Archive for the 'Trampers' Category

May 29 2019

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.
29/5/2019. Horsehoof, – Maungatua. M. Arthur.
21. 27/2/2019. Maungatua. M. Leader: Gordon.
A Fairy Tale.

Once upon a time 12 happy trampers set out to climb the big mountain of Maungatua. They wanted to get to the top, and were very determined.

But the nasty rain came just as they set out, and the cold wind joined in to make things unpleasant for the 12 happy trampers.

The cloud came down too, to hide the top of the mountain, but that was no deterrent either. Jackets and gloves kept them warm.

Uphill they went, on the good 4WD track, into the cloud and with the wind and rain attacking them.

In time they were high up on the mountain, and stopped to have their morning tea in the slight shelter of a little hut, beside some aerials.

After a brief stop to enjoy their hot cups, discretion was decided upon, and the 12 happy (still) trampers returned back down the mountain to their cars.

But the 12 happy trampers had had a good morning’s exercise, covering more than 6 km and the rain and wind had given a good test to the weatherproofness of their clothing.

Feeling a bit wet and cold, the 12 happy trampers drove back to Mosgiel, returning safely to their homes.

And they all lived happily ever after! – Art.

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

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May 01 2019

Macandrew Bay, Company Bay, McTaggart St, Camp Rd, Pukehiki, Greenacres St

Published by under Lambing Sep-Nov,Trampers

Distance from car-park: 24 Km.

MacTaggart St track closed for lambing September and October.

4. 1/5/2019. Both. Macandrew Bay, McTaggart Street, Lanarchs Castle. Leaders: Jill and Noi.

A most perfect day greeted 47 eager members at the carpark from where we ventured down to Macandrew Bay carpark, on the Otago harbour.
The harbour was mirror like …

H.1 Dunedin. Blue above and belowc

Dunedin. Blue above and below. (Helen pic and caption.)

… and the surrounding countryside pristine so what a great start on our Peninsula experience.
We walked from Mac bay to Company Bay around the designated harbour walkway to the Yellow eyed penguin plant nursery at the start of the McTaggart track.

Here we were greeted by Louise the supervisor of the nursery.

H.2 At native nurseryc

At native nursery. (Helen pic and caption.)

She spoke to us on the process of collecting the seeds locally to the germination, to seedling growth and then the seedlings 2 years later being transported to various locations where there are protected penguin colonies. Most are on our Peninsula, the Catlins and north of Dunedin at Bushy beach. These are native plantings to provide shelter to try to help protect our falling numbers of penguins. Some penguins also suffer from avian malaria which is incurable.

K.2.Morning Teac

Morning Tea at the nursery. (Kevin pic and caption.)

After morning tea we proceeded up to the McTaggart track and across marked farmland. From here the group split and 7 decided to proceed down to Broad Bay and walk back to the parked cars while the rest of the group climbed several steep stretches and across more farmlands towards Larnach Castle.

 

H.3ac

Views. (Helen pic and caption.)

The day was very hot so members were advised to set their own pace and we became quite a spread out group but Noi our tail end member quietly encouraged them onwards and upwards.
Delta employees were tidying up trees on Camp Rd behind Larnach Castle so we continued to walk to the blue stone accomodation to have lunch where we sat on the slope in front

K.8c

(Kevin pic.)

and had the most spectacular views up and down the harbour and still no wind. Further along the road we passed the Pukehiki church over 150 years old some members walked around the grounds. Along Highcliff Rd further to the Greenacres track which was down all the way to Mac Bay again passing through bush  areas with some birdsong and views of the harbour.
Options were either ice creams at Mac Bay or coffee at Nichols.
It was approx a 10 k walk.
I just want to put out a reminder.
Before any tramp summer or winter always have a good breakfast,
carry water and sip frequently to keep hydrated,
wear a hat and
have a substantial lunch to give you the fuel to provide the energy to keep going.
Jill and Noi.

3. 29/8/2012. Trampers. Macandrew Bay, Company Bay, MacTaggart St, Camp Rd, Pukehiki, Greenacres St.

GPS of route, courtesy Ken.
2hrs 18min moving time
4.0 moving ave.
343mtrs total ascent

Calm harbour view from McTaggart St track.

 

Tanker viewed from top of Camp Rd track

2. 30/1/2008 Trampers. Macandrew Bay, Company Bay, MacTaggart St, Camp Rd, Pukehiki, Greenacres St. Leader: Bruce

Climb start. Tash, Glenice, Lex, Emma, Peter, Bruce, Pat, Keith

Climb start. Tash, Glenice, Lex, Emma, Peter, Bruce, Pat, Keith

Under cloudy skies, an aggregation of agile adventurers (at least in spirit), set forth, at 9.45 am, from Macandrew Bay on the harbourside road to Company Bay. A viking-like double hulled vessel with Chinese inspired dragon heads on the prows and supporting a Jolly Roger flag reminded us not to be too serious. After passing some harbour reclamation where gravel had been dumped on a grey matting we turned up MacTaggart Street and passed the plant nursery for the Yellow Eyed Penguin Trust.

080130Sabina52

Still climbing. Glenice, Sabina.

We feasted on views down the harbour during a morning tea break on a bank under pine trees before venturing on to a grassy track in a secluded dell.

Keith, Lex, Sabina, Pat, Wendy, Bruce, Peter

Admiring view. Identifiable: Keith, Lex, Sabina, Pat, Wendy, Bruce, Peter

We emerged past a Peasgood Nonsuch cooking apple tree in a rejuvenated orchard before joining Camp Road leading up the hill from Turnbull’s Bay. We sweltered under the sun. We admired the view of Harbour Cone and some of the land the Council has purchased between it and Peggys Hill and searched for the remnants of native bush that will be preserved as habitat for jeweled geckos and red admiral butterflies. We applauded, at least in part, Peter and Ian having written to the DCC supporting the appeal for the purchase. Entering a wooded glade on camp road we were struck by the multiple stranded barb wire fence guarding the property of Larnach’s Castle from those unwilling to pay the $10 admission fee to the grounds. We ate our lunches near the entrance and watched vehicles queueing up to enter. Appreciating a cooling breeze, we admired the new Bluestone House on Camp Road, with imposing gates, built in the University of Otago building style with volcanic basalt faced with Oamaru Stone. After contrasting it with the timber piles for the historic Pukehiki Church and checking on the books at the Portobello Library next door to it (and not quite at Portobello), we descended down the Greenacres Street track noting the entrance is not sign posted and appears to come off a private driveway. It was nice to walk on the secluded tree-lined flatter portions on the track but the steeper portions were hard on some knees. Seventeen tired trampers then gathered in the Greenacres Street cemetery around the grave of James Macandrew, four of whose nine children are remembered in Marion, Jane and Featherstone Streets and at Colinswood, before arriving back at our vehicles at 1.55 pm. One idea that emerged on the walk was that rather than covering up the historic stone wall lining the harbour road, built by Maori prisoners from Taranaki, to provide space for walkers and cyclists a board walk might be built by driving tanalized piles into the water alongside the road as in a Marina. It would be something unique but the expense and maintenance might be a problem. If the Boulder Beach tramp for next year can be scheduled for late February when the beach is not closed for penguin protection we may try a round trip starting at the top of Buskin Road, proceeding along Highcliff Road and down Paradise Road, visiting the beach and then returning up Buskin Road. – Bruce

1. 8/10/1997. Broad Bay, Larnach Castle area via Camp Road. Leaders: Chris, Ngaire and Doug.

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Apr 24 2019

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”
13. 24/4/2019. Trampers. Chalkies Circuit. Leader: Keith.
12 keen trampers arrived at the Chalkies circuit entrance on Silverstream/Whare flat road ready for a good walk.
The start of the track was pleasant through native trees.
G.1st photo-- The weir that supplied water for Mosgiel in the pastc

The weir that supplied water for Mosgiel in the past. (Gordon pic and caption.)

 We soon came to a cliff face with a rope hanging down for support. It looked a bit challenging!!
G.2nd-- Waiting @ climbing the cliff face with the aid of a ropec

Waiting @ climbing the cliff face with the aid of a rope. (Gordon pic and caption.)

Everyone climbed it safely even though the knots in the rope could have been closer together. Morning tea was had on a flat piece of track above the steeper part.
G.3rd-- A deserved break @ top upc

A deserved break @ top up. (Gordon pic and caption.)

We then continued onwards and upwards through manuka/kanuka trees. It was good to see a lot of young totaras growing which in many years ahead may be the dominant canopy. The trig was reached by 11.10 – we had a good look around but cloud on the top spoiled the best views. We walked down to the limestone cliffs for lunch. Big rocks had fallen and destroyed the cave. However they made a great resting place for lunch.
G.7th-- Lunch break @ the Chalkiesc

Lunch break @ the Chalkies. (Gordon pic and caption.)

It was a steady and pleasant walk down the track, joining up with a drive that finally that lead us back to Whare flat road and the cars.
G.8th-- Autum colours heading back to carsc

Autumn colours heading back to cars. (Gordon pic and caption.)

Coffee was had at Blend with the knowledge that we had completed a significant and pleasant climb of around 460 metres.
Dave
12. 21/6/2017. Trampers. Chalkies Circuit. Leader: Arthur.
A good frost began the day, which was also the shortest day of the year.
13 Trampers turned up at the car park, from where we travelled in 4 cars up “Silver-Stream Valley” road to park near the beginning of what used to be called “Leishmans Track”. DoC have renamed it as “Chalkies Circuit Track”, with no mention of “Leishmans” any more.
The track was very wet and muddy to begin with, drops of water were falling from the tree canopy – presumably from the thawing frost.

We soon came to the old pump house…

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

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

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

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

Margreet pic.

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

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

Chalky rock. (Keith pic and caption.)

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

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

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

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

Lunch stop (Ken pic and caption)

Lunch

Lunch (Ken pic and caption)

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

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

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

Lunch at Chalkies Ledge (Ken pic and caption)

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

Morning tea on the only plateau on Leishman track.

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Apr 17 2019

Michelles Farm, North Side Taieri River, Outram

Published by under Farm,Trampers

No. 87 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Michelle’s Farm Outram Farm”

11 km from car park.

Park under Outram Bridge. Contacts: Seek 3 permissions
Proceed east side of Taieri River along gravel road to gravel pit.  Bear right uphill to power lines. Follow generally along grass farm tracks to top of hill.
Landmarks: Trig marker on right; also obvious paper road between two fence lines; Long barn on right (good for lunch stop); large wool shed on top of hill straight ahead (this is still on Hyslop’s property.
Straight on access is to Taioma Road but we don’t usually go that far!
Plenty of mushrooms in April – take a bag!
`11. 7/4/2019. Trampers. Nicols Farm. M. Leader: Gordon.
It was a cool start at the car park as we foregathered, but a typical beautiful autumnal day with lots of sunshine followed. Perfect for 15 Trampers to go and enjoy the outdoors.
Parking under the Outram Bridge wa a surprise for some, although a spot well known to our Outram members – from their younger days apparently.
Walking upstream beside the Taieri River through the willows we were welcomed by a great chorus of Bellbirds – wonderful. They were enjoying the day too.
It was an easy grade as we climbed various bulldozed tracks through the Manuka.
G.2nd-- Long slog to topc

Long slog to top. (Gordon pic and caption.)

Morning tea was taken before we emerged onto a turnip paddock.
Still climbing gently on paddock and road we reached Trig I (360 metres). From this vantage point we had a superb view out over the Taieri Plain to enjoy.
G.4th -- Pointing out points of interestc

Pointing out points of interest. (Gordon pic and caption.)

A short back track and then it was downhill on a farm road in the direction of S.H.87. Nearing the bottom we turned aside, and climbing a barbwire fence (the leader having thoughtfully fitted a pipe safety guard) …

 

G.5th -- The first fence obstaclec

The first fence obstacle. (Gordon pic and caption.)

