Archive for the 'Trampers' Category

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.

No responses yet

No responses yet

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

No responses yet

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



No responses yet

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

No responses yet

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.

No responses yet

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.

No responses yet

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.)

Continue Reading »

One response so far

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.

Continue Reading »

No responses yet

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.

 

4 responses so far

May 24 2017

Purakaunui, Mopanui, north face, ret.

Published by under Trampers

4. 24/5/2017. Trampers. Purakaunui to Mopanui, return. M. Leaders: Neil and Margreet.
10 Trampers travelled in 3 cars, via Port Chalmers, to park at Purakaunui.
Our tramp began at 10 am in cloudy and cool conditions, which remained all day – ideal for tramping. Some sunshine though.
The morning tea stop was at the small picnic park beside the Purakaunui inlet.
We continued on to the top of the inlet, and then up “Purakanui Station Road” to the railway line. Not too much conversation as we walked up the road, due to the steeper gradient no doubt.
We followed the McKessar Track for a little, before turning on to a 4WD forestry track to take us in the direction of Mopanui. At one stage the track was getting rather overgrown with gorse, but we battled through.
Further on we came across a man cutting firewood. After a brief stop the group continued on, but had a long wait further on as two trampers had had to stop for a long chat with the “chainsaw man“.

The last uphill stage was through the bush, and got steeper, rockier and rougher. But we topped out at 12-15, to have our lunch (with a great view) beside the trig on top of Mopanui.

Lunch on Mopanui. (Arthur pic and caption.)

The south-west breeze was just a little cool here, though.

After enjoying the view and our lunch we moved on, the descent towards the Orokonui Sanctuary being a bit tricky to begin with on account of all the rocks, care being necessary.
However we were soon out on the road, to follow it down to the top of McKessars Track. We were able to admire “The Orokonui Drystone Wall”, a DOC sign giving information about it as we passed.

On the way down McKessars Track, we turned aside to look again at the stone walled ruins

Dairy and cowshed? (Keith pic and caption.)

of the McKessar house and farm shed.

Carol at McKessar house. (Arthur pic and caption.)

Downhill now, we were soon back to the beginning of our circuit up on to Mopanui, and from then on we were retracing our morning’s steps till regaining the cars at 3 pm.

Much birdlife had been noted during the day’s tramp, and at the top of the inlet on the return journey we were lucky enough to see 2 kingfishers, their brilliant colours showing up well in the sunshine.

Looking back to where we’d been. (Arthur pic and caption.)

One dived into the water, but we couldn’t tell if any prey had been caught.

In the morning the tide was right out as we walked around the inlet, but on the return journey it was full tide, which was much more enjoyable.

Today’s tramp was 14.6 km (thanks Keith), and Mopanui is 468 metres high.

Weary end. (Arthur pic and caption.)

One carload headed back to Mosgiel, and 2 carloads stopped at Emersons on the way for “drinkies”.
And a good day was had by all! – Art, (substitute leader).
3. 26/11/2014. Trampers. Purakaunui to Mopanui, return.
Purakanui Mopanui McKesslers Track. (Ken pic and caption)

Purakaunui Mopanui McKessar Track. (Ken pic and caption) GPS of route courtesy Ken. Walked 13.8km; Ave 4.3km/h; Time 3hr 10min; climbed 800m; max elevation 483m

We changed the scheduled tramp a bit this time, as the tides didn’t suit what we wanted to do. So we started at the far end of Purakaunui in the old garage car park, & walked the shoreline track around to the causeway at the head of Purakaunui Inlet. Then it was up the hill through the outskirts of Osborne, across the railway line, & onto the bottom of McKessar Track. From the next junction, we had a discussion on whether we should try the original way up to Mopanui, or continue on McKessar Track, & approach Mopanui from the Orok0nui side. We decided on the original, with the knowledge that we may have to retrace our steps, as in the past, we have not been able to find the correct way through the bush, & onto the rocky track leading up to the trig on top. However, after a couple of false leads, we managed to find a way up past some impressive stone walls, & onto a track that lead us to the marked track through the bush, & onto the rocky track up to the trig. [Bravo! Ed.]
When we arrived at the top, after the steep climb, we had to find shelter from the very strong wind that was blowing up there, so we could eat our lunch without getting blown off the mountain.
After lunch, we went down the other side onto Mopanui Rd. along here to McKessar Track, & back down to Osborne again, stopping on the way to show some of the group the old stone house ruins, as they had not been in this area before.Then it was back around the shoreline track to the car.
We all agreed that it was a good walk, with great views, & some nice sunshine to keep the temperature at a good level. – Ken

Enjoying the view from the top of Mopanui. (Ken pic and caption)

Enjoying the view from the top of Mopanui. (Ken pic and caption)

2. 20/3/2013. Trampers. Purakaunui to Mopanui, return.

