House 25 km from car park.

12. 23/8/2017.Trampers. Millennium Track, Kennedys, Bells. M. Leader: Arthur.

Galloway Road tracks map. (Map courtesy Arthur.)

Only 8 trampers were out today to enjoy the good weather and the  tramp. The Taieri Ferry Bridge was closed for ongoing (all winter, so far) repairs, so we travelled to the south end of the flood free highway before turning back onto Taieri Ferry Road.

Parking at the usual parking area, it was 10 am as we began walking. The low lying bits of the track were quite wet and muddy, as expected.

Looking at the damage from the rain. (Helen pic and caption.)

After 15 minutes we came to the picnic area on the riverbank for our smoko stop. It was about low tide and the river was very low.

Following the Millennium Track again, a side trip to the river was made at John Bull Gully where two DOC workers were cutting the grass around the picnic area. They had arrived by boat, which was sensible.

At John Bull gully where some maintenance was being done. They traveled by boat. (Helen pic and caption.)

From John Bull Gully it is rather a good uphill grunt for some way, but eventually the highest point of the track was gained – a 5 minute stop being taken here at the observation seat to admire the views.

View from the seat. Magic. (Helen pic and caption.)

We turned off the Millennium Track now, uphill beside the gorse, and then through the pine trees to reach the end of the deer fenced lane on the Kennedy Farm. It was up slope all the way but the lane took us up to Finlayson Road. It was 12.30 pm now, so was time for the lunch stop. High cloud was making the sunshine a bit weak, but with almost no breeze, so it was a pleasant, high up spot for the occasion.

We had to follow Finlayson Road towards Waihola before turning onto Galloway Road and followed it down to its end. We were high up here giving us very good views to enjoy.

The last leg was down through a recent logged forestry block.

Down through the felled forestry and lots of sticky mud. (Helen pic and caption.)

The going was good at first, but further down a digger rowing up the “slash” had left the dozed dirt track in rather a mess. But by taking care we negotiated this area safely. It was about 200 metres down through the standing pine trees to get to the bottom, where we emerged back at the carpark.

Today’s tramp was 12.7 km, and all were happy. On returning to Mosgiel THE BLEND coffee shop enjoyed our patronage.

It had been another good day’s social tramp for our group. Thanks to all. – Art.

11. 23/7/2014. Trampers. Millennium Track, Kennedys, Bells.

GPS

GPS of route courtesy Ken. We walked 13.4 km; moving ave 4.5 km/hr; moving time 2 hr 44 min; climbed 530 m.

Ignore the missing piece of track on the Google Earth view, as I forgot to reset the GPS before we started off.
With the day looking promising weather wise, 4 set off to walk the Millennium Track from Henley , then up through Kennedys property, & back down one of the ridges onto the river road again. We stopped at the Taieri Scenic Reserve picnic table for morning tea, & then went on to John Bull Gully, where we had a short rest before tackling the steep climb up to the seat on the John Bull track, & over the fence behind here to walk up past Kennedys house & onto Finlayson Rd. where we stopped for lunch in the shelter of some flax bushes.

Neil enjoying his cuppa at lunchtime.

Neil enjoying his cuppa at lunchtime. (Ken pic and caption)

Arthur and Ian at lunchtime. (Ken pic and caption)

Arthur and Ian at lunchtime. (Ken pic and caption)

It was then a short walk along to the turn off onto Galloway Rd. We walked the full length of Galloway Rd. & climbed the fence into a very wet & sloppy grassed paddock, which was quite steep in places, but luckily nobody fell over. All this area was new to everybody on the tramp, so it was a case of following our instincts to find the way back to the cars, which was accomplished without any trouble.

10. 11/7/2012. Millennium, John Bull, Kennedy’s Farm, Finlayson Road, Galloway Road, Bell’s Farm ridge, Ferry Road. 12 km.

Kms indications 1 & 2 are Millennium, 3-4 is thru John Bull Gully, 5 is up Kennedys Farm, 6 is Finalyson Rd turning off into Galloway Rd, 7-10 is down ridge, 10 to end  is Ferry Road. (Phone died before completing circui!)

Seven of us enjoyed a good winter tramp, warm in the sun and calm, even on the top. Went down the same ridge on Bells Farm that we did last time. Note: the way to find it (better than last time!) is to turn down 4WD track adjacent to a large corrugated shed part-way down Galloway Rd before the road swings away over to the right. The track skirts the top of a gully before emerging onto the ridge. Then just follow your nose down.
We elected to do this ridge rather than the even better one at the end of Galloway road as the leasee had reported he was running bulls in a paddock near the bottom of the ridge! – Ian

9. 17/6/2009 Trampers Taieri Ferry Road, Millennium, Kennedys, Finlayson Road, Bells Farm. Leaders: George, Bill M
It was only at the carpark that we were sure that frosty road conditions were going to turn out safe enough for setting out. Four of us in Bill’s car met George at Wardells cottage. George had planned a clockwise walk this time, starting on the Millennium Track. We stopped off soon at the track turn-off to the river for morning tea.
Cuppa on Millenniu. Lex, George, Bill

Cuppa on Millennium. Doug, Lex, George, Bill

Snow on the track was more obvious as we ascended to the seat on the John Bull where we planned to turn off up to Kennedys farm.

Pause at seat on John Bull. Bill, George, Doug, Lex.

Pause at seat on John Bull. Bill, George, Doug.

As we got up near the house snow (and a chilly breeze) was at its thickest.

Snow thicker here. Doug.

Snow thicker here. Doug, George, Lex, Bill.