 

G.6th -- Heading down into Walmsley’s farm gullyc

Heading down into Walmsley’s farm gully. (Gordon pic and caption.)

… found ourselves in a rough gorsey block.

Emerging once more onto open farmland it was time for a leisurely lunch in the sun, and still with a view to enjoy.

Afterwards we negotiated a paddock or two before entering an exotic forest to climb back up somewhat. In time we retained the turnip field to eventually finish the last leg back on our outward track.

Back to the cars at 2pm after walking over 13 km was good going.

To Outram where some visited the ice cream shop, others to the Hairy Goat – where all eventually congregated. And no one was in a hurry to go home. A day that was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

This report comes to you on behalf of Gordon (leader). – Art.

10. 18/11/2009. Trampers. Outram Bridge. Michelles Farm. Leaders: George, Hazel.
Traversing gut between gravel and bank. Marie from Toronto, Lex, Bill, Ria, Hazel

Traversing gut between gravel and bank. Marie from Toronto, Lex, Bill, Ria, Hazel

Morning tea in shelter.

Morning tea in shelter of gorse. Ria, George, Glenis, Keith, Ken

Pylon

Power pylon study

Paddocks

Paddock patterns

stile

Stile for quad bike?

Taieri

Taieri river scene

9. 16/11/2005. Hikers. Outram Bridge, Michelles Farm. Leaders: Margaret D, Peter B
8. 27/3/2002 Alt. Michelles Farm. Easy. Leaders: Jack & Rosemary, Peg C
7. 22/11/2000. Michelles Farm. Leaders: Ray and Diana, Les W.
6. 22/3/2000. Michelles Farm, Outram. Leaders: Ray and Diana, Les W.
5. 28/4/1999. Michelles Farm. North side Taieri River – Outram. Leaders: Diana and Ray, Les W.
4. 30/4/1997. Outram East Side of RIver. Park under bridge. Leaders; Diana and Ray, Les W.
3. 14/8/1996. Taieri River Walk – North Side. Park east side under bridge. Average. Leaders: Colleen, Evelyn M, Peg C.
2. 17/7/1996. Taieri River Gorge. Park east side under bridge. Average. (Alternative to Horseshoe Ridge.) Leaders: Molly, Diana and Ray.
1. 28/4/1989 Ray, Les W

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Apr 10 2019

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

Published by under Trampers

Est. distance from carpark: 45 km.
16. 10/4/2019. Trampers. Lawsons Farm. Leaders: Margreet and Neil

Despite a forecast for heavy rain at lunchtime, a large contingent of 17 trampers set out on our hike on Lawson’s Farm in balmy and ideal conditions.

We left the Mosgiel carpark at 0900 and reached the main gate of the farm at around 45 mins later. After a morning tea break on a grassy knoll;…

H.1.Morning tea viewc

Morning tea view. (Helen pic and caption.)

P.1. Do we have to get you down and up there?c

Do we have to get you down and up there? (Phil pic and caption.)

…we descended rapidly on a farm track to Mary’s Creek which burbles through an area of native bush.

G.5th-- Neil explaining the name “Mary,s Creek”c

Neil explaining the name “Mary,s Creek”. (Gordon pic and caption.)

On the descent we passed the only other trekkers we encountered – 5 horses and 3 foals! 

On the valley floor we meandered round past ancient gold workings and the remains of a stone dwelling. Then it was a series of stiff climbs and descents on reasonably good footing up to a ridge not far from the woolshed.

G.6th-- Looking back down to the streamc

Looking back down to the stream. Gordon pic and caption.)

Suddenly a stiff sou’wester wind set in, pregnant with rain, and the temperature dropped markedly. 

On a sheltered hillside we ate our lunch.

G.8th-- Lunch in the tussocks

Lunch in the tussocks. (Gordon pic and caption.)

Incredibly, the conversation revolved around the merits of courtship in an HQ Holden with column change and bench seat; compared to a Morris Mini with bucket seats and ‘four on the floor’! I kid you not!

After lunch we decided to shorten the tramp and were back at our cars by 1300. Total distance was 8 km but everyone really enjoyed the hike and found it challenging enough.

Coffee and ‘blankets’ was at Blue Skin Nursery where we met up with the hikers returning from their beach walk at Warrington.  – Neil and Margreet

15. 16/8/2017. Trampers. Lawsons Farm. M. Leaders: Neil and Margreet.

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

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

Morning tea. (Helen pic and caption.)

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

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

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

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

(Margreet pic)

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

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

(Margreet pic)

… as we descended …

(Margreet pic.)

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

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

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

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

Onto the 4WD track through the tussock we travelled

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lunch and view. (Helen pic and caption.)

Lunch and view. (Helen pic and caption.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lawson Lodge. (Margreet pic)

Lawson Lodge. (Margreet pic)

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

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

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

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

Morning tea break. (Ken pic and caption)

Morning tea break. (Ken pic and caption)

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

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

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

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

Valley we walked along. (Ken pic and caption)

Valley we walked along. (Ken pic and caption)

Old hut. (Ken pic and caption)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Getting

Getting organised to have lunch at the ‘Lodge’

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

Lunch at the ‘Lodge’

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frisky friendly horses who were content to muzzle us.

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

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

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

Gully down to Waikouaiti River, South Branch.

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

Wider part of the river valley

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

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

Abandoned 4WD transport. (Ken pic and caption)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lodge on Lawsons Farm

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

Start at cars

Stepping Out

Stepping Out

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

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

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

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Mar 27 2019

Rollinsons, Swampy, Swine Spur

Published by under Trampers

Location: 15 km.
Click Swampy ridge track for background information.
8. 27/3/2019. Bush Tracks. Swampy. Arthur.
13 Trampers did a circuit today, on tracks that have been kept clear in recent years by volunteers from the Club.
The circuit was as follows – up the full length of Swine Spur Track, which took us high up on Swampy, right along the road, down Porkies Track, left on Possum Busters, right onto Smithys Track, and then down Steep Track to Lake Whare, finishing with a short road walk back to the cars.

The day was overcast and cool.

G.1st photo--Heading up Swine Spur trc

Heading up Swine Spur tr. (Gordon pic and caption.)

Morning tea was taken almost at the top of Swine Spur, after the hard climbing was done, …

G.3rd--Moving on after morning teac

Moving on after morning tea. (Gordon pic and caption.)

H.At the top of Swampyc

At the top of Swampy. (Helen pic and caption.)

… and with a good view.

As we started down Porkies

H.Walking down before the rain startedc

Walking down before the rain started. (Helen pic and caption.)

low cloud began coming in from the city side over the ridge and on Flagstaff.

G.4th-- Crossing one of numerous creeks on way homec

Crossing one of numerous creeks on way home. (Gordon pic and caption.)

The day was deteriorating now, and light rain began to fall at 12 noon (the forecasters were spot on).
A little later we stopped to have our lunch, but the tree canopy was leaking on us – and they the sky opened with heavy rain falling.
Quickly packing up we moved, and to save time took the shortest way by going down  Steep Track (well named).
Being in he lead I couldn’t see back, but from the squeals, and other expressions of glee from behind, it was obvious that all were enjoying the descent as they swung from tree to tree!
We were soon down, and then visited Lake Whare, as the rain was mostly past now.
Distance for the day was about 8.5 Km. Back to Mosgiel, where thoughts of a hot shower was much more inviting than stopping for coffee, but it had been a good day out. – Art.

7. 8/11/2017. Trampers. Swine Spur. M. Leader: Dave.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Tricky creek crossings. (Helen pic and caption.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Dave M

6. 12/3/2014. Trampers. Rollinsons Rd, Swine Spur, Swampy Ridge, Rollinsons Rd, Picnic Tables, return to cars.
Swine Spur route.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5. 20/10/2010. Trampers. Rollinsons Road, Possum Busters, Swine Spur, Swampy Ridge, Rollinsons Track, Rollinsons Road. Leaders: Ria, Hazel.

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

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

Snow on track near top of slope of Swine Spur.

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

Sheltering from wind at building at top of Swine Spur.

Then it was along the road to Swampy Summit.

Snow on Swampy Summit

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

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

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

Tarn at heart of Swampy

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

1. 6/7/1889. Frozen Tarn on Swampy.

Frozen Tarn on Swampy. Alison Kerr, Jean Allen, Ria Hakkart, Mary Young, Leis de Yong in foreground. (Ian pic, scanned from Peg Chisholm photo collection.)

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Mar 16 2019

Tramps associated with Saddle Hill, (Makamaka)

[No. 7 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Creamery Rd. Ocean View. C Hughes. Farm. Lambing.”
Not during lambing September to October.
USE STILE AT END OF CREAMERY ROAD.
No. 84 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Taieri View (Blairs) (East Taieri) Farm”
No. 104 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Old Brighton Rd – Clevelands – Saddle Hill (See George Haggie) Farm”]

40. 16/3/2019. Hikers. Saddle Hill. Leaders: Bob and Jenny.

Today was my 1st official time at being “the Tail end Charlie” with fluro jacket.
I’m often at the back but not with a fluro.. there were 21 hikers and our 3 lovely ramblers. I think I got the numbers right???
We met in a paddock in McMasters Road. I presume Bob had permission?
The hike up the Saddle was the one that the Rotary had done as a fundraiser for the Mosgiel Pool. We had morning tea at the entrance to the scrub area,after which we climbed up a stoney track.It was good workout for us all. We came out to a clearing with fabulous views of wonderful coast line. Quite a few minutes were taken to enjoy and then we carried on up to the top for a photo shoot.
Alexc

(Alex photo.)

More panoramic views were taken in before we went down the hill,out of the cool breeze, and had a leisurely lunch looking out over the Taieri. We then wandered down the hill and out onto Saddlehill Road and back to the cars. Coffee was at the Village Green. Thanks Bob. – Jenny.

39. 19/9/2018. Trampers. Saddle Hill circuit. Leader: Eleanor.

On a very warm spring morning 14 trampers set off from Quarry road and walked up Coal Stage and Saddle Hill roads then down McMaster road.  Enjoying a great display of Kowhai in full bloom, also a mix of blossom and animals along the way.  One member recalls riding horses as a girl on a property we passed.

Just the best Kowhai forest around. (Phil pic and caption.)

We enjoyed smoko break overlooking the ocean.  At this point with the sun shining brightly upon us, we decided to do an add on.

Welcome morning tea break after earlier start. (Gordon pic and caption.)

Turning onto Old Brighton road we headed to Fairfield, then crossed over to Flower street walked up the couple of hills crossing a stile into the water tank paddock.  Once again (on both sides of the rather steep stile) with more great views, lunch and chatting was enjoyed.

View of Kaikorai Valley from lunch. (Gordon pic and caption.)

Donkeys on Chain Hill road. (Gordon pic and caption.)

We then walked along Chain Hill road and back down Quarry road to our cars.

View of Mosgiel from overbridge. (Gordon pic and caption.)

Blend was the chosen coffee shop, we enjoyed catching up with 2 members unable to tramp on the day.
We reckon we walked 15 km, give or take a little.
Great to be back out with such an enthusiastic group of friends.
– Cheers Eleanore

(12/2/2017.)

Route map

38. 6/4/2016. Both. A Circumnavigation of Saddle Hill, majoring on the seaward slopes. Leaders: Bob, Doug and Arthur.
The Hikers' easier route. The trampers took the beach.

The Hikers took the bus,  the Trampers, the beach.

Apr 6 Tramp Saddle Hill 2016. ... Distance not counting the bus travel 10.2 km. (Bruce pic and caption)

Apr 6 Tramp Saddle Hill 2016. … Distance not counting the bus travel 10.2 km. (Bruce pic and caption)

Trampers’ Report. Saddle Hill to the Sea. – Arthur.