Osborne Mopanui wrong way. GPS courtesy Ken

Osborne Mopanui wrong way. (Ken GPS, pic and caption)

Trig a the top of Mopanui (Ken pic and caption)

Trig a the top of Mopanui (Ken pic and caption)

 

Pura

Purakaunui Potato Point from the top [of Mopanui] (Ken pic and caption)

1. 12/5/2010. Trampers. Purakaunui to Mopanui, return. Leaders: Sabina, George.
The planned Doctors Point starting point was changed to Purakaunui, thanks to Ian having misread high tide time from low tide on the tide  tables.

At Purakaunui waterfront. Mopanui shrouded in mist.

The day was calm and fine. We set off on the Osbourne track around the inlet, stopping for morning tea on a sunny embankment. Station Road was as steep as ever as we climbed to the old Purakanui Station. Across the railway and it was up and along the McKessar Track till we reached the beginning of the zigzag gorse-strewn track that would take us up to Mopanui. Autumn grass was heavy and long. George had done some gorse clearing so it was not too bad. We avoided one gorse overgrown ‘zig’ (or was it ‘zag’?) corner by short-cutting through some manuka. We finally arrived at the bush track leading directly up to the top. A bit overgrown, but again, not too bad. A clamber over the large hilltop boulders and we were on the summit for lunch.

On Mopanui summit. George, Doug, Ken, Ria

Back down at the McKessar Track, we turned left to go farther up it, as George thought we might find it leading down to the Osbourne settlement, to make a round trip of it. A few hundred metres up, and George was inclined to give up and return back down. However, with time still on their side, Ken and Ian were prepared to recce the track to its end at Mopanui Road to see just what was there, the rest returning to the cars.
They did find one or two potential Osbourne leads, and followed one bulldozed track steeply down through some still-young pines but that lead eventually to a blind end and they had to labour back up again. Nearing the top of the McKessar Track, one or two other side roads led off to properties.

Remarkably intact stone ruin towards top of McKessar Track. (Shot taken into sun)

Finally Ken and Ian reached its junction with the Mopanui Road terminus.

Sign at top of McKessar Track. (Ken pic)

Looking up and along Mopanui Road and the ecosanctuary exclusion fence. (Ken pic)

Satisfied they had recced the entire track now, they returned back to the cars. When the got there, they found the rest of the party had arrived just before them, having invested their spare time to rest in the sun on the way.
A very good day, with tramping temperatures just right. – Ian.

No responses yet

May 17 2017

Tramps Incorporating Three Kings

Published by under Hikers,Trampers,Year round

No. 26 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Wesleydale – Maungatua – via 3 Kings. L Wiffen. Year round.”

Abt 25 km from car park.

23. 17/5/2017. Hikers. Three Kings from Heenan Road. M. Leaders: Ian and Doug.

Route map courtesy Ian. Nike pp not turned until 1km into trip so add 1km to all distances. (Ian pic and caption.)

We navigated our cars to what for the Hikers was a new entry spot. Back in 2006 the Todd Group had denied us access through the paddock next to the old Wesleydale Camp which gave us access to a lovely track through the bush above it opening to gorse leading to the FWD track above. Now, back at the bottom of a big dip in  Heenan Road, there was an entry point to a parking spot up at the very bottom of that track, thanks to a hospitable owner’s permission.

Only 13 were able to turn out for the day. A first long-grassed paddock was the only steep effort, the track thereafter proving a delightfully modest steady gradient elevating us soon to impressive views over the Taieri plain. We stopped for morning tea at one such view,

Viewing the plain. (Ian pic and caption.)

but low cloud below us was  beginning to condense obscuring the former clear air.

Later, where we at last emerged from the bush part of the route, we stopped to point out to newer members the old way by which we used to reach this point. Beyond here, the track now steadily steepened the nearer we got to the Three Kings. We took it slowly, with frequent rests and regroupings. Until behold, there was a new track cut right across an extensive cleared area, changing the whole aspect of what we used to experience eleven and more years ago. The new track was even steeper, but at last all got there.

We hunkered down for lunch beneath the principle rock, sheltering from a brief but wetting rain shower.

Shelter for some. (Ian pic and caption.)

A clever perch. (Ian pic and caption.)

But that was it. The day remained calm, if cool. We returned back down the way we had come, all very pleased at having achieved our object. One older member expressed their delighted at achieving a return to the rocks after such a long absence, having given up all hope of ever making it again.

We stopped for coffee at George’s ‘hairy’ goat cafe, delighted to meet up there with the Trampers’ other half of the club, returned just before us.

A satisfying day. Roll on the wintry weekend ahead. – Ian.