At this point George had already determined to ask at the house where we might lunch in a bit of shelter. “Boots off and come inside!” was the response, providing a lunch stop in the most civilised of surroundings.
A long time after, we (reluctantly?) resumed the tramp. Snow had been graded off Finlayson Road and only semi-melted slush was left. We turned down Galloway Road, but had gone only a short distance before George decided it was time to turn off to to descend a ridge. After descending the ridge for a considerable distance we were bushed out by heavy scrub and had to return up far enough to try another next-door ridge. This gave clear access to the marshy flats below.

Going down farm ridge.

Returning down farm ridge. Doug, Lex, Bill, George.

Matters got a little dodgy at the ridge’s base but we soon got onto a squelchy paddock yielding to a less squelchy track that led out alongside a drain to Ferry Road.
A final walk along the road back down to the cars ended a most enjoyable walk out on the snow.
I now realise there are at least three navigable ridges between Finlayson and Ferry Roads, although George seems to have done them all some time in the past. There was the one we did 7 years ago, the one we did today and a further one from the foot of Galloway Road that Bill recalled Mr Kennedy advising we take but which George must have failed to pick up on. – Ian.

7. 12/4/2006. Trampers. Henley, Waihola Road, Millennium Track. Medium. Leaders: Irene, Dot B.
6. 12/1/2005. Trampers. Wardells, Waihola Road, Millennium Track. Leaders: George, Bob H.
5. 31/7/2002 Taieri Ferry to Waihola Road and Bells farm. Kennedys, Millennium. Bell Farm. Seek permission. Lambing Aug to Oct. Cars park halfway down Taieri Ferry Road, end of forest. Up hill till lunch time. Wenita permit.  Wenita Map. Leaders: George, Bob H, Colleen
4. 13/11/1996. Henley Ferry to Waihola Road and return. Leaders: Les and Margaret, Bev McI.
3. 21/8/1996. Taieri Ferry to Waihola Road and Bell’s Farm. Medium. Leaders: Les and Margaret, Bev McI
2. 15/3/1995. Between Galloway Road and Waihola Road. Medium. Leaders: Doug and Ngaire, Margaret and Les.
1. 6 Apr 1994 John Bull track, over paddock to Finlayson Road, back on John Bull Track. Leaders: Les S, Bill H, Doug & Ngaire.

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Aug 16 2017

Lawsons Farm. From Homestead. Clockwise or Figure of Eight.

Published by under Trampers

Est. distance from carpark: 45 km.
15. 16/8/2017. Trampers. Lawsons Farm. M. Leaders: Neil and Margreet.

Nine trampers set out from the car park at 0900 on a stunningly clear but frosty morning. After an uneventful 45 minute drive we parked inside the main gate of Lawson’s Farm. Patiently, but DOGmatically the two male trampers ‘herded’ up the 7 lady trampers and set them going in the right direction …

…. Southwest down Steep Hill Road before entering a paddock with a sun-drenched knoll where we paused for morning tea.

Morning tea. (Helen pic and caption.)

Lo and behold two latecomers (Bruce & Bob) arrived to counter the gender imbalance. Arthur was heard to quietly breathe a sigh of relief!

We were doing a different walk today to avoid all the river crossings. It was however still very muddy underfoot. We soon descended to cross Mary’s Creek. Mary, apparently, lived with a small cadre of gold miners and used to sneak up into this bush-clad tributary to take a bath away from prying eyes. None of our ladies were keen for a dip today!

Further on we passed sluicings and building remnants from the gold mining days and then it was a stiff climb up from this, the South branch of the Waikouaiti River.

We sidled around the undulating terrain and found a lunch spot …

(Margreet pic)

… which had beautiful views over the hills and tussocks and Mount Watkin to the North; through Matanaka and Maori Point to the East.

After lunch we soon ‘topped out’ to find stunning views of the coast and untroubled sea …

(Margreet pic)

… as we descended …

(Margreet pic.)

… a long, ever steepening ridge. At the bottom we crossed a noisy creek and began an energy-sapping climb up the opposite ridge back to the cars. It was a bit like the reverse of the Grand Olde Duke of York; who marched his men to the top of the hill and marched them down again! Pointless really!

So; after a wonderful tramp on an exquisite day, it was a weary 11 who gratefully repaired to the café at Blue Skin Nursery for coffees and tea.

Total distance was around 13.5 km. and it was about 4 hours hiking time. – Neil and Margreet.

14. 8/6/2016. Trampers. Lawsons Farm. Upstream. M. Leader: Arthur.
A frost to begin the day. It was mighty raw as we gathered at the car-park in Mosgiel. Nine trampers travelled to Lawson’s Farm, Kilmog area, where we found very pleasant conditions awaiting us. Only the shady faces were white with frost.
Past the wool-shed, where the dogs barked their usual greetings to us, and up the first brief slope found our morning tea stop. The winter 9.30-starts necessitate a later morning tea, but better late than never!

Onto the 4WD track through the tussock we travelled

The track we followed. (Helen pic and caption.)

The track we followed. (Helen pic and caption.)

Farm building and long drop. (Helen pic and caption.)

Farm building and long drop. (Helen pic and caption.)

– down briefly, then up briefly, and then down, down, down – until we finally came to the south branch of the Waikouaiti River.

We turned upstream now, following a sheep track through the tussock and occasional scrub, until we had a stiffer climb up around a steep face above the river. We could then descend onto a lovely tussock flat, where we came to a 4WD track to follow.

Eventually the track let us to a ford over the river. The safest route was to cross at the ford also, so it was into the water which was a little cold.

Very cold river crossings and cold wet feet. (Helen pic and caption.)

Very cold river crossings and cold wet feet. (Helen pic and caption.)

More river crossings followed in the subsequent mile or so. After the sixth and final one, we stopped at a nice sunny spot to partake of our lunch. Mr Lawson tells me that gold mining had been carried out back in the 1870s or 1880s at our lunch spot. The tell-tale earthworks being very noticeable. The time was 12.20 p.m.

