Nov 30 2016

Ship at Anchor, Lammermoors, Deep Stream, Gold tailings, Mahinerangi

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

Lake Mahinerangi. From Eldorado Track, Cox’s Reef, Cosmopolitan battery, Timber Gully Waterfalls, old gold workings. (data lacking)
No. 8 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Ship & Anchor. Lake Mahinerangi. George. Year round.”
No. 3 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Eldorado Track. (Waipori.) Year Round.”
50 km from car-park. ( 54 km with Eldorado Track. Locked gates. Key from DCC Water Dept.)
Long tramp. Tussock now heavy. Summer too hot? Autumn may be preferable.

12. 30/11/2016. Trampers. Ship at Anchor. H. Leader: Arthur.

At the 3rd attempt, we finally did it! Today 7 trampers climbed up to the “Ship”, and then completed the circuit we had planned.

Southwest winds were forecast, so were expected, but it was a COLD WIND – there was obviously quite a wind chill factor in force!

Over an hour’s journey took us up past the Mahingerangi  wind farm and into the “Black Rock Scientific Reserve”. We followed the “Eldorado Track” until we were on the hilltop just above the weir on Deep Stream. This was our day’s starting point, one car being taken back downhill for the end of day car shuttle.

It was a 10 minute walk down to the weir and tunnel inlet, but there was no shelter there from the cold wind, making morning tea a very brief affair.

But we had the privilege of watching two N.Z. falcons chasing away a pair of Harrier Hawks. They must have had a nest to protect. Their flight manoeuvres were superb.

The next stage of our tramp was the most difficult – up, along, down to cross a rather difficult side stream, then up and up. After three quarters of an hour we were up on the open slope, much easier apart from the trackless tussock. We travelled in single file.

Further up, the leader came on our track made last February, following it for quite a distance. We passed the locality of our helicopter visitation of last time; and continuing on up slope a further 1 km we came to the “Ship at Anchor”.

Water around Ship at Anchor. (Helen pic and caption.)

Water around Ship at Anchor. (Helen pic and caption.)

All of us climbed up on top, well 6 did anyway, for a photo opportunity.

Group getting blown around on the top of Ship at Anchor Arthur Bruce Neil M Neil S Theresa and Jennifer. (Helen pic and caption.)

Group getting blown around on the top of Ship at Anchor Arthur Bruce Neil M Neil S Theresa and Jennifer. (Helen pic and caption.)

The wind was strong and cold on top. We didn’t linger.

Down in the shelter of the “Ship” we had our lunch.

Hunkering down for lunch. (Helen pic and caption.)

Hunkering down for lunch. (Helen pic and caption.)

We noticed a large, dirty rain shower over towards Mauntagua, missing us. But the weather had changed, with a light shower of tiny hail (about 1 mm in diameter) for us. Even a few snowflakes were seen! What a contrast to the terrific heat we had to contend with there last summer.

Weighing anchor(?), we turned downhill for the next 3 km. The going was far easier now, the tussock quite small here, and out of the worst of the wind. Only the last few hundred metres down to the Chinese Gold Diggings were difficult, becoming steep and rough going. We took our time but a few knees were complaining.

We crossed Deep Stream safely, although it took time, with most keeping dry feet.

Crossing last lot of water. (Helen pic and caption.)

Crossing last lot of water. (Helen pic and caption.)

After a brief spell at the Gold Diggings, we were onto the last leg of the tramp – uphill on the 4WD track. Light skiffy rain showers had appeared by now, remaining till we had finished.
The two car drivers forged ahead now, and once back, collected the far away car to meet the group at the road.

One or two thoughts to finish with:-

  • The car shuttle worked very well.
  • In the cold conditions experienced, the tramp didn’t need to be any longer.
  • Coats (and more) had to be worn all day in the cold, but we were warm while moving.
  • Distance for the can can only be estimated at 12 km (no modern wonder to tell us).

Back to Outram for the day’s finale, as Judy D (not out today) had invited us in for a warm up at her log fire, and a hot drink. And choccy bikkies as a real treat, too.

Thanks, Judy – you are a real GEM. It had been a satisfying day’s tramp. – Art.

11. 3/2/2016. Both. Ship at Anchor attempt and Gold Tailings. Leaders: Arthur, Ian and Bob.