22. 8/2/2017. Trampers. Maungatua Summit from Heenan Road. M. Arthur.

Route map, courtesy Tony. Trampers Maungatua trip.

I believe this tramp was a “first’ for the club. We have been up to the “3 Kings” area many times in the past, but today we continued on to the summit.

A small group out today, only 4 of our regulars, 1 potential member and  1 guest: 6 in total.

We left the cars parked up a farm drive off Heenan Road. Our tramp began at 9.00 a.m. on the uphill farm road which goes around the south end of Maungatua, and out towards Mahinerangi.

It was a fine day, sunny but with many clouds. A cool S.W. breeze kept the temperature down.

Morning tea was taken in the last available sheltered spot, the leader being rubbished for stopping 5 minutes early though!

Up a farm track and then in to the tussock taking us up more steeply to trig “F” at 702 metres, from where we could look down onto the “3 Kings“.

Onward on a farm track, before turning off into the tussock for the last 3.25 km, single file following the fence line.

Beautiful moss. (Helen pic and caption.)

The summit was reached at 12.05 p.m. for our lunch stop. Sitting down in the shelter of the vegetation was necessary to get out of the wind. The sunny periods were very welcome as we ate and rested.

Before taking our leave, the obligatory photo of the group at the summit marker post was taken.

Arthur Carol Neil Helen and Neil. (Helen pic and caption.)

Plaque on top. (Helen pic and caption.)

Just at this time the red helicopter flew over us at low altitude, our waves being returned.

Red helicopter giving us a wave. (Helen pic and caption.)

No rescue needed today, though, thankfully.

After about 2 km on the return journey we took to the farm track for the remainder. It was somewhat easier going, and also gave a little variation from the inward track.

The wind had eased early afternoon, and then changed to a southerly breeze. Showers were visible in the Balclutha-Milton direction, but were then going out to sea and not towards us.

Lower down we stopped briefly to admire the view out over the lower Taieri Plain. The whole area was bathed in sunshine, and was a real picture. The views from the top of Maungatua had been spoiled a little by all the cloud shadows on the landscape.

Back at the cars at 3.00 p.m. it had been a neat 6 hours from go to whoa. A very satisfactory day’s tramp in the leader’s opinion. Total distance was 17 km, and an altitude climb of 800 metres.

The timing was absolutely perfect!

As we sat down after ordering our drinks at “The Hairy Goat” the rain arrived!

Thanks to all who participated in the day’s very successful tramp. – Art.

21. 22/10/2014. Trampers. Three Kings. M.
This weeks tramp was to the “Three Kings” at the south end of the Maungatua’s. Six trampers travelled to McLaren Rd, drove around past the Lavender farm to our parking place just inside the farm yard gate. Jill went & got the key for us, & then drove back home again, leaving us to find our way up to the tops. The walk was on farm 4WD tracks all the way up, with just a short walk through tussock to the Three Kings where we had lunch in the shelter from a strong cold wind. Then it was a quick retreat back down again out of the wind, & back to the cars. Walked 12km; 4.1 km/h ave; 3hrs moving; climbed 690m.
The view from the top was very good, but the cold wind didn’t make for pleasant viewing. We practised our Coffee Club by calling into the Outram coffee shop on the way home where a good chat session was had. – Ken

18/10/2006 Jeff Todd of Todd Group 477 8902 (10/06). Todd Group had bought Wesleydale and paddock and allowed it to be used for army live firing! Access through all this area denied.

20. 26/4/2006. Trampers. Three Kings and Trig. Leaders: Evelyn C, Sabina.
19. 24/8/2005. Both. Wesleydale, Three Kings and option of Trig. Leaders: Ria, Irene, Val and Brian, Eleanor B.
18. 19/11/2003. Both. Three Kings from Farm sheds. Medium. Leaders: Trampers: Bill and Pat; Hikers: Les and Margaret, Carmel.
des

Down through Gorse. Wendy? Pat

Geo

George on rise, below Trig above Three Kings (19/11/2003)