Lunch and view. (Helen pic and caption.)

Lunch and view. (Helen pic and caption.)

The river was still up a bit after the heavy rain a week previously. About a foot of water (that’s 30 cm for you metricified folk) was the deepest we had to wade through. All crossed without a mishap, and anyway, real trampers don’t mind getting their feet wet!
Two N.Z. falcons were observed while we were having our lunch. They appeared to be chasing one another, with loud squawks emitting. Perhaps one had caught its lunch but wouldn’t share?

After lunch, continuing on the 4WD track, we were soon in the shade of a narrow valley, almost a gorge. Uphill from now on, but the grade was steady and not unpleasant. The air was very cold in here,

Sooo cold and very white frost. (Helen pic and caption.)

Sooo cold and very white frost. (Helen pic and caption.)

and it was a great relief to find the sunshine again.

Before reaching the Steep Hill Road, we turned off to walk up an open bare paddock. At the gate we made the acquaintance  of two quiet and friendly horses.

Friendly horses and nice view. (Helen pic and caption.)

Friendly horses and nice view. (Helen pic and caption.)

Eventually we gained the road, with about one kilometre to go, and were back at the cars at 1.45 p.m.
Someone stated that it had been a very pleasant tramp – and all agreed with that. No measuring device with us today, but we must have tramped about 10 km.
Afterwards, the trampers had their weekly meeting at Waitati. Business included:-
1. Brief discussion as to our track-clearing intentions for the next season.
2. A considerable number of ideas regarding food, and recipes for the same, were put forward. Did you know that coleslaw makes an excellent filling for “Toasty Sandwiches”?
– Meeting adjourned till next week. – Arthur.
13. 13/4/2016. Trampers. Lawsons Farm. Downstream. Leader: –

We had 11 trampers out today, including a new member to our group, a really good number.

We parked up just inside the gate of Lawsons Farm, & proceeded to walk down past the farm house, where we were met by Jim & Willie Lawson. We had a very nice chat with them before setting off towards our morning tea spot out of the strong breeze that was blowing.
Then it was down to the river, where we turned right [downstream] & walked along the valley, where we had to negotiate the bluff that requires care getting down. Having safely got past this obstacle, we carried on to the “Lodge” where we had a leisurely lunch stop,

Lawson Lodge. (Margreet pic)

Lawson Lodge. (Margreet pic)

while some members who had not been there before examined the interior of the “Lodge” & the old vehicle chassis residing in the grass, still with chains on the tyres.
Then it was back the way we had come, until the slope we had to climb was upon us. All made it up here without to much drama, & we had a regroup at the fence corner, before making our way up to the ridge track, which leads back to the farm yard.
After arriving at the cars, it was decided that the ‘coffee club’ tradition would be continued with a stop at the Blueskin cafe., where we all enjoyed a chat over our favourite cuppa.
There were some appreciative comments made about the tramp, so a good day out for all.

Walked 12.5km
4km/hr
climbed 540mtrs. – Ken.

12. 19/11/2014 Trampers. Lawsons Farm. Upstream.
Lawsons Farm Upstream.

Lawsons Farm Upstream. GPS courtesy Ken. Walked 10.2km; 2hr 32min moving; 4km/h ave; climbed 600m. Some tricky bits, but OK.

Morning tea break. (Ken pic and caption)

Morning tea break. (Ken pic and caption)

View from morning tea stop of Mt. Watkin in the distance. (Ken pic and caption)

View from morning tea stop of Mt. Watkin in the distance. (Ken pic and caption)

Showing grass track down to the river below. (Ken pic and caption)

Showing grass track down to the river below. (Ken pic and caption)

Valley we walked along. (Ken pic and caption)

Valley we walked along. (Ken pic and caption)

Old hut. (Ken pic and caption)

Old hut.It’s virtually uninhabitable, as it’s very dirty inside. (Ken pic and caption)

Showing our route back up the hill. (Ken pic and caption)

Showing our route back up the hill. (Ken pic and caption)

We could make this walk even longer, by walking along the valley further & coming up the gully alongside Mountain Rd. Might try this next time. – Ken.

11. 5/6/2013. Trampers. Lawsons Farm.
GPS

GPS or route, courtesy Ken. We walked 12km; 3hrs 2min moving time; 3.9km/hr; climbed 461mtrs.

 
This was new country for 4 of the 6 that started out on this walk. We had quite a nice day except for a cool breeze along the exposed ridge tops.
We all enjoyed the walk along the Waikouaiti river banks, & the rocky obstacles that the writer remembered from last time. All enjoyed the lunch stop at the ‘Lodge’, where we made use of some plastic chairs, & the edge of the veranda. Doug even got out a plastic bin for a table.

Getting

Getting organised to have lunch at the ‘Lodge’

The comment was made that it had to be the most comfortable lunch stop we had ever had. However, all good things must end, …

Lunch at the ‘Lodge’

 

… so we decided to pack up & move on, as the sky was looking a little dark from where we were. However, once on the tops again, we could see that it had been unnecessary to hurry, as the weather looked much better from up there. An unhurried walk back to the cars finished off the day nicely, arriving back at the farm around 2:00pm for the drive home.
10. 27/4/2011. Trampers. Lawsons Farm. Figure of Eight.

GPS, courtesy Ken. Left loop with tail at end is of the earlier Waikouaiti Stream tramp. (see GPS below) Right elongated loop is of this tramp, down left ridge and up the right.

Looking back at the Homestead from early on, on the left ridge.

The limestone rocks in the gully just up from the gorge.

A view from our lunch-stop of the gorge we stopped short of going into.

Just a view up the gully we had circumnavigated. Taken from the old coach road.

Frisky friendly horses who were content to muzzle us.