Being the first Wednesday of the month, this was a combined operation. Together with the Hikers, our group parked beside the wool-shed on Saddle Hill Road, before walking through the “Saddle” and down through farmland on the other side. Special thanks to the landowners for giving us permission to do so. A suitable spot was found at 10 o’clock for morning tea.

The 27 of us at morning tea

All twenty-seven of us at morning tea, part-way down the slope.

The view from our morning tea spot

The view from our morning tea spot.

The two groups then split, with the Trampers forging ahead, as they had further to walk. We had 8 trampers now, and it was noticed that the 2 men were outnumbered by the ladies.

Continuing down through the sheep farm we climbed a style out on to Creamery Road. Going down the road now, we could view several lifestyle blocks with new houses on them. At the bottom of the hill a large contractor’s yard had obviously had much money spent on it.

Contractor's Yard

Contractor’s Yard

We arrived down at the main road to Brighton at Ocean View. After a short walk along the road we were able to gain access to the beach at the car-park (Freedom Campers spot). Good use of the facilities here was made for a comfort stop.

The tide was well out, just beginning to come back in, allowing us to walk on good firm sand for several kilometres. Other people were making use of the beach too – walking, exercising dogs and especially horses.

The Kaikorai Stream was closed to the sea, allowing us to return to the road on the Waldronville side, past the Pistol Shooting Club. The walk along the beach took a neat hour. We found a suitable lunch stop beside the car park at the road.

The Trampers' lunch spot. (Helen pic)

The Trampers’ lunch spot. (Helen pic)

From there we had to walk across the bridge and along the road a short distance. It was a little difficult climbing through a fence back onto farmland – several comments were made at this time about some not being as young as they used to be!

Trampers. A fence scramble. (Helen pic)

Trampers. A fence scramble. (Helen pic)

With the Green Park Cemetery on our left we had a very pleasant uphill walk through the large field, but with one especially steep pinch, before squeezing around the end of a gate and out onto the Old Brighton Road – closed long ago by a large slip.

Along the Old Road and then up McMaster Road a short distance, before taking a short-cut through private property. A donkey brayed a welcome as we passed, and then the lady was gardening at the house.

Coming back onto McMaster Road, we found three of the Hikers talking to the man of the house at his mailbox. The road levelled off, and soon we were back to Saddle Hill Road where we caught up with the Hikers with about a kilometre to go.

There were good views from here of Mosgiel, …

Mosgiel from lookout.

Mosgiel from lookout.

… the Taieri and beyond. In fact we had great views all day on this tramp, and good weather to go with them.

Our combined tramp could not have been more successful, as both groups began and finished the day together.

A big thank-you to Bob for this. Everyone was back to the cars by 2.15 p.m. The Trampers covered a distance of about 14 km (estimated).

***** SAFE TRAMPING IS NO ACCIDENT *****

– Arthur.

Hikers’ Report.

As Arthur has covered most of the day’s main points, this need be only a supplementary one.

Where Creamery Road joins Brighton Road, various options emerged.  Some drifted off: one had a car waiting for her, another walked to her home nearby, others shortened their walk by walking on the seaward side of the road to earlier catch the bus to Brighton and back. The remainder walked towards Brighton and waited at a convenient bus stop to catch the returning bus. The driver put on a mock-stern display, questioning our age entitlement and closely examining our Gold Cards. We had made his day, as we disported ourselves around his empty bus. From the Green Park Cemetery gates we made our way uphill behind the cemetery and were surprised (well, this reporter was) to see the beginnings of an eco-burial site of about twelve plots, aligned alongside a clump of bush, each plot planted with a native plant.

We lunched in a sheltered spot a little further on up the hill.

Hikers at lunch part way up hill.

Hikers at lunch part way up hill.

…. Much further on, as we turned from McMaster Road into Saddle Hill Road,  we were surprised and delighted to find ourselves caught up by the Trampers . The timing couldn’t have been better. Excellent planning, Bob. This has to have turned out the most rewarding “together-Tramp” yet!  – Ian.

37. 23/7/2014 Hikers. Greenpark Cemetery, McMaster Road, Creamery Road, Brighton Road, Beach. return. M. Leaders: Bob, Janice.

Cars parked at the southern entrance to the Green Park Cemetery. The leaders took us directly up through paddock from behind the cemetery, to swing right …
GPS

GPS of round route from Greenpark Cemetery south gate.

… and continue on
Blackhead

View en route. Blackhead (Liz pic)

Green Island

Green Island

Another view en route. Green Island (Liz pic, using zoom lens, no doubt.)
to eventually reach the style at the top of Creamery Road. Down the road to the Brighton Road, north along here to drop of Bruce and Marjorie at the home and on to the Ocean View domain for lunch.

Out onto the beach and a long walk to arrive near the Kaikorai Estaury. Through sand hills, skirt estaury, through horse yards, out onto the Brighton Road, and back along to the cars.
29/9/2010. Trampers. Saddle Hill from Old Brighton Road. Leaders: Keith and Glenis.

GPS Route Map, courtesy Ken.

Eight of us set off over a paddock much hollowed with slumps betraying old coal mine workings, caused probably by wooden props long since rotted, up towards Saddle Hill. (See last pic below.) As we approached the bush ahead of us, we were glad to be able to follow a cleared track that wound up to our left, foregoing the former track we used to take to the right, now heavily infested with gorse. The track further up was well grassed, but just SO boggy and wet, although drier in places. One such place was ideal for an early morning tea.

Morning Tea on log. (Ken pic)

On up through a second property and we crossed McMasters Road into a third property taking us up to the bush around Saddle Hill.

Bush track entrance.

The track through the bush took us round to the seaward side grassy slope and then it was up to another bush entrance for the last push to the top (473m, according to Ken), where there were views galore for our cameras. 11.00 a.m. and far too early for lunch.

Emma (Ken pic)

Saddle Hill trig. (Emma pic)

Mosgiel from Saddle Hill (Ken pic)

View south from Saddle Hill

We made our way down over a very bouldery grass paddock to Saddle Hill road, round into McMasters Road again to reach the place we had ascended, and then it was back down again. We found a most pleasant lunch spot softened by thick pine needles and sheltered in by pines. Then it was down and through the much-slumped paddock back to the cars.

Coal Mine slumps.

36. 27/2/2008. Hikers. Saddle Hill, Taieri Lookout. Medium. Leaders: Dot Bennett, Chris.

35. 25/1/2006. Trampers. Saddle Hill from Stevensons Farm. Medium. Leaders: George, Hazel.

34. 27/4/2005. Both. Creamery Road, Saddle Hill, Watts BushLeaders: Joyce, Hazel, Eleanor W, Eleanor B

33. 14/4/2004. Trampers. Saddle Hill via Creamery Road. Medium. Leaders: Doug J, Molly

Saddle Hill Hotel

32. 19/5/2004. Both. Saddle Hill, Pearsons Farm. Medium. Leaders: Pat, Bill, Betty, Ann
Doug, Bev H, Irene on slope background Kaikorai Estuary

Doug, Bev H, Irene on slope background

Kaikorai Estuary

Similar shot.

Similar shot.

Bob M and others descending seaward side.

Bob M and others descending seaward side.

31. 9/5/2004. Saddle Hill and Jaffray Hill from the overhead bridge. Average. Leaders: Bill & Pat, Betty B, Anne R
Saddle Hill stop. (Bob pic).

Saddle Hill stop. (Bob pic).

30. 5/11/2003 Creamery Road. Leaders: Ocean View Dot B, Chris
29. 5/11/2003. Hikers. Creamery Road. Medium. Leaders: Dot B, Chris.
28. 11/6/2003. Both. Saddle Hill through Pearsons.
Year round. Park overhead bridge. Contacts: Seek permissions. The Grange. Phone for appointment for permission to tramp on this property. “We like to see you face to face.” (Paddock with coal mine entrance and tram line track)
Park cars at motorway overhead bridge. Leaders: George, Hazel, Jack & Rosemary.
hotel

Doug, Catherine. Old hotel

Old Mine entrance. Arthur.

Arthur by hidden mine entrance.

Hi, Shirley. Bob on east side climb.

Hi, Shirley. Bob on east side climb.

old

foundations; tram track gap

tram

Coal Mine old Tram Track

27. 20/11/2002. Hikers. Creamery Road, Ocean View. Easy. Leaders: Dot B, Joan H, Muriel.
26.30/1/2002. Alt. Creamery Road – Watts Bush. Leaders: Dot B, Joan H, Lesley W.
25. 7/2/2001. Creamery Road, Watts Bush. Leaders: Nelso and Dot, Winifred.
24. 7/2/2001. Creamery Road, Watts Bush. Leaders: Nelso and Dot, Winifred.
23. 9/8/2000. Saddle Hill and Jaffray Hill from the overhead bridge. Average. Leaders: George, Hazel, Molly
22. 9/8/2000. Saddle Hill – Walnut Grove. Park Overhead Bridge.Leaders: George, Hazel, Molly.

21. 31/5/2000 Saddle Hill, Law Road, from carpark. Long Tramp. Leaders: Lance & Lois, Betty B

20. 7/2/2000 Creamery Road Finnies, McIntosh (frmly Watts) Bush, return Scroggs Hill, Brighton Road, Beach. Nelson & Dot, Winnifred

19. 8/12/1999. Creamery Road, Watts Bush, Scroggs Hill. Leaders: Dot B, Joan H, Bob H.

18. 25/8/1999. Car Park, Saddle Hill, Law Road. Long tramp. Leaders: Frank and Lesley, Arthur and Barbara.
Return Silverstream to car park. Long tramp. Leaders: Wendy, Evelyn M, Eleanor B, Hartmann
17. 24/3/1999. Creamery Road – Ocean View. Leaders: Doug and Ngaire, W W.
16. 20/5/1998. Creamery Road, Saddle Hill. Leaders: Daphne, Margaret D.
15. 1997 Saddle Hill, Jaffrays Farm, East Taieri Scouts Hall. Leaders: George, Betty B, Wendy
14. 26/11/1997. Saddle Hill, Fulton Hogans, Hills Clevelands etc. 5 hour tramp. Leaders: George, Betty B, Wendy.
13. 13/8/1997. Saddle Hill, Scroggs Hill, Walnut Grove. Leaders: Les W, Frank, Jack M.
12. 2/10/1996. McLeods – Saddle Hill. Average. Meet Ocean View carpark. Leaders: Eric & Dot, Pat
11. 6/9/1995. Creamery Road, Watts Bush, Scroggs Hill. Medium.Leaders: Eric and Dot, Joan H, Chris
10. 16/8/1995. Saddle Hill, Old Brighton Road, Taieri Lookout, Chain Hill, Fairfield. Medium. Meet at Fulton Hogan Yard, Old Brighton Road. Leaders: Rob Q, Nelson & Dot, Molly
9. 24/7/1996. Jaffrays and Saddle Hill from East Taieri Scout Hall. Average.  Leaders: Dot T, Les and Mavis.
8. 15/6/1994. Creamery Road, Saddle Hill, Watts Walk (now Finnies, McIntosh), Scroggs Hill. Leaders: Eric & Dot, Chris, Joan H.
7. 28/7/1993. Start from car park, Saddle Hill to Law Road. Long Tramp. Leaders: Wendy, Evelyn M, Eleanor B, Hartmann
6. 23/6/1993 Creamery Road Finnies, Watts Bush (now McIntosh), return Scroggs Hill. Medium but long. Cars at Ocean View Picnic Ground. Leaders: Eric & Dot, Jack M, Joyce S
5. 20/11/1989. Saddle Hill and Jaffray Hill from the overhead bridge. Average. Leaders: Mavis, Peg A, Margaret S, Daphne
4. 30/3/1988 Saddle Hill and Jaffray Hill. A little bit of history. Meet at Saddle Hill Lookout. Leaders: Daphne, Peg A
3. 18/9/1991 Green Park – Saddle Hill, returning via Hare Street and beach. Splendid coastal views. Cars meet at Green Park Cemetery. Average. George, Eric & Dot,  Les W
2. 20/9/1989 Creamery Road, Ocean View. Average. Meet Ocean View carpark. Leaders: Mary Y, Daphne, Betty B, Margaret D
1. 24/3/1989 Creamery Road, Ocean View. Leaders: Doug M, Eleanor W

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Mar 13 2019

Tunnels Track, Yellow Hut, The Gap, Gap Ridge

Published by under Trampers

Click Silver Peaks Forest for background information on the area.