Trampers’ Report. Leader: Arthur.

Ship at Anchor Tramp – 3/2/16.
8 trampers (including 2 guests) travelled in convoy with the hiking group who were going to the Chinese diggings.
The cars’ access was up Eldorado road/track, and passing the Maninerangi Wind Farm, in to the Black Rock Scientific Reserve.
We walked for 10 minutes before stopping for morning tea by the water tunnel outlet.

Trampers Morning Tea. (Heb pic)

10.30 a.m. Trampers Morning Tea. (Heb pic)

As part o the Mahinerangi Hydro Complex, a tunnel was built through the hill to divert some water from Deep Stream to end up in Lake Mahinerangi. This was completed in 1984.
We then followed the road (Eldorado Track?) up over the hill and down to where it ends at the weir and tunnel inlet end, on Deep Stream.
After a brief stop we then crossed the bridge and tackled the difficult hillside leading up onto the open tussock slope which leads up to the Ship at Anchor.
We stopped for lunch at 12.45 before continuing up the trackless tussock slope. One of our lady guests was feeling the heat (it was hot out in the sun by then) and at 2pm was in severe distress.
An immediate 111 call was made, and once the police had pinpointed our exact position, the rescue helicoper soon arrived …

Helicopter rescue. (Heb pic)

About 2.50 p.m.Trampers’ helicopter rescue. (Heb pic)

…and transported her to hospital. Happily she soon recovered and went home that night.
The 7 remaining trampers then returned down hill back to the weir – too far behind time to continue.
After a 15 minute rest at the weir, the car drivers took a pleasant little stroll over the hill to bring the cars over to collect the rest of the group who had remained at the weir. All then returned safely to Mosgiel.
Thank you to our 2 nurses, Jill and Margreet, who rendered first aid, and thanks also to the whole group for the care and understanding shown by all.
And finally a very big thank you to the N.Z. Police. Also to the Otago Regional Rescue Helicopter and its Crew.

A final reflection. A motto for our club to adopt?:


– Arthur.

Tramper's stop

Map of the 2 treks, including the Trampers’  ‘happening’. Circled X marks helicopter pickup. The ‘x’ below it marks the lunch-stop, showing how slow progress had been.

Hikers’ Report. Leaders: Ian and Bob.

We hikers were 13 in three vehicles and were parked beside the trampers’ other two. The trampers set off immediately but our much shorter prospective journey allowed us a leisurely morning tea on a bank overlooking the cars.

Hikers Morning Tea

Hikers Morning Tea. (Helen pic)

Then it was down the “Track” only a short way, then a sharp right turn up a steep rise to an T-junction where we regrouped. From there we set off in a strung-out line along the 4-5 km 4WD track through the tussock down to the diggings down the Deep Stream. We arrived there early, but what the heck. It’s hot. Sit down and enjoy a rest and an early lunch.

Hikers, Lunch, Diggings, Panorama

11.30 a.m. Hikers, Lunch, Diggings, Panorama.

This reporter was surprised few took the opportunity to do much exploration of the diggings.

Drainage channels at north end of diggings

Drainage channels at north end of diggings

We had arrived. It was hot. Trek accomplished. Eventually some started going back. Groups of 2 and 3 left to return up along the track we had earlier come down. No trouble about this. The 4WD track was clear. The route would be uphill this time. The heat was increasing. There need be no rush. So we strung out and Bob made his way to the front with Ian grateful to be at the back with the the last two slow ones. In fact so slow were we, that after Bob and the others had got back to the cars Bob still had time to return in his big 4WD before we had even reached the T-junction, and made light work of transporting us the rest of the way. Although all the others had of course accomplished the full distance, it must be said that there were not a few cases of light-headedness. Frequent drinks of water and good sun protection were certainly essential. There was no shade.

We were back at the cars – when? – about 2 p.m. Now for the area’s other highlights. But by car this time! We took the route the trampers had taken earlier, steeply up over the hill, visiting in turn the Water Tunnel Outlet …

Water tunnel exit

Hikers at the far end of the Water tunnel exit. (Photo taken from beside the T.K.S. Sidey bronze plaque affixed above the tunnel’s exit.)