17. 17/7/2002 Three Kings, Mill Creek, Kowhai. Spur Leaders: Bob H, Doug M, Wendy B
Long. Hard. Water. Steep down Kowhai Spur.
16. 10/7/2002. Wesleydale Methodist Youth Camp to 3 Kings. Leaders: Arthur and Barbara, Frank.
15. 22/11/2000 Leaders: Lex, Ian
14. 22/9/1999. Three Kings and Trig. Leaders: Lex, Bill H, Lesley S.
13. 12/8/1998. 3 Kings, Maungatua. Leaders: Irene, Shirley R.
12. 19/11/1997. Wesleydale to 3 Kings and Trig. Leaders Judith and Hugh, Ian.
11. 12/3/1997. Three Kings – Mill Creek Reserve – Kowhai Spur. Leaders: Bill H, Graham, Barbara McC.
10. 1/5/1996. Duncan’s Farm Road and return Kowhai Spur. Leaders: Bill H, Les S, Graham S, Doug M
9. 3/4/1996 Three Kings from Heenan Road to McLaren Road Start past Little Creek. Medium.
Seek permissions
Leaders: Jack and Rosemary, Nelson and Dot.
8. 20/4/1994. Three Kings. Medium. Leaders: Margaret and Les, Ivan, Les W.
7. 6/10/1993. Mill Creek (back of the Maungatuas.) Medium. Leaders: Shirley McN, Ria L, Nel, Betty H.
6. 26/5/1993. Wesleydale Camp – uphill following 4WD track to Maungatuas. Great views. Medium. Leaders: Mary Y, Denise, Nola, Judith.
5. 9/9/1992. Wesleydale Camp to the Maungatuas. Follow 4WD Track. Average. Leaders: Joan, Betty, Jean, Diana.
4. 29/7/1992. Wesleydale Camp, up the hill following 4WD track to the Maungatuas. Lovely views. Average. Leaders: Daphne, Betty, Dave and Jean.
3. 23/10/1991. Maungatuas – Wesleydale to ‘3 Kings Rocks’. Steady up hill grade, but not a long tramp. Average+. Leaders: Nancy, Ray, Ted, Jack R.
2. 27/6/1990 Wesleydale to Three Kings. Average, if taken in easy stages. Don’t rush hill please. Leaders: George, Margaret D, Margaret B, Ria.
1. 8/3/1989. Three Kings. Good tramp up the Maungatuas. Great views of Lower Taieri. Leaders: Denise, George, Peggy.

No responses yet

May 17 2017

Mount Hyde Station

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

No. 5 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Mt Hyde to Taieri River. Aqueduct. D Moir. Farm. Lambing.”
Location: 23.5 km. Lambing September-November.
14. 17/5/2017. Trampers. Mount Hyde. Medium. Leader: Neil.
A good turn out of 12 keen individuals to spend a few hours exploring the route to Taieri river and pipeline from Mt Hyde.The day was fine and overcast and very pleasant for a walk in the hills. Left the cars about 9:30 am and proceeded round the side of Mt Hyde and then started a steady descent down to the pipeline bridge.Had a stop at about 10:10 to keep everyone happy and the views around the river valley were quite spectacular. Wandered across the bridge

(Margreet pic.)

between the two pipes

(Keith pic.)

and comments were made about OSH rules in building something like this today. A 20 minute return trip up the hill over the fence and turned right to follow a farm track through several gullies and a couple of ridges before leading down to the gravel by the river. Proceeded upstream and found the old flying fox…

(Keith pic.)

…giving access across the river. No one seemed very keen to give it a go. Retraced our steps down river and started the return climb up the hill. At about 12 o’clock lunch was suggested but the majority wanted to go a bit further on an empty stomach as this would be easier. So we climbed about halfway up before stopping , where the view was again pretty good. There was only once that the talking had almost ceased on this uphill climb; an interesting observation!!!!  After lunch the track leveled out a little and the section to the top was a little easier. Arrived back at the cars at about 2:00 pm (I think).

Keith’s calculations:: Walked 10 km,  380 metres climb fromthe river to cars. .
Trundled back to the Wobbly Goat for a coffee and debrief, where a few wobbly goats were seen getting out of cars. Ha Ha!!!
A great tramping day that everyone appeared to enjoy. – Neil.
13. 27/2/2013. Trampers. Mount Hyde. Medium. 9.25 km; 2h 33m; moving ave. 3.6km/h; climbed 561m.
Morning Tea

Morning tea break.

Taieri gorge train looking like a model train set

Taieri gorge train looking like a model train set

Ian on the Flying Fox

Ian on the Flying Fox

12. 17/11/2010. Trampers. Mount Hyde. Medium. Leaders: Ken, Doug.

9 of us squeezed into 2 cars for the trip. Although we were on 4WD tracks all the way, over-night rain had left the grass soaking wet. We had received permission as the lambs were now well developed.

GPS of tramp, courtesy Ken. Follow anticlockwise. 11 km.

The road down to the bridge was as steep as ever, with fresh crushed metal on the lower portion rolling under our boots.

Arch structure of aquaduct.

We enjoyed morning tea on the bridge and admired the spring growth on river-side and banks. Evident on the bridge are the larger Deep Stream pipe and the smaller Deep Creek Pipe. It is they that carry the yellowy brown peat water to Mt Grand to be miraculously transformed into our pure drinking water.

Morning Tea on Viaduct at Mt Hyde (Ken pic and caption)

Distant view of Aquaduct.

When we arrived at our furthest point up-river, we were struck by the beauty of the smooth water.