Accessed from Mountain Road from old forest HQ 6 hr ret, Route, DOC and private land.

(Green Hut access: 41 km from car park.)

7. 13/3/2019. Trampers. Green track/ River Track. Leader: Neil.

Eleven trampers left Bush Road at 8 o’clock keen to get to Green Track arriving at 8:50 am – well worth while having the early start. 200 meters up Green track we turned onto Miners Direct, down past the end of Eucalypt Ridge and down to Waikouaiti South branch about 3/4 hr later. Turned right and went downstream, but missed the crossing place just past the blackberries, where some were busy sampling them. 10 minutes later we were in the creek because of bluffs, so after some discussion it was decided to cross to the true left

H.1.Crossing rriverc

.Crossing river. (Helen pic and caption.)

and bush-bash up-hill

H.2.Bush bashing to the trackc

Bush bashing to the track. (Helen pic and caption.)

till we came to the track, which we did, arriving at 10:25 and so morning tea break was gratefully received by  11 weary trampers.

H.3.Morning tea on the trackc

Morning tea on the track. (Helen pic and caption.)

The object of some trampers was to reach the bottom of Rosella Ridge by lunch time. This was achieved by 7 trampers at 12:30 pm. Four had wisely decided to return to the cars earlier, 2 via Eucalypt Ridge, and 2  visited Possum Hut by mistake before returning to the bottom of Miners Direct.
The track from morning tea to lunch was somewhat harder being more overgrown, less defined and not so easy walking, resulting in several members having trouble remaining upright. Another aspect of this walk that was commented on was the amount of bird life and bird song that was evident.
 The return walk took about 2 1/2 hours, arriving at the cars at  3 :30pm. Two took the new track up from the bottom of Miners Direct to the road and commented on the easier gradient all the way. A real credit to the Green Hut Track Group who did the rerouting.
The result of the earlier start was now evident as we had time for coffee at Waitati before the place closed

.

Overall, a day’s tramping enjoyed by all. – Neil.

6. 21/3/2018. Trampers. Tunnels Track. (Yellow Ridge.) Leader: Arthur.

The rain started as we left Mosgiel, but despite this, it wasn’t cold and the eight trampers were VERY DETERMINED to go tramping.

The cars regrouped at Waitati, and ONWARD was the only option – no one wanted to cancel. So it was up Double Hill Road and Semple Road to Mountain Road. A key allowed us through the locked gate and we drove up to, and parked at, the beginning of the Tunnels Track. The rain continued.

Our plan was now just to do a short tramp. It was very dark in among the trees as we descended the track, some wag asking for the street lights to be switched on!

After twenty minutes we came to the old gold mining tunnels …

At tunnels…no one home. (Phil pic and caption.)

… where we had a stand-up morning tea. No one was electing to sit on the wet ground. A N.Z. robin kept us friendly company here, which was nice.

From the Tunnels we followed the old water race to the main track, and then descended to the South Branch of the Waikouaiti River which was up a bit and a little discoloured.

At South Waikouaiti Branch. (Phil pic and caption.)

No use going further in the rain, so it was uphill back to the cars to finish at 11.15 a.m.

We had travelled slightly less than 4 km, and all had greatly enjoyed our little excursion, which had taken one and a half hours.

Surprisingly, the tracks were not slippery, even on the steepest bits.

Into the cars and to Blueskin Nurseries for hot drinks, before returning to Mosgiel.

Eight trampers had decided that a little but of rain was not going to spoil their day, even if it was a shortened tramp. Thanks to all participants. – Art.

5. 11/2/2015. Trampers. The Gap, via Yellow Ridge.

GPS Yellow Ridge to The Gap, courtesy Ken.  We walked just on 12km We climbed 1000mtrs.
ave speed 3km/hr moving time just over 4hrs. Stopped time 3hrs max elevation 700mtrs.

A good number of 6 trampers, & one visitor + dog turned out for the 8:30 start for the tramp to the Gap via Yellow Ridge. 4 members of the group had not been there before, so it was a bit of an experience for them. We started by walking down to the tunnels, for the ones that had not seen them before, then it was along the old water race back onto the main track, where we had morning tea…

Morning tea break. (Ken pic and caption)

Morning tea break. (Ken pic and caption)

…at the grassed area before crossing the Waikouaiti River, & then climbing the steep track up to the new Philip J Cox hut for a breather.
We then carried on towards the Gap, but two of the new members were starting to struggle a bit by now, & as we approached the last couple of climbs up to the Gap, they decided that they would find a nice spot for lunch, & then go back down to the hut & wait for us there. The rest of us carried on to the Gap, where we had lunch,

Lunch at the Gap. (Ken pic and caption)

Lunch at the Gap. (Ken pic and caption)

& admired the views.

View looking north from Gap. (Ken pic and caption)

View looking north from Gap. (Ken pic and caption)

View looking South west from Gap. (Ken pic and caption)

View looking South west from Gap. (Ken pic and caption)

View looking South-West from Gap. (Ken pic and caption)

View looking South-West from Gap. (Ken pic and caption)

A quick trip was taken up to the trig on the northern side of the Gap to say we had been there, & then it was on with the packs, & back the way we had come. We caught up with the others at the hut, just a few minutes after they had got there, so an extended break was in order for refreshments,…

At Philip J Cox hut on the way back out. (Ken pic and caption)

At Philip J Cox hut on the way back out. (Ken pic and caption)

…& another breather before the steep decent into the Waikouaiti River again.
At this time, one of the group decided that he would start off down the track, thinking that he had told somebody that he was leaving, & it was not until we all got about 15mins down the track that I noticed he was not in our group, & asked where he was. We stood around waiting, thinking that he was still behind us, but in the end I asked our fittest member if he would go back & check. While he was doing this, we decided that the others would go down to the bottom, & see if he was down there, while I stayed to wait on the member we had sent back up the track. All this took approx 1/2 hr to accomplish, so we knew we would be a bit late getting back to the cars. As it turned out, the missing member was at the bottom waiting for the rest of us to arrive, & was very apologetic for his mistake.
We took another break at the grassed area…

Resting at Philip J Cox hut on the way out. (Ken pic and caption)

Resting at Philip J Cox hut on the way out. (Ken pic and caption)

…before we tackled the last climb up the steep track back to the cars. We had decided beforehand to go out the north end of Mountain Rd. as the road is in much better condition at that end. However, when we got to the last locked gate, we couldn’t unlock the padlock with the key that was given to us by City Forests, so it was about turn & drive all the way back to the south end & down to Waitati.
The weather was good, with no wind, & not too hot, & the low cloud that we observed when driving in was non existent when we got to the Gap. This is probably one of the harder tramps that we do, & is one that I might forgo in the future, although I managed it quite well, a result I put down to drinking Gatorade, & more fluids than I normally do on a tramp. – Ken.

4. 14/11/2012 Tunnels Track, Yellow Ridge, The Gap, Gap Ridge

GPS Yellow Ridge to The Gap, courtesy Ken. We climbed just over 1000mtrs.
ave speed 3km/hr
moving time just over 4hrs.
max elevation 668mtrs.

Four intrepid trampers gathered at the Bush Rd. car park before setting off at 8:30am on an adventure that 3 of us had never done before. The fact that Dermot had managed to get a key from City Forests for the gates on Mountain Rd. saved us about 9km of walking time, as we were able to drive right to the start of the Tunnels track. We set off down this track at about 9:30, & went to explore the tunnels themselves, a new experience for 2 of the group. Arriving at the grassy area at the bottom by the river, we had morning tea, & then set off across the river, without getting wet feet, & started the relentless climb up Yellow Ridge. On reaching the new Philip J. Cox hut, we had a short break to regain our breath, admire the hut, it’s fixtures & facilities. {We even swept the floor when we left]

Ready for the next part of the trip. (Ken pic and caption)

The next task was to get to the Gap for lunch, however remote this possibility seemed as, the track actually goes past it, instead of towards it for a while, & you start to wonder when you will be getting closer.

Nearing the top with The Gap showing. (Ken pic and caption)

At this point, one member of the group decided that he would go back to the hut & wait for us there. We eventually did get to the Gap,

Sign at the top. Thank God for something to lean on. (Ken pic [taken by Heb] and caption)

where we had lunch, then a short walk up to the trig on the top of the Northern part of the Gap,

Trig above Gap north rock. (Ken pic and caption)

where the views are magnificent, despite the lowering cloud/fog that had been hanging around all day. We then retraced our steps, carefully, due to the slippery nature of parts of the track that were very steep. Someone commented ” why didn’t they just provide a ladder” !! We stopped again at the Phipip J. Cox hut to have another drink, & to pick up our other group member, who we discovered had left a note for us, saying that he had left the hut 1/2 hr ago, & was making his way slowly back to the car. As we travelled back to the river, & up the Tunnels track, he had left numerous arrow signs, & the time that he had drawn them in the soft ground. So we knew how far in front of us he was, & when I arrived at the car, he had only been there about 3 minutes or so.

Everybody agreed that it was a worthwhile trip, & even although it’s a bit of a ‘gut buster’ it’s worth doing, but the early start, & the gate key is a must if you want to get home at a reasonable time. We made it back to the Bush Rd. car park just after 5pm, & I was home by 5:30pm. – Ken.

3. 20/2/2002 Tunnels Track, Yellow Ridge, The Gap, Gap Ridge Leaders: George, Ian, Hazel
Mountain Road, Tunnels track, Yellow Ridge, the Gap.
On Monday 4 Feb 2002, George Haggie, Hazel Leslie and Ian Fleming receed the route for the Taieri Recreational Tramping Club. We left Green Island meeting point at 8.30. On George’s prompting we drove further north and entered Mountain Road at Merton and drove 17 kms back to the Tunnels Track DoC sign on a good well metalled road arriving there a 9.30.  The south branch of the Waikouaiti River was shallow enough but the track up to the manuka scrub was in poor condition with a large slip crossing it.
Once in the trees conditions improved greatly and it was most pleasant all the way to Yellow Hut which we found to be in poor condition inside.  A DoC sign recommended going any further for experienced trampers only due to Silver Peaks notoriously changing weather conditions.
Beyond the hut we were into large tussock which being largely dry was not too much trouble to wade through although we walked more by faith than sight through the sea of tops, confirming we were still on the track with our feet. in many cases.
The route does a left-hand semicircle on a broad ridge. We lunched at the Gap at 12.15 in a very slight smirry rain but under dry rock overhang.
Returning, the tussock, now wet was much more difficult to push through, with the wet leaves lying lower onto the track, tangling our feet and tripping us up. The notorious steep never-ending climb back up from the Waikouaiti to Mountain Road keeps getting longer with more rest stops as one ages.
We got back to the car at 3 pm and continued round Mountain Road, now striking many potholes with several spots so severe as to be almost impassable.  This part was 13 km from Tunnels Track to Waitati. The sandy road metal contrasts with the rock metal on the northern part and although a few kms shorter and with many main highway kms eliminated  is not to be recommended at the moment. Returned home just on 5 pm, having driven 103 kms.
2. 23/2/2000. The Gap via Yellow Hut. Leaders: Margaret and Les, Ian.
1. 12/11/1997. Tunnels Track to Yellow Hut and Gap. Leaders: Les and Margaret, Claude.