9. 18/8/2010. Trampers. Lawsons Farm. Clockwise via Waikouaiti River. Returned west ridge instead of Old Coach Road. Medium. Leaders: George, Hazel, Ria.

GPS tracking of Wednesday’s clockwise tramp. (Courtesy Ken’s GPS device)

We parked the cars just inside the entrance to “Moana” farm, walked through the dip past Lawsons’ homestead, up over the rise beyond it (where at its top we were to complete the circuit later on), to shelter from the brisk breeze for a tea-break in the tussock of the next dip. Then it was up over a next small steep rise to begin the long descent to the river.

Gully down to Waikouaiti River, South Branch.

As can be seen from the GPS tracking map, the Waikouaiti South Branch wound left and right as we made our way down its flats.

Wider part of the river valley

Finally, across a couple of wide clearings and through some bush and we were at the lodge for a late lunch. (It WAS a 9.30 a.m. start.)

Lunch at the ‘lodge’ (Ken pic and caption)

Abandoned 4WD transport. (Ken pic and caption)

Returning back upstream a bit, we faced the daunting (near-vertical for a start,) climb back up the ridge flanking the river’s true right.

The steep climb up from the river valley to a saddle of the west ridge

Reaching the top, we turned right and followed that ridge along its undulations to reach the point that lead us back down past the homestead and its yards and up to the cars again. – Ian.
8. 10/6/2009. Trampers. Lawsons Farm. Modified clockwise walk from homestead along ridge. (Figure of eight intended originally.) Medium. Leader: George.
We met at the farm gate and welcomed back Hazel who was out walking for the first time since her ankle break up Careys Creek in March. A remarkable recovery.
Looking

Looking north down gully between the two ridges walked. Mt Watkins on left.

George led the five of us down the farm ridge.
Along west ridge that lies between river (over on left) and Mountain Track Road (Old Coach Rd) (off to right). Sabina, Doug, Hazel, George.

Along ridge that lies between river (over on left) and Mountain Track Road (Old Coach Rd) (off to right). Sabina, Doug, Hazel, George.

Eventually we reached the track leading across the gully up to the Mountain Track Road, (the old Coach Road).
Shot taken from Mountain Track Road looking back across to other ridge and adjoining track sloping down nr plantation. Mt Watkins in distance.

Shot taken from Mountain Track Road looking back across to other ridge and adjoining track sloping down nr plantation. Mt Watkins in distance.

At that point we decided to forego the (longer) original figure-of-eight plan in view of the committee meeting to be held later that day and made our leisurely way back up the Mountain Track Road to the farm house. – Ian.
7. 24/1/2007 Trampers. Lawsons Farm. From Homestead. Downstream Waikouaiti River South Branch, Lodge, Paper Road, return Farm. Leader: Ian.
Parked nr gate. Walked down past house and yards.  Climbed hill ahead and followed track down to River. Then along bank until eventually turning up to the Lodge for lunch. Back a little up the track and then a steep climb to old Paper road which followed to metalled road and back up to the cars. – Ian
6. 22/2/2006. Trampers. Lawsons Farm. Leaders: Arthur H, George, Dorothy S
5. 13/4/2005 Lawsons Farm, Waikouaiti River South Branch, Lodge. Paper Road return. Leader:  Ian
Lodge on Lawsons Farm

Lodge on Lawsons Farm

4. 3/12/2003. Trampers. Lawsons Farm, Waikouaiti River South Branch, Lodge Old Coach Road return Leaders: George, Dot B, Hazel
Start at cars

Start at cars

Stepping Out

Stepping Out

Tea break. Sabina, Joyce, George, Irene Lesley Dot B

Tea break. Sabina, Joyce, George, Irene Lesley Dot B

3. 24/10/2001 Steep Hill Road, Waikouaiti River. Medium. Leaders: George, Ria L, Barbara McC
2. 11/10/1995. Horseshoe Bend, Steephill Road. Medium. Leaders: Shirley McN, Nancy, Molly, Betty B
1. 17/4/1991. Merton – Steep Hill Road. A nice hill country tramp. Medium+.Leaders: George, Bev, Bob.

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Aug 09 2017

Heyward Point, Kaikai Beach, Whareakeake Road

Published by under Beach,Farm,Trampers

No. 86 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Heyward Point – Melville’s Farm Farm”

40 km from car park.

Part: Tramping Track, Managed by DOC. Rest: Not during lambing Sept-Nov. Seek Permission.

15. Trampers. Hayward Point, Kaikai Beach, Whareakeake Road circuit. M. Leader: Janine.

On what looked like a lovely clear day, 15 trampers set off in from Mosgiel in 4 cars. Difficulties set in very early when 2 of the cars were delayed by a car accident on the motorway – 2 other cars were fortunate to be able to detour through Fairfield. Next difficulty was the further we drove, the thicker the sea mist became and on reaching the end of Heyward Point Road, after the 20 minute delay, visibility was extremely limited in the murky fog.

We set out through the mist and after a short walk stopped under some pine trees for a late morning tea

Morning tea under the trees.(Helen pic and caption.)

then pushed on to the coast edge above Aramoana- BUT still no view on offer!! Disappointing for those of us who knew what we should be seeing and unable to show those who hadn’t been to the location before just what a spectacular coastline we have!

With care we followed the cliff edge, passed through some pine trees, scrambled a short rocky hill to suddenly find the mist had lifted and we had a view. Along to Heyward Point we were able to see the Mole, Aramoana, 2 ships at sea, numerous seal and pups, and a multitude of seabirds.

(Margreet pic.)

Shags in a hole in the rock. (Helen pic and caption.)

Onward and we tackled a steep hill – up and down still skirting the cliff edge till dropping onto Kaikai beach area. Due to the late start and time limitations we didn’t venture to the sandy beach but cut accrss the paddock straight to the nearby cave/holiday home where groaning stomachs were replenished.

