May 02 2018

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

Published by under Trampers,Year round

Read “Taieri River Geology” for some background information.
“Legends of the Lower Taieri” includes a section about John Bull if you persist in reading down far enough.

Wardells’ White House 25 km from car park.

13. 2/5/2018. Both. Millennium Track. Leader: Eleanor.

Trampers: Millennium/John Bull Tracks. M.

38 fit looking Trampers/Hikers and Ramblers  assembled at the car park for the combined tramp along to John Bull Gully and Taieri Mouth.  The day was calm and mild (after a lot of rain over the weekend).  On arrival at the White House at roads end, quite a lot of jostling of cars was necessary for the drivers to find a spot to park.

All of us set off along the very brown looking river bank for a short walk into the Picnic spot

Morning smoko. (Gordon pic and caption.)

where we had smoko.  The 25 Hikers were going onto John Bull Gully and the 13 Trampers were heading to Taieri Mouth and back.

We set off at 10:15 am  and after a short climb, the track levelled and wound along the bush covered banks of the river.  We then crossed a small spur which is where the 2 tracks meet.  After climbing into a gully with large tree ferns, the track emerged at the high point, with a welcome seat

½ way. (Gordon pic and caption.)

and good views.

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

2 of our party were quite happy to sit and chat, so enjoyed the sun waiting 2 hours for our return.  Along the next section the native bush is slowly overtaking the gorse.  Another climb around Governors Point, where we got great views up and down the gorge.  By now it is downhill to the board walk across Muddy Gully, then finally the welcome sight of the bridge …

Nearly there. (Phil pic and caption.)

… and cribs come into view.

An enjoyable lunch and catchup was had at the picnic tables.

Cafe Taieri Mouth. (Phil pic and caption.)

A Kingfisher was spotted on the power lines near Jay’s crib.

Half an hour later we headed off back the way we came.   Was surprising the track was so dry, considering recent rain.  Quite a lot of bird song heard, also, a little Robin was spotted.

We walked 18.6 km’s.  Similar times of 2 1/4 hours each way.  Was a first for some trampers to do the return trip.  Followed by a very welcome hot drink at Wal’s @ 4pm by a few of us.  Ending a great tramp with great company. – Eleanore

Hikers. Millennium Track. E. Sub-Group Leaders: Bob, Ian.

Route map, courtesy Ian.

Supplementary Report. From the Picnic Spot, 22 Hikers, leaving 3 Ramblers behind to plan their own trip, eventually stirred themselves to trace the Trampers’ steps up to the regular winding-down-in (to gullies) and up-out (around ridges) Millennium Track to John Bull Gully

Ian explains about the old track out of John Bull Gully. (Clive pic and caption.)

– for an early lunch there, overflowing the two  eight-seater picnic tables in the process.

Shortly after our arrival, an informal small sub-group from among the Otago Tramping and Mountaineering Club, whom we had earlier met at the car park arrived, full of praise for our website which they regularly used for excursion ideas. They found their own spot seated among some obliging rocks.

The sun shone, the slight wind dropped, we leisured,

We leisured. (Ian pic and caption.)

and eventually stirred, to make our way back to the car park, there to find the Ramblers happily sunning themselves by the river.

We can echo the Trampers’ report on the state of the track. How surprisingly dry it was {mostly} and how wide and well kept too. A pity the occasional thoughtfully placed resting seat along its way has been denied its  river view by the relentlessly growing native bush.

A pleasant fulfilling walk topped off …

Relaxing coffee chat. (Ian pic and caption.)

… with a relaxing coffee chat. – Ian.

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

Galloway Road tracks map. (Map courtesy Arthur.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GPS

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

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

Neil enjoying his cuppa at lunchtime.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cuppa on Millennium. Doug, Lex, George, Bill

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

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

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

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

Snow thicker here. Doug.

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

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

Going down farm ridge.

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

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

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

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