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Feb 20 2019

Doctors Point, McKessar, Mopanui, Ridgeline

Published by under Beach,Trampers

37 km from car park to Mopanui Road end, and 40 km to
foot of McKessar Road.

The stone-walled ruins on Mckessar Track

11. 20/2/2019. Trampers. McKessar circuit from Doctors Point. Leaders: Jill D and Judy D

Another great day for 12 trampers to head north to Waitati then out to Doctors Point where we parked to do a circuit trip.
We started out along the beach while the tide was low and access to the walk through caves possible .Morning tea was up at the Mapoutahi Pa a near perfect spot – calm sea and generally uninterrupted panorama.

G.2nd-A view heading to Maori Pac

A view heading to Maori Pa. Gordon pic and caption.)

From the pa it was a road walk around the Purakaunui inlet for the hill climb to the Purakaunui (now unused) train station, where we started a long steady climb on a well maintained track to the Mopanui Rd, and the deer fence. Throughout our climb we were walking under a  luxuriant canopy of trees – pines and natives.

G.4th--Heading up McKessar Trackc

Heading up McKessar Track. (Gordon pic and caption.)

Some visited the derelict stone house en route.

G.5th--Studying old stone house remainsc

Studying old stone house remains. (Gordon pic and caption.)

At the top where we had lunch with some great views esp towards the Silver Peaks and Pulpit rock, where we had been the previous week. Below was the Blueskin Bay filling up with the incoming tide and also the Orokonui reserve and predator proof fence line. Quite a feature in the area is the dry stone (locally sourced) walls withstanding the test of time throughout the elements of nature. These craftspeople were very patient and skilled in their workmanship. We followed both the deer fence part way and stonewall down through a Manuka and Kanuka plantation to just above Doctors Point again some spectacular views of the surrounding areas. From here it was on a formed road walk back to the cars. Approx 13 kms. Coffee was at Blueskin Bay nurseries.

G.8th--Makes it all worth-whilec

Makes it all worth-while. (Gordon pic and caption)

– Jill D

10. 26/9/2018. Hikers. Mopanui Ridgeline Track. Leaders: Bob and Jan.

17 hardy hikers braved the elements & set out to walk the Mopanui Ridgeline Track (also known as White’s Track).   2 cars travelled up Mount Cargill Road into Mopanui Road where we commenced our hike.  2 cars drove around Doctors Point Road and parked up beside the railway line (our destination) then Bob drove the passengers up to Mopanui Road in his 12 seater to join the rest of the party and have our morning tea in a sheltered area before setting off.

It was a gusty wind that followed us down the track but we managed to keep on our feet and soon came to an area with a canopy of tall trees which was a welcome relief.

(Jan B. pic.)

We came out to a clearing again and it was a short walk down to the finish of the track where we had an early lunch in the shelter of the rock wall behind us.

(Jan B. pic.)

We climbed over the stile

(Jan B. pic.)

and made our way down the road, stopping to view Warrington beach and the township beyond

(Jan B. pic.)

then continued on down the road to our cars.  We transported the drivers who had their cars back up the hill and a few of us walked the 1k or so back to Blueskin Cafe for refreshments and a chat.
A good day out and no-one got blown away!!
– Jan & Bob

9. 29/8/2018. Hikers. McKessar Track from Foot. E. Leaders: Jim and Betty.

The sun was not shining when we left the car park and as we approached Port Chalmers it looked like it would be a day destined for coffee only.  As we continued our journey, there was a marked improvement in the weather as we reached the Purakaunui Railway Park.  From the car park the walk was down hill to Sea level then back up the road to the cars for the morning tea break.  All the Twenty Two then walked up to our lunch stop at Mopanui Road where we sat with our heads in the cloud.  The up hill climb included a breather to marvel at in the relics of the McKessar Homestead.  We descended back down the track & into the cars for our refreshment stop at the Plazza Café.  Conditions could be described as a little moist. – Betty & Jim Finnie

8. 15/11/2017. Hikers. Purakaunui Station. McKessar Track, Mopanui Road. E. Leaders: Jim and Betty.

Route map, courtesy Ian.

Starting off from the site of the old Purakanui railway station, a party of twenty hikers made the short road walk down hill to the Purakaunui inlet for an then returned, for the morning tea stop at the cars.

(Clive pic.) [Cars at the station a first for the Club. – Ed.]

This was followed by the hike up the McKessar Track in very pleasant conditions to our lunch stop at the end of Mopanui Road.  We had a breather on the uphill climb where Ian showed us the relics of the old McKessar homestead.

(Clive pic.)

An after-lunch

(Clive pic.)

stroll beyond the road end, took us to a point which gave us an excellent view to the north.  Little time was required for the pleasant stroll down hill back to the cars, which took us to our refreshment stop at the stadium Plaza cafe. –  Betty and Jim

7. 25/5/2016. Trampers. Doctors Point, Canoe Beach, Osborne Rd, Purakanui Station Rd, McKessar Rd, Deer Fence, White Rd, Doctors Point Rd. M. Leaders: Neil and Carole.

Wednesday 25th was the perfect day – light cloud, blue seas, 2kph breeze, when 10 trampers assembled at Orokonui (Waitati) junction and headed over to Doctors Point parking area at 9.45am.

The walk along the beach and through the arches (almost dry-footed) led us to the rocky foreshore.  However the tide being an hour off low-tide required boulder-hopping skills on the cliff side of the rocks to ensure dry feet….

Start and round rocks. (Helen pic and caption.)

Start and round rocks. (Helen pic and caption.)

Beyond the rocks we had morning tea under a lone pine tree and then moved on to circuit the Pa site and admire the view.

Beach from the Pa. (Helen pic and caption.)

Beach from the Pa. (Helen pic and caption.)

On to the beach, Osborne Road which we branched off to walk through the pines and view the old Maori Cemetery (Purakaunui Urupa) which a couple had not been to before. 35 minutes later we returned to the road following the estuary, turned into Purakanui Station Road and uphill to the railway line.

Lunchtime:  3 minutes on, no gorse, no blackberries in the middle of the walking track so a good place to sit!  (Not the railway track.)

Lunch up above railway line. (Helen pic and caption.)

Lunch up above railway line. (Helen pic and caption.)

We passed the old stone house relics at the lower end of McKessler track where someone was doing reparation work for the owner, Jill Hamel, an 84 year old archaeologist who lives in Anne Street, Roslyn.  (Neil rang and spoke to this lady!)

Continued up McKesslar track which ends at the road by the Orokonui predator fence and the drystone wall.

Beautiful rock wall up top of tramp. (Helen pic and caption.)

Beautiful rock wall up top of tramp. (Helen pic and caption.)

We followed the deer fence down, turned into ‘gorse alley’, bypassed an uncleared section by going through a paddock and then back onto the now excellent lower track.  Looking across the slightly misty tidal flats …

Moody view over Estuary. (Helen pic and caption.)

Moody view over Estuary. (Helen pic and caption.)

… and down to White Road brought us back to our cars at 3.00 pm after 14.5 kms. Pleasant tramping days tend to end at the local coffee shop and this was no exception.- Carole.

6. 9/3/2016. Hikers. Mopanui Road, McKessar Track, Albert Road. E. Leaders: Bev, Lesley.

GPS of McKessar trek

GPS of McKessar trek

Horse Drinking Trough on Mount Cargill Road.

Horse Drinking Trough on Mount Cargill Road.

Orokonui Village

Orokonui Village

Hikers' cuppa at top of McKessar Track

Hikers’ cuppa at top of McKessar Track

5. 9/10/2013. Trampers. Doctors Point, Canoe Beach, Osborne Rd, Purakanui Station Rd, McKessar Rd, Deer Fence, White Rd, Doctors Point Rd. Medium.

GPS of McKessar route

GPS of route, courtesy Ken. Doctors Point, Mapoutahi Pa, Osbourne, McKessar Track, Deer Fence, White Road.

I messed up with the GPS, as I forgot to turn it off when we got back to the car. However, we estimate that we walked approx 13km [as it was 8.? something to the top of McKessar Track, ] We climbed about 350mtrs to the highest point, which was the top of McKessar Track.

5 of us made our way along Doctor’s Point beach to the Mapoutahi Pa site, where we had morning tea just after 10am in the shelter of a large Macrocarpa tree. We then went & explored the Pa site for a while, before setting off along the Access Rd to Osbourne, where a climb up to the railway line set the blood circulating a bit faster.
The walk up McKessar Track was interesting, as it has been completely cleared, the water tables have been cleaned out, & gravel has been spread on some parts as well. During lunch break,…

Lunch at McKessar Track

Lunch at McKessar Track. (Ken pic and caption.)

… we had a visit from a man who works for the two women who own the land there, & he filled us in with quite a bit of knowledge on the area etc. We also had a discussion on which way to go down to Doctors Point again, either along the Orokonui fence, or down the deer fence. He was sure that the deer fence route was not available, but as I had rung Ian on his cell phone from our lunch spot, & he had told us to go down the deer fence, that is what we decided to do, & that worked out OK, with just a bit of gorse on the way down the 4WD track below the deer fence to negotiate. It was then just a walk along White Rd, & Doctors Point Rd back to the cars.
All agreed that it was a good day, especially after we stopped off at the Waitati Coffee shop for refreshments on the way home!- Ken

4. 21/3/2013. Ken and Ian found the gorse alongside the deer fence had been sprayed and passage was possible again. But ascent to Mopanui from McKessar Track, although the track is detectable at both ends has still a middle bit where we could not find a way through to the track on the other side! Perhaps two, one coming down from Mopanui and another up from McKessar, equipped with radio contact could find the way through, because that part must not be very extensive.

3. 27/5/2009. Trampers. Doctors Point, Canoe Beach, Osborne Rd, Purakanui Station Rd, McKessar Rd, Mopanui, Mopanui Rd, White Rd, Doctors Point Rd. Medium+. Leader: Ian

The feeling was magical starting out on the beach on such a clear morning.
click to enlarge

Beach expanse. Doctors Point. Cave in distance.

Beach expanse. Doctors Point. Cave in distance. Beach expanse. Doctors Point. Cave in distance.

The tide was so far out it was easy to walk even round the outside of the caves, to stop for morning tea at the far end of Canoe Beach.

Morning Tea. Canoe Beach. Looking back at cave.

Morning Tea. Canoe Beach. Looking back at cave. Morning Tea. Canoe Beach. Looking back at cave.

We were shocked to find the road from the beach under so much flooding. After MUCH thought, there was nothing for it but to charge? through.

Ria carefully negotiating flooded road just up from beach.

Ria carefully negotiating flooded road just up from beach.

We encountered dip after flooded dip in the road, each of us tackling them in our respective timid or reckless ways.

Sabina emerging from flooded road

Sabina emerging from flooded road

The flooding was not just on the road of course. It went right back to the cliffs, down which a waterfall was coming. A sight we had never witnessed before and hopefully will never again.

Waterfall. In shadow). Cause of all the flooding.

Waterfall (barely discernable on right edge of shadow. Cause of all the flooding.

Yet another dip. Probably the last one, although the road proper beyond still had rivulets in it.

Managing to stay out of yet another flooded part.

Managing to stay out of yet another flooded part.

We had news for the hikers whom we surprised on a corner coming the other way. Their walk was due to be rather truncated and hopes of lunching on Canoe Beach to be shattered. (We doubted many of them would appreciate wet feet.)

Meeting (and warning) Hikers coming the other way. Nr Osborne.

Meeting (and warning) Hikers coming the other way. Osborne Road. Our destination towering in background.

We turned up the Purakanui Station Road (near Osbourne) and crossed the railway into the newly-signed McKessar Track, beautifully cleared. Further across the north flank of Mopanui we turned off up the zig-zag track that eventually took us to the marker indicating the route up to Mopanui. Here we lunched. Sabina and Ian made it to the Mopanui trig, Ria cautiously turning back, to avoid possibly slipping on the large rocks near the top, were they to turn out to be wet.