Lunch stop. (Helen pic and caption.)

With the late lunch, we were all delighted with the original Maori fantail legend told to us in real ‘storyteller’ style by Bob.

All refueled, it was another steep climb to the historic ‘Jennings house’- after a quick viewing and discussion on the sturdy foundations of this old homestead – we continued on through paddocks meeting young curious cows and arriving back to the road above Whareakeake beach. The road walk to us back again through thickening mist to where the cars were left. Despite all that water vapour the walk wasn’t too ‘wet’ and the 9.75km ramble appeared to be enjoyed by all. Each car then made their own arrangements for coffee / home drop offs. – Janine.

14. 10/8/2016. Trampers. Hayward Point, Kaikai Beach, Whareakeake Road circuit. M. Leader: Arthur H.
We parked the cars at the end of Hayward Point Road and walked for ten minutes to find our morning tea spot.
The ground was still hard from the frost. The sky was cloudless with just a hint of a cold southerly breeze. We could not have had better weather for our tramp, even if we had been able to arrange it ourselves.

Another short walk took us to the start of the DOC track to Hayward Point itself. Great views up here, of the Otago Harbour entrance, the Aramoana Mole and across to Tiaroa Head.

Mole and Heads. (Margreet pic).

Mole and Heads. (Margreet pic).

A large ship was heading into the harbour. A very scenic spot indeed.

Following the cliff-top track, we came to the grassy headland block on which were grazing a mob of hoggets. We descended down to Heyward Point but could see only two seals (usually twenty or more can be seen) and two shags on the little off-shore islet.

Rock with small and large gulls plus seals and shags. (Helen pic and caption).

Rock with small and large gulls plus seals and shags. (Helen pic and caption).

Plenty of seagulls about though.

We admired the rusty old winch, which had been used to bring up the acetylene gas bottles to power the beacon in years past (solar power now), before continuing.
Uphill next to get above the very steep face, which has recently been fenced off and put into a Q.E.II Covenant Reserve.
Going down again was a bit tricky, and it was necessary to hold on tightly to the fence so as to remain upright for a distance in the wet muddy conditions. Once out onto the grass paddock the going was much easier, but it is a long way down.

The tide was halfway out as we walked along Kaikai beach. A very beautiful place away from civilisation. At the end of the beach we turned inland to admire the holiday cave dwelling.

Cave dwellings (Helen pic.)

Cave dwelling. (Helen pic).

From sea level it is all uphill back o the cars, so we ascended the first hill to lunch at the old house (the Jennings house).

Old house where we had lunch. (Helen pic and caption).

Historic old Jennings house where we had lunch. (Helen pic and caption).

Some stomachs were complaining by then, but morning tea had also been late.

A close inspection of the house followed. Apparently it had last been used during the second world war by the army for coast watching duty.
Up through the paddocks, onto the road, which we followed, returned us to the cars at 2.25 p.m. We had covered 11 kms.
The fine day, together with the great views, had combined to give the seven of us a very enjoyable tramp.
On the way home, a diversion had to be made to observe the weekly ritual at Careys Bay. – Arthur H.

13. 11/5/1016. Hikers. Heyward Point, anti-clockwise loop return over paddocks. M. Leaders: Judy, Adrienne.

Heyward Point Route Map

Heyward Point Route Map

21 intrepid hikers parked at the end of the Heyward Point road and set off in beautiful weather after almost forgetting the Bathgate car load who took a wrong turning….
After a leisurely morning tea …

Morning tea panorama

Morning tea panorama

… in the first group of pines, Dorothy came to grief at the first hurdle (style), making a great job of scraping her leg.  She was ably patched up …

… by a bevy of nurses and returned to the cars with Chris for a quiet sit in the sun for the rest of the day.

Harbour Entrance

Harbour Entrance

The remaining 19 proceeded along the cliff path where the ups and downs tested our fitness in the rapidly increasing heat. Clothes were shed in all directions before we reached the paddocks above the point.  Six keen souls went down to the rocks

Split off 'island' adjacent to lighthouse

Split off ‘island’ adjacent to lighthouse

Birds & seals on 'island'

Birds & seals on ‘island’

and were rewarded by the sight of families of seals cavorting in the rock pools.  The bulk of the party proceeded to the style perched steeply on the hillside above Kai Kai Beach where we stopped for lunch and were soon joined by the other six.

Lunch

Lunch

Then it was a steady slog uphill and across farm paddocks for another hour, to reach the track a couple of hundred metres from the cars.
Fantastic weather, incredible views and good company made this a most enjoyable hike, concluding with a coffee stop at the Stadium Cafe.
-Judy and Adrienne.

12. 26/3/2014 Trampers. Heyward Point, Kaikai Beach, Whareakeake Road.

We had 8 people today, our numbers were boosted by 3 young men from Israel, who were bought along by Hazel.
We had good weather apart from a strong wind on the way back up to the top road again, & all agreed it is a good walk. – Ken

Morning tea break. (Ken pic and caption)

Morning tea break. (Ken pic and caption)

Lunch at the cave accommodation (Ken pic and caption)

Lunch at the cave accommodation (Ken pic and caption)

11. 16/1/2013 Trampers. Heyward Point, Kaikai Beach, Whareakeake Road.

We had a very good walk today, with great weather, a good mix of terrain, & we had a good chat to Sue & Partner. Judy is related to both Sue, & the woman who live at the very start by the gate, she is Sue’s sister. So lots of ‘catching up’ was done.

Morning Tea break. (Ken pic and caption.)

Morning Tea break. (Ken pic and caption.)

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Jun 21 2017

Leishmans, Chalkies and/or Boulder Hill.