Unruffled

A scramble up a bank and we were at the flying fox that George and Ria had promised to show us.

Keith in flying fox. (Ken pic and caption)

We then lunched by the stream.

Lunch on Mt Hyde by river. (Ken pic and caption)

We continued our circuit, climbing up the 4WD track under the power-lines, across paddocks and back to the cars. Another great day. The rain held off. Perfect. – Ian.
11. 16/4/2008. Trampers. Mount Hyde. Medium. Leaders: Ian, Ken, Sabina.

Only 5 who braved the misty start to the day were rewarded with a great tramp on Mt Hyde station. The highlight of course was the
graceful arched aqueduct of Dunedin’s Deep Stream Pipeline traverse of the Taieri River.

Willow trees aligning waterways were at their autumnal golden glory and a plentiful harvest of mushrooms promised an appetizing garnish to the evening meal. Finding ourselves above the mist at the start, we steeply descended through some damp cloud to clear air nearer the river, enjoying a dry morning tea amongst a manuka stand on the way. We lingered long on the aqueduct, drinking in all the beauty of the river to the song of a nearby bellbird.

Then we had to re-ascend steeply for a short distance back up the way we had come until we could join a side track that paralleled the river upstream and descended to flats near where the Mullocky Stream debouches its meagre flow. Lunching on the gravel by the water we were pleasantly entertained by flights of paradise ducks and Canada geese up and down the river.
We elected to reconnect with the track by way of a very steep grassed gully, our footing thankfully assisted by cattle beast hoof marks. As we climbed ever higher, we got great views of the Taieri Gorge railway on the other side of the river and of the Wingatui Viaduct in the distance across the Mullocky.
Finally reaching the track again, it happily proved an easier gradient than the gully we had emerged from. A steady ascent, easing off later and we reached our car by about 2.00 p.m. Some steep work, but plenty of time to do it in. In all, a vindication for those willing to give the day a try, despite an unpromising beginning. – Ian
10. 11/4/2007. Trampers. Mount Hyde, Viaduct. Medium+. Leaders: Arthur and Barbara.
9. 19/7/2006. Trampers. Mount Hyde. Medium. Leaders: Lex, Shirley.
8. 11/12/2002. Trampers. Mount Hyde. Medium. Leaders: Hazel, Graham, Molly.
7. 8/8/2001. Mount Hyde. Medium+. Leaders: Lex, Hazel, Molly.
6. 27/1/1999. Mount Hyde to Taieri River. Leaders: George, Lex, Colleen.
5. 17/5/1995. Mount Hyde. Medium. Shorter trip available. Leaders: Nancy, Judy C, Colleen, Judith D.
4. 26/1/1994. Mount Hyde. Medium. Leaders: Nancy, Les and Margaret, Doug M.
3. 5/2/1992. Mount Hyde. An interesting tramp. Average+. Leaders: Nancy, Margaret D, Peggy M, Barbara McC
2. 3/5/1989. Mount Hyde to Taieri River via aqueduct. Leaders: Ria.
1. 12/10/1988 Mount Hyde on George King Memorial Drive. Very interesting tramp to Taieri River, crossing via pipeline bridge. Leaders: Daphne, Hugh and Jean, Ria, Kaas.

No responses yet

May 10 2017

Horsehoof Station Tramps

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

No. 1 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Maugatua Microwave. J Roy. Year Round.” Permissions from Horsehoof.
Distance from car-park: 24 km.

20. 10/5/2017. Trampers. Maungatua trig via Horsehoof. M. Leader: Arthur.

Clear skies, a light breeze, and lots of sunshine gave perfect conditions for our tramp up onto Maungatua. The cars were left high up beside the farm road on Horsehoof, a group of 13 happy trampers setting out from here on the uphill dozed farm track.

About halfway up morning tea was taken, with stunning views to enjoy at the same time, in the clear air.

Onward and upward, we reached the top boundary of Horsehoof Station, and climbing through the fence were in the DOC reserve which encompasses all of the top of Maungatua. It was then single file through the tussock and turpentine shrubs on the faint track.

We stopped to admire the Big Rock,

The beautiful rock. (Helen pic and caption.)

photos being taken of the group.

The group of 12 plus me. (Helen pic and caption.)

Just as we were preparing to move on a pair of N.Z. falcons flew in and landed on top of Big Rock just above us. They weren’t at all worried by us humans, and it was marvellous to see them there.

In single file we moved on, and eventually came to the summit post at 12 noon – perfect timing for lunch.

From here, on the highest point (895 metres) we could see in all directions – 360 degrees. A huge fog bank right down the coast totally hid the sea and the Otago Peninsula, but the land was in clear view as far as the eye could see. What terrific scenery.

Margreet pic.