Looking down ridge from Mopanui. Sanctuary fence glinting in sun.

Looking down ridge from Mopanui. Sanctuary fence glinting in sun.

Sabina photoed Ian on Mopanui. Potato Point in background.

Sabina photoed Ian on Mopanui. Potato Point in background.

We met Ria back down at the track junction and made our way out to the Mopanui Road, avoiding the worst of the gorse. Down at the end of the road, and adjacent to the other end of the  Mckessar Track, the owner of the farmland had taken the trouble to leave the upper and lower gates unlocked, so we could avoid the encroaching gorse on the outside of the deer fence. Earlier delays had lengthened our day so we stopped for afternoon tea mid-way down the paddocks on some convenient rock outcrops. Then it was out through the far gate and on down the long FWD track to the top of White Road, down that and back along the road to Doctors Point and the car. A good day. – Ian

2. 22/11/2006. Doctors Point, Mopanui. (Low tide 11.26am). Moderate. Leaders: Ria L, Hazel.

1. 5/10/1992.Trampers. Osborne from Doctors Point. Av. Leaders: Eric and Dot, Molly, Mavis.

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Feb 13 2019

Shuttle: Mountain Road, Pulpit Rock, Long/Powder Ridges, Whare Flat

Published by under Trampers

3. 13/2/2019. Trampers. Mountain Road to the Silverstream. Hard. Bus. Leaders: Arthur and Eleanor.
The sun was shining brightly in a clear blue sky as Bob the Busman (no, not Bob the Builder) transported 16 eager Trampers to Mountain Road for the day’s adventure.
The tramp started at 9.35 a.m., with the first objective being Pulpit Rock.
Afters 30 minutes, morning tea was partaken of trackside – in the shade, as the heat was building.
A brief rest stop was taken at Green Hut (site), and then again, briefly, after the short stiff climb just after.
Past Green Hill, and then up the steep climb towards Pulpit Rock. Puffs of a lovely cool nor-east breeze were very welcome assistance here, although the group got well spread out anyway.
G.2nd--Heading to Pulpit rock-SteepP1050472c

Heading to Pulpit rock – Steep. (Gordon pic and caption.)

G.3rd--Not long nowP1050473c

Not long now. (Gordon pic and caption.)

Eventually we made it to the top, several going to the summit of Pulpit Rock (760 metres – we had started the day at 400 metres.)

G.4th--The few who conqured the Rockc

The few who conqured the Rock. (Gordon pic and caption.)

The others were content to wait and rest on the track below, and all had earned a good rest.

G.3rd--The group before starting down Long Ridge trackc

The group before starting down Long Ridge track. (Gordon pic and caption.)

At 11.55 a.m. we began the descent down onto Long Ridge. Altitude is lost quickly at first, and the track had been well cleared here.

The walk down Long Ridge was most enjoyable, although it was through knee high grass mostly. The lunch stop was called at 12.30, when a suitable shady spot was found. A very enjoyable half hour was spent here.

At 1.25 we had climbed up off Long Ridge onto the highest knob of Powder Ridge (586 metres) and taken a last view of the Pulpit. The cloud was building now on the windward side of the Silverpeaks and Swampy, with its pleasant cooling breeze accompanying us.

The final leg of our tramp was now down Powder Ridge, and a new rope was a great assistance going down the first brief steep bit.

The track undulates, always trending down, but with some brief climbs up a knob before descending once more. It is a beautiful track, and the N.E. breeze was filtering through the trees to help cool us.

Rest and regrouping stops were made at 2pm and 3pm. It is a long way down Powder Ridge, but the time eventually came for the final steeper descent to the bottom of the track.

Easy going now, we crossed the Silverstream at the old weir,

G.4th--The last obstacleP1050486c

The last obstacle. (Gordon pic and caption.)

and onward, arriving at the car park at 4.20 – tramp complete (at 100 metres altitude). The distance metres stated 19 km -what a great effort by the group. Congratulations to all for completing it.

A special tramp indeed!

And thanks to Eleanore for helping organise the day so ably. And also to Gordon, Dave, Alan, and Art. for getting up early to position the cars at the Pumphouse, so that we could all return to Mosgiel.

What a great day it was.

Thanks to all the group. – Art.

2. 15/10/2003. Trampers. Semple Road to Whare Flat. Hard. Shuttle. Leaders: Lex, Wendy J, Evelyn C.

1. 25/2/1998. Semple Road to Pulpit Rock, Long Ridge, Whare Flat. Bus fare to be arranged. Leaders: Jack R, Nelson, Claude.

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Jan 30 2019

Grahams Bush/Old Rd Car Park, Organ Pipes, Buttars Peak, Mount Cargill.

Published by under Trampers

Click Grahams Bush history for background information.
Click Mount Cargill history for background information.
No. 19 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Sawyers Bay – Grahams Bush. M Deuchrass. Summer.”
Sawyers Bay Road 28 km from car park
14. 30/1/2019. Hikers. M. Leaders: Jan Y and Pam.

We were down in  numbers owing to several of the hikers going to Herbert with the trampers, but after some initial confusion between Hall and Station Roads, 16 of us set off for the Grahams Bush track.  The four ramblers followed for a bit, then peeled off on a different route.  A very hot day had been forecast, but it was reasonable under the bush cover.  The track is quite steep in places and not easy going, but fortunately it was much drier underfoot than earlier in the week when we did the reccie.  The creek crossing has been replaced by a bridge, which made things easier at that point. There was quite a bit of bird activity, with fantails and tomtits.   Reached the top of the track by 12ish and had lunch at the organ pipes car park.

(Wyn pic)

Watched with interest as a van carrying cyclists and their gear arrived and unloaded.  The cyclists were heading back down North Road – I’m not sure of their destination.  The heat was ramping up, and we trudged along North Road to the turnoff to Upper Junction Road.  The views were fantastic tho, as the harbor looked a picture and there was a bit of activity with a couple of cruise ships in.  Headed back down to Sawyers Bay which was a more enjoyable walk as groves of trees lined the road in places and gave us some shade.

(Wyn pic.)

  Arrived back at the cars around 2, and the co-leader (whose suggestion it actually was) was overheard to remark that it was a hard tramp, and next time it appeared on the programme she wouldn’t be doing it!!).  We headed round to the Carey’s Bay Hotel for a very welcome drink, some alcoholic and some non-alcholic (the beer went down very nicely). It was so pleasant sitting in the shade at the front of the hotel we lingered for quite some time.  Had a slow trip home once we hit the motorway as an accident ahead forced al the traffic through Fairfield, and there was a huge buildup of vehicles.  Finally got back to Mosgiel well after four.  

We did 10.9ks, so not a bad effort for a very hot day.  Jan and Pam

13. 12/9/2018. Trampers. Sawyers Bay/Mt: Cargill/Bethunes Gully/Upper Junction/Sawyers Bay. Leader: Phil.

15 intrepid walkers set out from Hall Rd on a pretty balmy Harbour day up through Graham’s Reserve.  Birdlife was rife including some nice plump Kereru.  This may be in part due to the community trapping initiatives that now encircle the Eco Sanctuary as birds there stretch their wings to increasingly safer climes.

Morning tea was taken on and around wooden steps,

Morn.tea break in the bush. (Gordon pic and caption.)

looking through the canopy of a wonderful lady rimu; the quality of the bush was ‘right up’ there, with good stands of Rimu (also on the downward beat to Bethunes Gully).

I thought progress was steady, but when we arrived at the carpark on North Rd, and checked the watch, to my surprise 15 walkers did it quicker than 1 person on the recce, and that included morning tea time……must have been that the track was now so much drier!  Or was this a particularly talented and fit group of walkers?

A short break to catch breath and have a swig was taken at the carpark, where we also co opted a Welsh tourist to join us up to Buttars Peak, the Organ Pipes

Not much of Organ Pipes left. (Gordon pic and caption.)

having lost much of their points of interest.

Lunch was taken on the battlements at Buttars Peak,

A Welshman admiring our Valleys. (Phil pic and caption.)

what a place to repel the invaders, and although a coolish breeze tempered things a bit, the views were still ‘top notch’.

View from Buttars Peak. (Gordon pic and caption.)

We set off after lunch at 12.30pm and turning left at the Junction we descended to Bethunes Gully in 66% of the time the signposting stated.  Most took advantage of the low wooden fence to chill out, almost like waiting for the bus,

Waiting for the bus at Bethune’s Gully. (Phil pic and caption.)

which did not come, so we went up up and up Norwood St; it did not seem like this when I recce’d in the car…..

From here it was a short trip along North Rd before descending down through Upper Junction.  The Harbour areas and gullies have such a great eclectic mix of housing and gardens tucked away.  From Upper Junction Rd a small detour was made to by-pass the closed road and works, following major road slumping.

From here it was back up Hall Rd to the cars, and noticeably this road seemed quite steep in places!  A suggestion for another time being to park the cars at the bottom of the hill!

There was some differing perspectives on how far we had walked, depending on the country of origins of the myriad of devices, whether or not they spoke to you etc.….going by the DCC pamphlets and my car speedo I thought 14 km but then again I know my speedo understates speed by about 10%…….This proved to be a challenging loop walk but one that was appreciated and proved the all round fitness of everyone who came. And yes everyone knows how to tell if a Rimu is male or female.  Some even how to identify a Miro tree by the berry fruit.

It was agreed we would return to Blackstone for coffee, but because they had had such a busy day did not want our patronage, so we crossed the road and enjoyed great craic at Blend ( debating the merits or otherwise of traditional roles v sensitive new age males); we had to apologise to some other customers for the noise, and as they left said we were just like teenagers!  Wow what a complement to finish the day. – Phil.

12. 8/8/2018. Hikers. Mount Cargill from Old Road. M. Leaders; Phil and Raewyn.

24 intrepid hikers drove to the Organ Pipes track carpark on Mt Cargill.

Mt Cargill Road carpark. (Clive pic and caption.)

  A few ‘Oh dears’ were voiced when the steps at the beginning of the track were first seen, but taking it slowly we finally reached the morning tea stop, 15 minutes in.  Then it was onwards and upwards again with those jolly steps appearing around every corner.  Soon though we came across the pile of rubble which was once the Organ Pipes formation, and taking turns, everyone viewed the last remaining pipes standing.

New organ pipe evolving at the Organ Pipes site. (Phil pic and caption.)

  After a slippery boardwalk, the track evened out and it was a pleasant walk through the bush up to the turnoff to Buttars Peak.  Eight adventurers climbed to the top for a ‘wow’ moment,

Buttars Peak….Harbour Cone will be nothing after this. (Phil pic and caption.)

while the rest of us waited and waved from below.  Onwards around the base of the transmitter tower and the final ascent to the top – Oh no, those darn steps were back again with a vengeance.  Determinedly we all made it to the top for lunch…

Mt Cargill at the top. (Clive pic and caption.)

Lunch….listening in for contact from the galaxies. (Phil pic and caption.)

…and the 360 degree views over Dunedin, the Peninsula & Blueskin Bay.  The cool breeze that whipped up soon had us on the return trip and facing all those steps in the opposite direction.  Our ‘Ramblers 3’ joined us for morning tea, and did really well to continue upwards to have their lunch by the organ pipes rubble.  Well done ladies.  A great day followed by coffee at the Plaza Café. – Raewyn.

11. 18/10/2017. Trampers. Grahams Bush – TV Mast. M. Leader: Helen.

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

(Margreet pic.)

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

Organ Pipes. (Helen pic and caption.)

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

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

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

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

Lunch stop. (Ken pic)

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

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

View back to the harbour mouth. (Bob pic and caption)

… where we lunched in the lee of a now keen southwester with a great view overlooking Pigeon Flat and the Waitati area. We then met up with the upward track again and returned.
Morning tea was at Hard Rock Café as Bob called it – that huge boulder decked with drips from the night’s rain sparkling in the sunlight. See if you can identify the drips in the photo!!