Published by under Trampers

No. 68 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Leishmans Falls – (J Roy) Summer”
12. Trampers. Chalkies Circuit. Leader: Arthur.
A good frost began the day, which was also the shortest day of the year.
13 Trampers turned up at the car park, from where we travelled in 4 cars up “Silver-Stream Valley” road to park near the beginning of what used to be called “Leishmans Track”. DoC have renamed it as “Chalkies Circuit Track”, with no mention of “Leishmans” any more.
The track was very wet and muddy to begin with, drops of water were falling from the tree canopy – presumably from the thawing frost.

We soon came to the old pump house…

The old pump house. (Keith pic and caption.)

…and weir of the long dis-used water supply going to Mosgiel from Leishmans Creek.

We had to cross the creek several times, and also negotiate some steep slippery steps, eventually coming to “The Rope“. The rope was essential as the track going steeply up here was very wet, muddy and slippery.
All of the group made it up safely, and I was assured that it had been fun, (no, I’m not joking). We continued on for another 10 minutes or so, until above the steepest part, before stopping for morning tea.
The track was drier, mostly, now as we proceeded uphill, ever uphill.
Speaking of the track, the whole circuit had been attended to very recently by The Green Hut Track Clearing Group, who had made an excellent job. Thanks, chaps, well done.

We made it out onto the summit of Powder Hill (altitude 525 metres) in time to have our lunch at the “trig”.

Margreet pic.

Good views in many directions; to Saddle Hill; some snow on the Rock and Pillar. Pulpit Rock was quite prominent too. A smoke haze covered the whole of the Taieri Plain indicating an “inversion”, it being very thick over Mosgiel.

We continued our tramp, downhill now, stopping to inspect the limestone outcrops of “The Chalkies”, for a few minutes.

Chalky rock. (Keith pic and caption.)

Further down we were lucky enough to see a pair of South Island Robins. They were aware of our group (quietly) watching them feeding on the forest floor only 2 or 3 metres away, but weren’t bothered by us.

Out of the bush, and down the private road, after a time we came to the ford by the pumphouse. From there it was down the still frozen road to the cars, having covered 8 km doing the circuit.
Back to Mosgiel, the smoke haze was extremely bad as we drove down Factory Road and Bush Road on our way to “Wals“.
It had been a very happy group out today, and all had obviously enjoyed the day’s exercise. It was also pleasing to see the numbers of our group growing.
Thanks to all. – Art.
11. 26/8/2015. Trampers. Leishmans, Chalkies.
Leishmans Long Ridge Chalkies

GPS of route, courtesy Ken. Leishmans Long Ridge Chalkies. (Ken caption) Walked 11km; ave 3.4km/h; 3h 15m moving; climbed 730m; max 532m.

Todays tramp was different to what was in the program due to a problem getting permission for the farm walk we were supposed to do.
So we set off for Leishmans track in the Silverstream valley, which not many of the 7 trampers on the day had done before. This turned out to be quite a grunty climb to get up on the top of the ridge, & it was slow going with very slippery conditions underfoot. One member only got about 2 hundred meters into the track when he sat down in the first creek crossing, not a good start to the day !!! It was just past here that the track got steep as it wound it’s way up the hillside. After a few rest stops we eventually made it up into the flax & tussock area at the ridge top, & we made a short detour to see where the trig at the top of Chalkies track was, just to get our bearings. Then it was off along the 4WD track to try & find how to get onto Long Ridge.
We failed in this, so turned around & walked back down the road past the turn off to Leishmans, & away down heading in what seemed the direction of the Taieri. We eventually came across a track junction that I recognised from a few years back when a friend & I were in that area looking for deer.
After a short stop here we again turned around, & went back to the entrance of the Leishmans track, along here till the turn off to the trig at the top of Chalkies, & down here to the lookout area where we had quite a long break.
Lunch stop

Lunch stop (Ken pic and caption)

Lunch

Lunch (Ken pic and caption)

Then it was down Chalkies, being careful to not slip on the slippery surface, & back out to the cars via the Scout camp grounds. – Ken
10. 28/5/2014. Trampers. Leishmans, Chalkies.
GPS of route, courtesy Ken. Leishmans Chalkies exploration. ((Ken caption)

GPS of route, courtesy Ken. Leishmans Chalkies exploration. ((Ken caption)

We started off to go up Leishmans, & down Chalkies tracks, however, when we got to the Silverstream Rd, there was a ROAD CLOSED sign up, not a good start !!
We drove up to the start of Leishmans where there was a track closed sign up saying ‘Closed for Maintenance’ — so what to do?? We walked up the track to see what was happening, & soon came across the problem, it was a real mess with trees down across it & virtually impassable, so we retraced our steps back to the road.
Here we decided to go & have a look at Chalkies track, so we drove up the road to the car park at the pump house, where we could hear logging operations going on in the Chalkies area. We decided to go & have a look anyway, so as the stream was running a bit high we went the long way around, & came back down the road to get to the bottom of the Chalkies road, which was a quagmire for it’s full length due to the forestry operations. All of the forest on the LH side going up is gone, & the track up to where you turn off onto the bush track has been dozed, & is very muddy & rough.
It was a pleasure to get onto the bush track, but it doesn’t get any less steep as time goes on !!
As we had taken loppers with us, we did some track clearing on the way up, which helped to fill in the day. At the junction to the Chalkies ledge, we dumped our packs, & worked our way to the top where the spear grass started to appear, & we could see the trig on Powder Hill about 3 – 4 hundred meters away.
It was now well after 12pm, so we went back to the ledge & had a leisurely lunch break, …
Lunch at Chalkies Ledge (Ken pic and caption)

Lunch at Chalkies Ledge (Ken pic and caption)

… after which we walked & slid our way out to the cars, this time crossing the stream to wash some of the mud off our boots, with some getting wet feet for their trouble. – Ken.
9. 16/11/2011. Trampers. Leishmans, Chalkies.
Seven of us did the shorter 7 km tramp up Leishmans, down Chalkies. We entered in past the weir and old Mosgiel water supply holding tank and negotiated our way to the small bluff at the foot of the ridge. We were surprised to find a sturdy new rope. So, ‘plus ca change plus c’est la meme chose’.  First the old rope. Then the ropeless period after its removal. Now a new one. Well, bravo, anyway. Safe and reassuring.