Lunch over we began the return journey, which meant retracing our steps. With an occasional brief rest/regroup stop, we were back past Big Rock, through the fence onto Horsehoof again, and down hill with a brief uphill bit to reach the cars.

A group of 13 happy trampers had had a great day, walking a total of 12 km. The perfect weather certainly added to the enjoyment of the day.

But, the tramp finished too soon (obviously too short), as it was necessary to stop in Outram for a while on the way home so that discussion that hadn’t had time to be had during the tramp could be concluded.

The leader was particularly pleased to have such a good turn out of trampers today – thank you to all. – Arthur.

19. 11/1/2017. Hikers. Maungatua Big Rock and Trig via Horsehoof. M. Leaders: George and Ian.

It wasn’t the best tramp to ease into after the relaxing holidays. However the easier programmed Kuri Bush beach walk had not taken the tide times into account. What to do? Something inland. George scouted Saddle Hill (summit not tackled by the Hikers since 2010) and Horsehoof (last done by the Hikers 2011). Relevant property owners for Saddle Hill could not be reached, so Horsehoof and Big Rock then.

Seventeen turned out on the day. A respectable number, given that some members were still on holiday. Admittedly the road entrance to Horsehoof is easily missed, as happened to some on the day, but eventually all the cars arrived and drove on up to park in the high paddock where the FWD track to the top corner of the station starts. At about 690m here, we had already made good inroads on Maungatua’s Big Rock elevation of 880m.

It was still a bit early so we trudged through that first unavoidable gully to merelyregain the cars’ height a kilometre or two further on, finding a bank to sit on for morning tea.

(Clive pic.)

No more gullies now but it was up, steadily up, with frequent regrouping stops to eventually reach the Horsehoof Station’s top corner. At 865m effectively all climbing was behind us. We had gained 225m since leaving the cars. One of us elected to stop here and await the return of the others, and Mollie, who hadn’t wanted to miss the chance of revisiting Horsehoof, was happy to keep her company.

Now it was 15 who scrambled through the fence onto the Maungatua reserve to push on through the tussock and dracophillum (turpentine bush) till we reached a point opposite to the Big Rock.

(Clive pic.)

Here, along with George, ten were happy to make this their destination stop,

(Clive pic.)

while a remaining group of five carried on with an assurance it was only another half hour to the trig. W-e-l-l not exactly. More likely three quarters, as one found the going harder than others. But we got there! Or rather two did.

Made it! 895m.(Ian pic and caption.)

Too bad,the other three had stopped off short of the last rise and lunched. However with the encouragement of the trig returnees (or is it returners?) they were encouraged to push on so that they could say they had made it too. And they did!

On the return we discovered the hypotenuse short-cut that avoids a right angle in the fence and which we had missed on the way in due to overgrowth disguising it at its other end. A shame. It needs a fence indicator.

When we arrived at Big Rock, we discovered the ten others had long since given up waiting for us, and were back waiting for us when we straggled up the last weary slope up to the cars – at least weary for this writer.

So there it is. A good traditional tramp perforce resurrected for the hikers by an unfortunate tidal assesssment. And an enjoyable stop and chat at the Wobbly Goat to finish it off. And roll on the better weather. – Ian.

18. 10/2/2016. Maungatua Summit. Leader: Arthur H.

Horsehoof Station to maungatua peak. GPS of route, courtesy Ken. (Ken pic and caption)

Horsehoof Station to maungatua peak. GPS of route, courtesy Ken. (Ken pic and caption) 13.2km; 3.7km/h; 3h 33m moving; total ascent 409m; max height 900m

Nine trampers set out in ideal conditions to conquer Maungatua. The day was sunny with some high cloud. The breeze was light all day – westerly, then changing to southerly for a while, and then died away altogether.

We drove in through Horsehoof Station, up the road towards the microwave. A car shuttle was set up by taking one car back 2-3 km, leaving it at the top of the hill above the woolshed.

We took the dozed farm track that winds its way up to the top of Maungatua, stopping for morning tea at a suitable spot.

We reached the top of the track, where the small shed and various aerials are situated, at 10.50 a.m. Climbing over the fence we were then in the DOC Reserve, which covers a large part of Maungatua.

From here there is a faint track heading to the summit, which is some 2.5 km away. This is undulating country.

We soon came to the large tor, and stopped for several minutes to inspect and photograph it.

Side trip to rock tor (Helen pic)

Side trip to rock tor (Helen pic)

Continuing on along the track, which follows the fence line, we gained the summit a few minutes before 12.00 noon. A black and white painted post now marks the spot, …

"Trig" post (Helen pic)

“Trig” post with rock placed on top by one of the party. (Helen pic)

… and is visible from a short distance. Sitting down in the tussock, we had a relaxed lunch on the spot. The slight breeze was just a tad cool, we noted.