… and its inlet over the hill at the Weir. (We didn’t know it at the time, but had we looked back as were were driving back up the hill from the weir we might have caught sight of the trampers coming back from their aborted expedition. They saw our cars! And we hadn’t even noticed that big black helicopter! So close were our two groups! So distant! And of course the area is not cellphone territory.)

For us,  it was simply back over the hill, blissfully unaware (and unable to know) of the critical state the trampers were in. Out through the Black Rock Scientific Reserve, through the two locked gates, and translocating from the 4WD Eldorado Track to the upgraded Trust-Power Mahinerangi Wind Farm’s Eldorado Road. (How ‘tracks’ can change over the Club’s history!) A wind turbine blade repair job alongside the ‘road’ dwarfed the technicians in their tiny cage. (Click a second time to enlarge the photo.)

Wind turbine blade getting attention

Wind turbine blade getting attention.

We returned this time via the Lee Flat Road for a change. We were now on tar seal, and arriving at Outram made us feel we had returned to civilisation.

Hikers. Coffee at Outram

Hikers. Coffee at Outram. (Helen pic)

What a day to mark in the Club’s history! Well, all’s well that ends well. Sooner for us, and – well – eventually for the trampers. (There’s too many ‘wells’ in there somewhere) – Ian.

10. 25/2/2015. Trampers. Gold Tailings attempt.
The 4 of us set off to do the Ship at Anchor. When we got to the outlet tunnel at Barbours Creek with the rain and cold wind we decided to go back to the sign to the mining village. We set off up the track to the second sign, the same as down at the road. No clear indication on which way to go. We went down a FWD track, thinking this was the way but after a while I stopped and said this was not heading the right way, so we returned to the car with the wind and rain in our faces. The four of us decided to have lunch at Waipori Falls picnic area. Within five minutes it started to rain again so we headed into the car heading for home. We ended up eating our lunch when we got home. – Heb.
9. 12/12/2012. Trampers. Ship at Anchor. Deep Creek. Gold Tailings.

Tea break before climbing road to top of rise.

View from top of rise down to foot bridge across stream.


George, Eric and Heb on top of Ship at anchor.

Enforced slide down steep slope. George has made it, Judy at foot of slide, Ian making a cautious start. NB: tussock  thick now.

Down at diggings.

Stone ruins. (Ken pic)

8. 2/3/2005. Trampers. Ship at Anchor. Lammermoors, Deep Creek, Gold Tailings. Leaders: George, Arthur H
Ship at Anchor. Sth Face.

Ship at Anchor. Sth Face.


DCC Works. Bridge. Pat, Hazel, Arthur, George

DCC Works. Bridge. Pat, Hazel, Arthur, George

Ship at Anchor. Bob H. Who?

Ship at Anchor. Bob H. Who?

Lunch. Arthur

Lunch. Arthur

Stream crossing by old diggings. Dorothy? George, Doug J? Bill, Arthur, Pat

Stream crossing by old diggings. Dorothy? George, Doug J? Bill, Arthur, Pat

7. 12/11/2003. Trampers. Ship at Anchor, Lammermoors, Deep Creek. Medium+. Leaders: George, Arthur H
6. 31/3/1999 Ship at Anchor – Mahinerangi. Leaders: George, Lex, Graham
5. 2/1995 Leaders: Eric, George, Doug M
4. 23/2/94. Ship at Anchor. Medium+. Leaders: Ria L, Eric B, George, Doug M. Easier alternative: Leaders: Ria H, Jean A.
3. 13/11/91. Ship and Anchor on the Lammermoors. Harder. There will be an alternative route if you run out of ‘puff’. Leaders: George, Bob & Audrey, Dave & Jean

2. 27/9/89 Ship at Anchor, Lake Mahinerangi. Harder grade tramp. Leaders: Hugh & Judith, Dave & Jean, Ria L

“On “The Ship at Anchor”, Lammermoors. Taieri Tramping Clubb. Barbara McCabe, Bob Heenan, Peg Chisholm, Ria & Keis de Jong, Eric & Dorothy Bennett, Mary Jerry, Marie French, Ria Lippers.” (Ian pic, scanned from Peg Chisholm photo collection.)

1. 1/3/1989 Eldorado Track. Interesting country – old Waipori cemetery. Leaders: Ria L, Bob H, Molly


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