Morning tea on the only plateau on Leishman track.

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May 31 2017

Ardachys – Blacksmith Flat

Published by under Lambing Sep-Nov,Trampers,Year round

No. 4 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Blacksmiths Flat. Hindon Stn. Bob Heenan. Farm. Lambing.”
No. 14 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Hindon. Ardachy to River.  D Graham. Haggie. Farm.”
Distance from carpark: 33 km.
13. 31/5/2017. Trampers. Ardachys – Blacksmith Flat. M. Leader: Arthur.
The weather wasn’t great, but good enough. 8 trampers out today, including one new member – welcome Phil. We travelled in low cloud all the way from Outram to our parking spot at Ardachy, but from there on we could clearly see down into the Taieri gorge. An improvement was expected though.

We first went to inspect the nearby “Lonely Grave” of Mr Don Graham.

Family grave in Ardachy Station. (Helen pic and caption.)

The Graham family have been on Ardachy for 120 years – check our club website for more details about the “Lonely Grave”. [Scroll further down this post for this. – Ed.]

A short stop was made in the tussock for morning tea, before continuing on down hill. 4 friendly horses greeted us when we reached “Blacksmith Flat”, beside the Taieri river.

Four friendly hores came to visit. (Helen pic and caption.)

We followed the “Flat” upstream for some distance, before turning and retracing our steps.

Mount Allan railway station was directly across the river from us, but no train today. It was a lovely and peaceful spot there, the river making the only noise, except for 6-8 fantails flitting around.

The return journey was up “Blacksmith Gully”, and we travelled some distance before stopping for lunch.

Lunch. Second photo I missed was a lovely view while no fog. (Helen pic and caption.)

The cloud had come down now, with no more than a couple of hundred metres visibility, and remained so until we returned to Outram.

Incidentally, the names “Blacksmith Flat” and “Blacksmith Gully” go back to the gold mining era around 1863. Gold was found in some quantity in the area, but after 2 0r 3 years the “rush” was over.
The leader decided that, as it was a relatively short tramp today, we would return by a slightly more strenuous route than had been planned originally, to give everyone a bit of a workout. All thought this a great idea, and enjoyed the extra bit. There were no complaints anyway!
We arrived back at the cars before 1.30 pm, having walked 8.8 km. The vertical difference in altitude between the river and the cars was approx. 250 metres.
On returning to Mosgiel we stopped in at Wals for hot drinks, sitting in front of the fire to enjoy them. It made a very good end to the day. – Art.
12. 20/8/2014. Trampers. Ardachy Station. Blacksmith Flat and Gully. Medium.
The tramp on Ardachy Station to Blacksmiths gully was not a very long walk, but the climb out at the end of the day means that it is not all easy going. 4 trampers turned up on the day, & we set off to where we park the cars, just around the corner from the lonely grave site above Hindon. As it was 10 AM when we arrived there, morning tea was taken before we set off on the tramp along the top of the ridge. The weather was fine, with a very slight, cool breeze, & some frost & frozen puddles underfoot. We spent some time down by the river looking at the destruction among the willows, caused by flood waters, & we were also amazed by how high up in the trees the flood debris was deposited. [probably about 6-7 mtrs. above the river level]
As it was only around 11:20 by this time, we set off along the picturesque valley floor, until we came upon a good sheltered, sunny spot for a lunch break, …
Lunch

Lunch spot (Ken pic and caption)

View from lunch site (Ken pic and caption)

View from lunch site (Ken pic and caption)

… not far from where we had to cross the stream, & start the climb back to the car. After a leisurely lunch, we moved on until we came to the old mine shaft, which we climbed up the bank to inspect. the fence around it is slowly getting wrecked as time goes on, but the bush growing around the hole is still protecting it well. After this, it was just a matter of climbing back to the car, which seems like a daunting task when looking up from the valley floor, but it only takes around 1/2 an hour to climb out.

We all agreed it was a good walk, with the area being new to two members of the party.Walked 6.44km
moving time 1hr 45min.
ave 3.7km/hr
climbed 326mtrs. -Ken
11. 8/8/2012. Trampers. Ardachy Station. Blacksmith Flat and Gully. Medium.

GPS 10.9km
moving ave 3.8km/h
moving tme 2h 52min
total ascent 445mtrs.

The pic below shows 3/4 of the party at the point on the ridge where on previous tramps we had crossed from the river side of the ridge to the other. We arrived at this point by keeping to the ridge and avoiding the river-side track. Here we stopped for morning tea.

There had been a little drizzle to this point, but from here on, the weather and the views cleared to give us a good day out. To those who remained at home, we proved that you make your own luck. Bravo.

The cross-over point on the ridge taken on previous tramps.

And from this point we still kept to the ridge and found a clear crack down the nose of the ridge to the river flats. Club pioneers! I think we’ll always wish to do the descent this way, now. We explored Blacksmith flat, noting a new electric fence put in no doubt to keep stock away from the river.

We then took the track down-river that leads to the further flat reached from the Mains Road tramp, and lunched, seated at the lovely BBQ area. Then it was back to take the Blacksmith Gully route up to the car.

The writer had forgotten just how far we have to ascend the gully floor before locating the FWD track that takes us back up to the car.