Identify the drips. (Bob pic and caption)

The Organ Pipes don’t impress as much these days as I can remember them doing from years ago before earthquakes tumbled many of them down. There are still a few standing tall but most are the ‘dis-organ-ised’ pipes now. (See below under the 6 Nov 08 entry for an “Organ Pipes” pic  of the ‘few standing tall.’ – Ian.)

Identify the dominos. (Bob pic and caption)

The track to them climbs up steps composed largely of fallen columns. After passing a track junction to the Mt Cargill Walk, you find a scree slide of columns where there was once a viewing platform. There is a good view of the Organ Pipes from here.
Wikipedia says of them, “… a prominent formation of columnar jointed basalt known as the Organ Pipes. Similar outcrops are found elsewhere in the Dunedin area, at Blackhead near Waldronville and at Second  Beach, Saint Clair. A second point of interest is the small temperate cloud forest which dominates the vegetation of the upper slopes. Though not a true cloud forest, in that it is not tropical, it bears many of the hallmarks of true cloud forest, with abundant moss and fern cover under thick low canopy. The cloud forest is protected within a 1.8 square kilometre reserve, which includes the peak of the mountain as well as several secondary peaks.”
The Organ Pipes rock formation was formed by the cooling of lava that flowed across Mount Cargill during the last period of volcanic activity in the Dunedin area. The hot lava cooling against the cold rock caused powerful expansions and contractions. When the volcanic ock cooled at the time, it cracked along long joints and consequently looks much like organ pipes standing up – that is, when they were standing up!!

Well, after all that, there was one still standing. (Bob pic and caption)

Which craggy protuberance is George? (Bob pic and caption)

Some of us simulated the domino collapse of the pipes, namely Bob who
slipped on a wet boardwalk and catapulted into Lesley who lost her
glasses in the process. Fortunately they were recovered !! Whew.
A good day’s outing. Bob
8. 11/6/2008. Trampers. Grahams Bush, Buttars Peak, Organ Pipes, with Mount Cargill option for some. Medium. Leaders: Ian, Leonie

Tea Break

Organ Pipes

Buttars Peak summit

Buttars Peak summit

Trampers met at the top of Sawyers Bay Hall Road to walk from sea level to the “Top of the World” on yet another
glorious Wednesday. The tramping gods were certainly on our side as there was not a cloud in the sky as we started our ascent. The track is well maintained and a flat benched in track all the way which made for easy walking. Parts of the walk were in beautiful bush but every so often we would come to a clearing where we could look back over the harbour,

and enjoy glorious views while we got our breath back. Morning tea on the track a short way into Grahams Bush to give us sustenance for the hill climb and then onwards and upwards. Eventually we came to the road after ascending a steep flight of steps. Then over the road and up another flight of steps. During our lunch stop Evelyn entertained us with her story of the TV being blown by a gust of wind from its place in the wall into the conversation pit.

Sounded amazing. Lots of discussion about chloresterol levels and how to control them while some of us ate cheese (the bad boy) for lunch. Nearing the top there is a branch off the track which we followed to ascend Buttar’s Peak with its rugged basaltic columns. Sitting up there was like being on top of the world with uninterrupted views all along the coast from north to south with the harbour below with its picture-perfect reflections

Harbour from Buttars Peak

Harbour from Buttars Peak

and then over to the peninsula and all its magic beaches. That view has stayed with me since and hopefully for ever! After scrambling down from the peak the track divided and one group went back down and to the cars while the others went on to ascend Mount Cargill which was just in front of us.

Mt Cargill from Buttars Peak

Mt Cargill from Buttars Peak

A wonderful day and a good introduction for a visitor, and a few others who hadn’t tramped for a while. – Tash.

7. 23/8/2006. Grahams Bush, Mount Zion, Buttars Peak Organ Pipes round trip. Medium. Leaders: Jacqui, Doug J.

6. 21/4/2004 Leaders: Barbara M, Evelyn C
Enjoying the view. Glenice, Tom.

Enjoying the view. Glenice, Tom, etc.

The Buttars Peak scramble.

The Buttars Peak scramble.

5. 9/10/2002. Grahams Bush – Mount Zion. Medium. Leaders: Donny, Barbara McC, Sandra P.
4. 22/8/2001. Grahams Bush – Mount Cargill. Easy. Leaders: Graham, Bill H, Lesley S.
3. 9/11/1988 Grahams Bush to Organ Pipes. A good tramp with native bush and lovely views. Leaders: Mary Y, Peg A, Betty
2. 29/11/1995. Alternative to Hindon Pipeline: Grahams Bush – Organ Pipes. Leaders: Diana, Jack M, Les W.
1. 9/11/1989. Graham’s Bush to Organpipes. A good tramp with native bush and lovely views. Cars meet at Hall Road. Leaders: Mary Y, Peggy A, Betty B.

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Nov 28 2018

Nicols Creek, Swampy, Pineapple Track, 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 here for Antony Hamel’s YouTube video showing his exploration of the 5 falls of Nicols Creek.

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.)
Neighbours at War Click here for background and photos to the Finnerty Family and their house site on the Moon Track by Nicols Creek.
Click Swampy ridge track for background information.
Click Pineapple Track for background information.
Click Pineapple and Flagstaff walk for background information.
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.
Booth Road 16.1 km from car park.
22. 28/11/2018. Trampers. Nicols Falls, Pepper Tree Track, and beyond circuit. M. Leader: Arthur.
A cool north-east breeze greeted us when we parked our cars at Booth Road to begin our tramp. The cloud was down on the higher hills, Mt. Cargill for example was hidden to us.
There were 7 in our group today, and we began with a one kilometre, or so, road walk before going up to Nicols Falls.

[And if you haven’t already done so, Art recommends you click here now for Antony Hamel’s YouTube video of the OTMC exploration of Nicols Creek’s 5 falls – Ed.]

Today’s circuit was to take in some of the older tracks, beginning with Nicols Falls. A short trip was made in to the glow-worms to familiarise all with their location.

We stopped to talk to two young Frenchmen who were returning from the falls. After crossing Nicols Creek we climbed up to have our smoko at Finnerty’s house site.

From here the old, original walking track was followed through the area now somewhat spoilt by cycle tracks.

A brief stop was made at the big macrocarpas to admire the rocks, then on up the Moon Track following the old cart track, and then the fence line further up.

Eventually we turned left onto the Nicols Creek track and followed it to find the junction with the Pepper Tree track, which took us to the Pineapple Track.

It was getting close to lunchtime now, so going up the Pineapple Track allowed us to lunch in the same spot as we had four weeks ago – only we sat on the other side of the track, as the breeze was from the opposite direction today.

It was all downhill in the afternoon. Going down we soon turned aside …

The intersection of the present pineapple track and the original. (Dave pic and caption.)

… to follow the Original Pineapple Track through the beautiful bush. Conditions underfoot were muddy, as they had been all day, so care was exercised by not hurrying.

The team down the original, well worn, Pineapple track. (Dave pic and caption.)

The old track is worn in places, by many feet and much water, to something resembling a trench. One was saying we were stuck in the groove!

At the bottom we followed McGouns Track to have a rest stop at the Forestry Plaque and seats,

At the cairn commemorating forestry in the Dunedin area. (Dave pic and caption.)

before finishing back at the cars at 2 p.m.

The sun was shining back in Mosgiel on our return, where we Blended in.

It had been an interesting and enjoyable day in the bush, with new (to most) tracks to enjoy. – Art.

21. 31/10/2018. Hikers. Moon – Nicols – Pepper Tree – Pineapple – circuit. M. Leaders: Ian and Jim.

Twenty-one Hikers plus two Ramblers parked at Booth Road. From there they walked down Islay Street to Leith Valley Road and up to Thomson’s Bridge over Nicols Creek. The two Ramblers left to trek on their own account further up Leith Valley Road, with the Hikers setting off up the Nicols Creek Track. A wee way up, we turned off to take the track on the right down to the 14.5 metres high first of the five Nicols Creek Falls for Morning Tea.

The promise of the day was to walk the old Moon Track that was there before the Mountain Bikers in 2006 carved it up almost beyond recognition. So after our cuppa, we crossed the creek to climb steeply up on the other side, first to pass by the empty Finnerty’s house site, of which there remains little indication except a flat area alongside the left of the track and a few bricks.

The going was easier now until reaching and crossing the first of the many zig-zag mountain bike tracks to wend our way through bush and over some other zig-zags up to the big boulder clump among some macrocarpas, where we stopped to briefly look around the area. Beyond here the track followed the the old fence through some bush, gorse and grass to come back on another “zig” of the trail. Avoiding the trail above us to the right we took the lower one along to where it dropped slightly to the left. Here we took the route straight ahead. We were back on the old track again. A bit along this one, it swung uphill to the right. Here was the almost straight up, but moderately graded, old cart track that returned us to the fence again, happily avoiding the steep hill on our right in the process.

Back alongside the fence again, was a grassy track which first dipped and then rose up and yet up to the corner of the fence’s paddock where there was a welcome table and plank seat to rest on and regroup. Going was now more level but muddier, not helped by the rain two nights ago, but eventually the track led out, over an old large log to the sign posts. One indicated yet father up to Swampy, another indicated our Nicols Creek Track route ahead, and the third back down the way we had come. But on it was the lettering: Moonlight!!! It’s Moon, not Moonlight. Where did the printing instructions get it wrong? Anyway, it was now lunchtime, which made for a leisurely stop.

The  old cart track, now well wooded in, led us along the the contour across the Nicols Creek headwater tributaries. Again there was that rain-worsened mud In places. A major creek crossing we encountered was through a steep-sided rocky ditch, with the climb-out on the further side one or two paces along a wet but fortunately not slippery rocky forty-five degrees slope and then into a brief dip with a steep drop below before clambering out onto the reassuringly safer part of the track again. We all made it across safely.

And then on, across another creek tributary, until we reaching on our right the Pepper Tree Track turn off. This was the junction we had come to a year ago from the other way, when we had climbed the  Nicols Creek track  from the other end. Well, on then, on the hew track, another creek crossing, and finally gradually up, out of the bush, into grassy area and out onto the Pineapple Track.

The intention here had been to complete the original track circuit by crossing over to where the old fence post on the edge of the bush indicated the entrance to the top of the old Pineapple Track. The bush is nice and open, although the track is steep and deeply clay-trenched in places, but today was out of consideration after all the rain we had had lately. The writer has fond memories of it being route to Flagstaff in his youth.

But back to the newer track opened in 1975, which we were now on. The cars were at its foot, on Booth Road, waiting to whisk us off to coffee at Sunnyvale. So down we went now, each at our own pace to the bottom. The old track had been a revelation to all but a few older hikers. The most ambitious one for them in a long while. Challenging? Yes. Regrets? No. Satisfying? Yes, – to the writer, especially. Now over to the club to keep this old track alive and back on the programme again. – Ian.

20. 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.
19. 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.