Lunch at the "trig"

Lunch at the “trig”

From the summit there is a great 360 degree view, but unfortunately haze in all directions spoiled this somewhat.

Half of the group had a look over the brow, down in the direction of the 3 Kings -which isn’t visible. All of us then picked our way through the rough vegetation, in an easterly direction, to get a better view down on the Taieri Plain and Airport.

Making our way back up to the track, we returned along it to the shed and aerials, and over the fence. A brief stop here, where it was noted the altitude was 865m, compared to the 895m at the summit.

We now walked down a 4WD track through the tussock, following the western spur.

On fence llne track well down to the Lee Creek gully

On fence line track well down to the Lee Creek gully showing ‘uphill grunt’ on other side. (Helen pic)

A restful stop was made at the bottom, in the shade of the beech trees at the north branch of Lee Creek. A short uphill grunt gave a “tang” to the end of our tramp, and we were soon back at the “shuttle” car.

All agreed that it had been a good tramp and an enjoyable day. This had been a first time for most.

Seven held a debrief at Outram on the way back home.

Coffee at Outram. (Helen pic)

Coffee at Outram. (Helen pic)

The tramp distance was 13.2 km. – Arthur H.

29/3/2010. Private. Horsehoof, Maungatua Trig.
GPS of route from car to trig

GPS of route from car to trig

At the Maungatua Trig (1)

At the Maungatua Trig (1)

At the Maungatua Trig (2)

At the Maungatua Trig (2)

17. 4/5/2011. Both. Horsehoof upper paddock to Big Rock. Medium. Leader: George.

George had recceed the programmed McKendry Road tramp and found the mud too squishy and the undergrowth too thick so elected to fall back to Horsehoof Station again.
We took the cars on through several gates to the paddock that gave us a shorter walk up to the paddock corner at the top.
It was a misty day, but at our tea-break the weather cleared to reveal the wind turbines beyond Lake Mahinerangi.
Beyond the fence at the top corner, we went on to negotiate the turpentine shrub (dracophyllum longifolium), tussock and alpine moss to reach the large rock for an early lunch.
A cool westerly wind drove us to shelter in a cleft in the rock’s SW side.

A sheltered lunch spot.

An interesting bank of fog in the west.

The tarn beyond the big rock.

Obviously scientific, an exclosure on the tarn.

After all that, we returned the way we had come back to the cars. A good outing. – Ian.
16. 15/9/2010. Trampers. Horsehoof to Big Rock. Medium. Leader: George.
Walked up the 4WD track that went by the Microwave.

Morning Tea break. George. (Emma pic)

Lunched at the Big Rock.

Keith and George at the Big Rock. (Emma pic)

Returned back down through the Woodside Creek gully.
15. 6/5/2009 Both. Horsehoof Station. Bridge over Woodside Creek, top corner, back down the more regular farm road. Medium. Leaders: Bruce, Wendy.

Many were discouraged by the wet morning start, but 8 of us enjoyed a farm walk on what turned out to be an cold overcast day (which we were well wrapped up against) interspersed by sun at morning tea and lunch. From the regular parking spot, for a change we turned down steeply
click to enlarge

Descent to bridge

Descent to bridge

to cross the Woodside Creek upper tributary nearby

Woodside Creek

Woodside Creek

and to then climb steeply

Climb ahead

Climb ahead

to enjoy a cuppa at the set of rocks a little way up.

Cuppa.

Cuppa.

Then to carry on up to the top corner of the station. This was a route the club hasn’t taken for five years and more. We forewent going on to the big rock and tarn through the rather heavy wet dracophyllum we would have had to struggle through, so lunched at the top under the shelter of a bank

Lunch in sun

Lunch in sun

and returned by the more regular farm track.

Rock and Pillar Range in sun

Rock and Pillar Range in sun

Recycled car bolstering bridge. Wee waterfall behind.

Recycled car bolstering bridge. Wee waterfall behind.

We all enjoyed a good tramping day but regretted there were not more to share the walk with. Bruce stood in for Marjorie who was indisposed on the day. Our thanks to Wendy and Bruce for their leadership. – Ian.

14. 12/11/2008 Trampers. Horsehoof Station, Maungatua Trig. Leaders: George, Ria.