Ascending Blacksmith Gully

Then it was just a 25-minute hard-breathing one-foot-in-front-of-the-other climb, after first subjecting Judy to the obligatory mine shaft sighting.

Back at the car at top of ridge

And so back into the car and out along a road, good and smooth, but a bit sloppy from the earlier drizzle. A good try-out for Ian’s little new/old Corolla. – Ian.

10. 30/3/2011. Trampers. Ardachy Station. Blacksmith Gully. Medium.

GPS of route, courtesy Ken

We passed by the gravesite dedicated to Murdoch Graham and went onto the FWD track ahead.

 

Memorial Site

This gradually descended before eventually climbing again to cross the steadily descending ridge on our right.

Climb

At this point, through a gate in the fence on the ridge crest, we took a track descending on the ridge’s right, although the Google Earth map does show a track going on down the ridge to the bottom.

Ridge

The track to the right led us down into Blacksmith Gully which we pursued down to its end on the Taieri River.
After a wander round, we took the track going on down the river to lunch in warm sun by the water on a grassy flat.

Lunch by Taieri River (Ken pic)

Retracing our steps,

Walking back after lunch (Ken pic)

this time we went further up Blacksmith Gully till we took a track that at its first zigzag encompassed the fenced off mine shaft and threw down stones to gauge its depth.
Then it was steadily on up up up to regain the cars at the track’s top. – Ian.

Postscript: (A bit of Club history, recollected by George and confirmed by Bob Heenan.)

Daphne, then President and founding member of the Club, was also a member of  the Dunedin Photographic Club. She met Don Graham, Ardachy Station owner there and got talking. An upshot was that he invited the Club to do a tramp on his land. This the Club did in 1989. They parked where we still park today, and followed the ridge from there down to the Flats. An arduous effort, following the ridges ups and downs. (We follow an easier 4WD track today.) On their return, club members were surprised to find Don by the cars, with a billy boiling over a fire. He invited them to get their mugs out and filled them with tea. A very happy introduction to what has been a satisfying series of tramps there over the years.

Post-post-script: – from NZ Herald Sunday April 3 2011.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/otago-regional-council/news/article.cfm?o_id=600651&objectid=10408722

Home is the farmer, home to the hills

11:59 AM Wednesday Nov 1, 2006
It took a long battle with bureaucracy, but an Otago farmer has been returned to the soil he worked on all his life.

Don Graham, 72, was buried on his Ardachy Station property at Hindon this week in a ceremony attended by more than 120 family members and friends.

A bagpiper played as Mr Graham was interred in the place he had chosen on the property, among rolling hills and wind-swept tussock.

A piper plays as Don Graham’s casket is carried to his plot beside the Hindon station road overlooking his farm, Ardachy station, and the Taieri River. Picture / Otago Daily Times

Obtaining permission for the burial was a long legal process, including gathering affidavits and securing consents.

Funeral director Robert Campbell said it was the first time in 40 years he had been involved in a home burial.

“It’s very uncommon, because you have to get permission through the Burial in a Special Place Act,” he said.

The law stipulates that people must be buried communally if they lived within 32km of a cemetery.

But it allows for home burial “if there are exceptional circumstances making the burial of that body in that place particularly appropriate”

Mr Campbell said: “He was granted permission by the Ministry of Health four years ago, because he and his forebears had farmed the land for 105 years and had a close association with the property.”

The grave site looks over Ardachy Station towards the Taieri River.

“It’s a lovely spot in the hills overlooking the valley,” said Robin Gamble, who delivered the eulogy at the funeral.

Mr Gamble said Mr Graham was passionate about the area in which he lived, and always wanted to be buried there.

“But it was very difficult and involved. He had to get 10 affidavits from people to support his request, as well as regional council consents.”

Mr Graham lived all his life in the area, taking over Ardachy Station from his father-in-law in 1956.

Mr Graham’s widow, Leila, said it was an emotional day for her and her two sons.

“He spent very little time away from the farm, and he would have been so proud. We can look out the back window of the house and see him down there now,” she said.

Mr Graham enjoyed a laugh. On April 1, 1991, he appeared on the front page of the Otago Daily Times with a “shabbit”, a creature he claimed to have bred from a merino sheep and a rabbit.

The April Fool’s Day trick was so successful people were still ringing him up months later to ask about breeding stock.

– OTAGO DAILY TIMES

9. 1/3/2007. Ardachy Station, Blacksmith Gully and Flat. Medium+ Leaders: George, Doug M

Very good but long drive in.. Several fences and gates to negotiate.
Took Hindon turn-off from George King Memorial Drive.
Just before road dipped down to the Taieri Park, parked at corner on grassy surface off road.
Followed 4WD down to river. Proceeded down-stream for some distance and stopped for lunch. Returned clockwise up valley. At stone fireplace, turned steeply up right bank, viewed vertical mine shaft, and met 4WD track back up to cars.
8. 18/4/2001. Hindon, Ardachy Station, Blacksmith Gully. Leaders: Bob H, Colleen, Doug M.
7. 18/4/2002
6. 27/11/1996. Blacksmiths Gully Hindon. Leaders: Eric and Dot, Joan H.
5. 1996 Bob H
4. 25/10/1995. Hindon, Blacksmith Gully, (Old Battery). Medium+. Leaders: George, Ria L, Bob Q, Jack R.
3. 3/11/1993. Blacksmith Gully. Hindon. Medium. Leaders: Bob, Daphne, Margaret D, Bob Q.
Easier alternative:: Leaders: Les and Mavis.
2. 19/6/1991. Blacksmith’s Gully. Lovely views – a good climb home. Average+. Leaders: Mervyn, Wendy, Ted, Daphne.
1. 22/3/1989. Blacksmith’s Gully from Ardachy Station. Lovely walk to Taieri River. Steep return. Leaders: Kath, Jack and Joan.

 

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