This turned out to be a tramp from Horsehoof Station rather than from the advertised Allendale Farm. So it was simply up by the regular farm road to the Maungatua Trig and back.
click to enlarge

Decorated Trig. George, Hazel, Ria, Emma

Decorated Trig. George, Hazel, Ria, Emma

Saddle Hill from Maungatua

What was different was the wind measuring masts

Mast for measuring wind?

and various markers presumably installed by Trustpower. A breeze pleasantly tempered the heat of the sun and 8 of us enjoyed a tramp in the tussocks and Maungatua top with the George making it easier and shorter by having the two cars parked further up the hill than on previous tramps. – Ian

13. 27/8/2008 Trampers. Horsehoof Station Upland road-walk Leaders: Ian, Ken
Winter conditions decreed a firmer road walk in place of the anticipated soggy ground we would have encountered at the Flagstaff big rock. So it was Horsehoof Station for a look at the fast disappearing snow conditions.
click to enlarge

Drift snow remains. Ken

Seven of us set off from our cars parked down at the shearing shed and walked steeply up in the general Maungatua direction. It was a good walk in the fresh air with general sunny conditions turning to threatening clouds later. The breeze was fresh but sheltering in the lee of a gully made for a comfortable morning tea.

Lunch was on the sheltered side of the repeater station,

Emma and Glenys approaching the Microwave. George ahead.

reached by cutting across a couple of wet gullies swollen with fresh snow runoff.

The return. Bill, Pat, Emma
A shorter day but the sun was out most of the time and the views and company were good. – Ian

The return. Bill, Glenys, Emma.

12. 18/6/2003 Horsehoof Station walk. Leaders: Shirley M, Bill & Pat.
1

Lex, Doug J, Arthur, Doug M

2

Snow on NE Maungatuas

11. 16/2/2005. Both. Maungatua with Summit option. Leaders:  Val and Brian, Arthur  and Barbara.
10. 18/9/2002. Microwave – Maungatua Summit. Medium. Leaders: Ria L, Barbara and Arthur.
9. 21/11/2001. Maungatuas Summit from Microwave. Medium. Leaders: Les W, Mary M, Shirley R.
8. 27/6/2001 Leaders: Claude, Bill, Pat
7. 8/12/1999. Maungatua, Microwave. Leaders: George, Hazel, Graham.
6. 18/8/1999. Microwave to Maungatuas. Leaders: George, Doug M, Hazel.
5. 3/12/1997. Microwave to Maungatua Summit. Leaders: Bob H, Judy C, Sabina.
4. 18/9/1996. Maungatua Trip, Micro Stn, Loop and return. Average+. Leaders: George, Ian, Nelson.
3. 6/12/1995. Microwave to Maungatua Summit. Medium. Leaders: Bob H, Jean, Ria H, Jack R
2. 26/8/1992 Leaders: George, Les W, Peggy A, Peggy M
1. 10/2/1989 Leaders: Graham, Shirley, Wendy

No responses yet

Apr 19 2017

Kempshall Road, Maungatua

Published by under Trampers,Year round

19/4/2017. Trampers. Meander the Maungatuas via Kempshall Road. M. Margreet and Neil.

As we drove through Outram heading for our ‘Maungatua Meander’; the rain bearing cold front forecast for lunch-time, arrived 3 hours early! Nevertheless 5 hardy gentlemen and 6 ‘complaining’ ladies set out on the steep 78 minute climb to the top boundary of this private property! We passed ‘Climbing Rock’ and inspected the outdoor adventure course where a tiered viewing platform made a handy stop for morning tea, sheltered from the wind and rain.

 

Morning Tea. (Margreet pic and caption.)

 

Confidence course. (Margreet pic and caption.)

Jill on the helipad. (Margreet pic and caption.)

Plodding (and puffing) upwards past ‘Falcon Rock’, the top junction was soon reached, but the awesome scenic vistas promised by the leaders, were less than spectacular!

Heading South we followed the farm track passing through gullies of beautiful native Beech forest, and ridges of productive pasture. Destructive wild pigs had been busy in many places. The weather dictated an early descent for lunch beside a waterfall in the sheltering beech forest.

 

Lunch. (Helen pic.)

A side-trek to visit the landowner’s beautiful ‘Bunker’ completed the meander, during which we covered 8.5 KM and climbed to 1900 ft.

We enjoyed a debrief at the Wobbly Goat Café before heading home. -Margreet and Neil

28/1/2009 Kempshall Road, Maungatua Leader: George
(Off Maungatua Road, beyond Grainger Road.) Permission.

Small waterfall. Doug, George. (Hazel pic)

Small waterfall, small pool, big rock. Doug, George. (Hazel pic)

Twin rocks. Taieri Plain from Kempshall Rd Track. George, Glenice, Doug (Hazel pic)

Twin rocks. Taieri Plain from Kempshall Rd Track. George, Glenice, Doug (Hazel pic)

Back at the cars

Back at the cars. Glenice, Doug.  (Hazel pic)

No responses yet

Apr 19 2017

Jim Freeman downhill

Published by under Trampers

Distance from car-park: 16 km.

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

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

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

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

(Judy pic.)

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

(Judy pic)

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

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

No responses yet

Next »