18. 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.
17. 22/8/2007. Trampers. Booth Road, Moon Track circuit. Medium. Leaders: Lex, Sabina.
16. 25/10/2006. Trampers. Nicols Creek, Swampy, Moon Track. Medium. Leaders; Ian, Arthur H
15. 3/11/2004. Both. Nicols Creek, Basin. Leaders: Lex, Ria L, Val and Brian, Irene.
14. 24/9/2003. Hikers. Nicols Creek, Moon Track, Skyline, Pineapple. From Booth Road. Medium. Leaders: Donny, Irene.
13. 27/11/2002. Both. Nicols Creek, Moon Track, to Skyline. Medium. Leaders: Irene, Ria L, Eleanor, Joyce.
12. 17/3/1999. Nicols Creek, Basins. Barbara McC, Sabina, Irene.
11. 20/2/2002. Alt. Nicols Creek – Moon Track to Skyline Track. Start Booth Road. Medium+. Leaders: Betty, Denise.
10. 27/1/1999. Pineapple Track – Swampy area. Leaders: Shirley R, Lance and Lois.
9. 28/5/1997. Leith Valley, Nicols Creek return Skyline. Leaders: Bob H, Bev H, Molly.
8. 9/10/1996. Nicols Creek, Basins from Booth Road. (Park Booth Road.) Average. Leaders: Jack R, Dot T, Patricia J.
7. 18/10/1995. Nicols Creek, Swampy. Medium. Leaders: Jack R, Barbara McC, Mairie and Doug.
6. 6/7/1994. Nicols Creek/Moon Track, Alternative – Pineapple Track.  Medium. Leaders:Nancy, Bob H, Shirley R, Joyce.
5. 27/5/1992. Nicols Creek from Booth Road to Swampy Pineapple. Average. Leaders: Marie, Nel, Les W, Margaret D.
4. 3/7/1991. Pineapple Track carpark round snow trip. Wrap up well for this mountain trip. Average. Leaders: Jack M, Mary McG, Bev McI, Shirley.
3. 6/6/1990. Pineapple carpark round trip.Average+. Leaders: Marie, Mary McG, Shirley, Helen.
2. 17/3/1989 Barbara M, Irene, Sabina
1. 26/7/1989. Swampy round trip from Pineapple Track carpark. Average+. Great views. Leaders: Denise P, Mary McG, Peggy M.

 

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Nov 16 2018

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.

24. 14/11/2018. Hikers. Three Kings from Heenan Road. M. Leaders: Ian and Doug.

Thirty of those who weren’t away at the Hollyford Camp turned out to tackle the 4WD track up to Three Kings. Three Ramblers, who have chosen for themselves the name “The Eighties Plus” dropped back to continue at their own pace, getting ultimately as far up as the last gate on the track. The rest, with occasional rest stops and regroupings,

Morning tea with views of the Taieri. (Clive pic and caption.)

Ian explaining part of the history of the Taieri. (Clive pic and caption.) [Pointing out the original route up from Wesleydale Camp. – Ed]

made it up the steadily graded track, overcoming the last very steep bits to reach the rocks high up on the Maungatua Range at its southern end by lunch time.

The day was fine and calm with only a little sharp wind up here persuading us to find our own sheltered but sunny spot for lunch. Quite a number of us were newer members and for many this was their first visit to these prominent rocks. Well done.

Lunch at Three Kings. (Ian pic and caption.)

Our leaders Ian and Doug. (Clive pic and caption.)

After a leisurely lunch, it was back down the track again, this time each at their own pace now that  it was a known route, and into the cars, to regather for coffee at Outram. A successful outing. – Ian and Doug.

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.

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Oct 31 2018

Hermits Cave Silver Peaks Rocky Ridge Tramps

Published by under Trampers

Distance from car park: 41 km.
Click Silver Peaks Forest for background information on the area.

8. 31/10/2018. Trampers. Hermits Cave. Leader: Arthur.

The day dawned fine, with a smidgen of frost to sharpen the air. We had sunshine all day, with a few clouds and light winds at times – perfect conditions for our excursion into the Silver Peaks.

Leaving Mosgiel at 8.30 a.m., we began our tramp from the car park on Mountain Road at 9.20 a.m.

Smoko was trackside in the sunshine. Past Green Hut (site), up, along, and up, up, with an occasional brief rest/regrouping stop.

Approaching Pulpit Rock,

Heading to Pulpit Rock. (Gordon pic and caption.)

weed-eaters/chainsaws could be heard to our left. We soon spotted some of the Green Hut Track Clearing Group hard at work down on Long Ridge. You work is greatly appreciated chaps!

Several of our group took the opportunity to climb Pulpit Rock

Happy mountaineering trampers. (Gordon pic and caption.)

before we moved on.

Ready to move on. (Gordon pic and caption.)

The Pinnacle Rock pointed our way onto the Rocky Ridge, where the track was rough but easy to follow.

We stopped a half kilometre short, on a rocky knob to have lunch in the sunshine, while enjoying the terrific views. It was really special to be there!

While the others finished their lunch, the leader recced ahead to the Hermits Cave. The rest followed …

Hermit cave on the horizon. (Gordon pic and caption.)

… to inspect it and to make an entry in the Visitors Book. (The previous entry was back in July.)

Leaving Hermit Cave. (Gordon pic and caption.)

At 1.30 p.m. the return journey began. An occasional brief rest/regrouping stop was made, and eventually a happy but a little tired, group of Trampers ended. Their tramp ended  back at the cars at 4 p.m.

All had enjoyed their venture into the Silver Peaks, and the weather had suited us to perfection, couldn’t have been a better one.

There was a large variety of birdlife to be seen and heard today – two got a brief glimpse of a N.Z. Falcon along Rocky Ridge, and a Fern Bird flew across in front of us in the vicinity of Green Hill.

The “distance-meters” couldn’t agree, and ranged from 17 to 20 km for our day. Take your pick. An average of 4 k.p.h. was maintained by our group of 11.

We were back in Mosgiel before 5 p.m. and what a wonderful day it had been.

Thanks to all. – Art.

7. 22/2/2017. Trampers. Hermits Cave. Leader: Arthur.

7 keen trampers set out for a trip in to the Silverpeaks, leaving the cars on Mountain Road at 9.25 p.m.

The weather was perfect for the inward tramp, overcast with a slightly southwest breeze to keep the temperature down.

After 40 minutes we stopped for morning tea. Past Green Hut site we climbed through the bush before emerging into the open. Good views in all directions, upward, and then stopped briefly to admire Pulpit Rock.

pulpit. (Helen pic and caption.)

A little further and we turned on to the Rocky Ridge track. At 12.15 p.m. we were on the track just above the Hermits Cave, the leader descending to find A cave, but not the Hermits Cave he remembered!

No one else was keen after watching him toiling back up to the track, so there was nothing for it but to have our lunch.

All sat and enjoyed the view – what a great spot it was. We could see the “Devils Staircase” leading down to Jubilee Hut also visible.

Lunch above Hermits cave. (Helen pic and caption.)

Looking down to cave. (Helen pic and caption.)

As we prepared to leave, a fine drizzle arrived and cloud was forming immediately to the east of Rocky Ridge. Coats on, and in a few minutes it was raining. Within minutes all the trackside vegetation was wet for us to walk through, the breeze changing to easterly with it.

By the time we got back to Pulpit Rock we were completely surrounded by cloud – the Pulpit Rock loomed rather eerily through the mist as we passed.

The rain had eased by the time we were back down to Green Hut, and after an occasional brief rest stop, we were back at the cars in the mist at  3.05 p.m.

We had made good time all day, both going in and coming back. Keith recorded the distance at 16.6 km for the trip.

A recovery time was taken at Blueskin Bay on the way home. We found Dunedin and the Taieri bathed in sunshine – but we had been in a different world! – Art.

6. 19/9/2012. Trampers. Hermits Cave via Green Hut, Pulpit Rock.

GPS of route, courtesy Ken.
18km 5hrs 34 moving time, stopped for 1hr 39min.
Total ascent 1051 mtrs. max elevation 754mtrs.
moving ave speed 3.2km/hr.
Mountain Road wasn’t bad, except for one deep corrugation.
And apart from the odd slushy patches on the track, its surface was largely dry with good grip. The weather was good but a strong breeze blustered us at exposed spots on the top ridges.
Seven of us went in, and seven came out, but it was a long day and the last 5 km out were a weary plod.
One of us developed an excruciating cramp on several occasions, necessitating quite a wee wait each time for the pain to recede.
A long day but not bad for a group including 3 in their 80s. – Ian.

Hermit’s Cave Bivvy. Pam’s proof positive for hubby.

Hermit’s Cave Bivvy. Pam insisted on Ian being in the pic too.

5. 23/2/2011. Trampers. Hermits Cave via Green Hut, Pulpit Rock.
 As the first track entrance sign round High Top has been removed, it is as well that the worst road holes beyond have been roughly filled to make the route in to the second entrace navigable.
The track in to the new sign shown below is just impossibly bad in wet weather. It has to be the most slippery and dangerous to be found anywhere. Apart from the Swampy Ridge Track indicated below, side track signs are now no longer there.)

The new sign at the foot of Green Ridge. No longer able to be rested upon!

New track sign opposite Possum Hut track turn-off. But no longer any indication of such.

Track sign by Pulpit Rock. No mention of Long Ridge.

Rocky Ridge ahead as we emerged from alongside Silver Peak No. 3.

The new Jubilee Hut (and out-house) clearly seen from Rocky Ridge.

Hermits Cave rather obscured by flax.

The roomy interior of the cave.

The small bivouac on the track right opposite Hermit’s Cave. Many going past don’t think to look down the hill to see the much roomier famous bivvy.

4. 11/10/2006. Trampers. Hermits Cave via Green Hut, Pulpit Rock. Leaders: Doug M, George
Claude, Ian, Doug, Lex Ria? Arthur, Evelyn

Claude, Ian, Doug, Lex Ria? Arthur, Evelyn

Jubilee

3. 26/11/2003. Trampers. Hermits Cave via Big Stream, Mount Allan. Hard. Leaders; George, Hazel.
Just past Poplar Hut turn-off. George, Doug J, Bob, Doug M, Hazel

Just past Poplar Hut turn-off. George, Doug J, Bob, Doug M, Hazel

Descending to Hermits Cave from off track. George, Arthur, Doug

Descending to Hermits Cave from off track. George, Arthur, Doug

Nearing cave. George, Arthur, Doug.

Nearing cave. George, Arthur, Doug.

Art and Doug

Arthur & Doug J at Cave

geo

George and Arthur at Cave

2. 29/1/2003. Trampers. Greeen Hut, Rocky Ridge, Hermits Cave. Hard. Leaders: George, Claude, Wendy.
Cave

Bob, Lex, Wendy, Ian, Doug M, Who?, Arthur

1. 9/3/1994 Hermits Cave, Silverpeaks. 3 alternative stages – long, medium, short. Leaders: George, Doug J, Jean A, Eleanor

 

The hermit.
An account by a long-standing OTMC member.
Nice guy. Working for L T Martins in fancy furniture. Small. Some hang-ups. Disagreement. Found out not to be a partner. “Little Ross” Adamson. Disappeared. Went all round South Island. Seen in a few different places.  Seen peering through window at Jubilee Hut. Caught some sheep. “Big Ross” Lake, a friend, and another male sought out Little Ross (with the knowledge of the police) and persuaded him to come out after two years. Police lenient. Lived normal life. Married. Children.

Another account. A leading light of the OTMC. Missing for 2 years. All over South Island. Silver Peaks for only the latter six months. Police brought him in when he started killing sheep. Account agrees it was indeed Jubilee Hut, not Green Hut as is commonly supposed, where he was seen.

A further comment by another: A little man – had a swelling on the side of his face which embarrassed him.  Quite withdrawn but had a great sense of humour when you got to know him.  An excellent bushman and a good teacher and leader in the hills. In the late sixties he worked for Valley Industries as a sheet metal worker and lived in a flat in (I think) Heriot Row – lived alone.  Lots of stories about his history.

 

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Oct 24 2018

Woodside Glen, plus to top of Maungatuas

Published by under Trampers,Year round

No. 30 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Woodside Glen to Maungatuas. E Blackburn, D McEwan. Summer”

Short and long options.

(Maungatua climb fairly steep. 5-7 hours. Heavy tussock on top.  Route only. Manager: DOC.)

11. 24/10/2018. Trampers.Woodside Glen to Maungatua. H. Leaders: Gordon and Art.

13 determined trampers left their cars at Woodside Glen, to begin their tramp.

Ready to cross. Gordon pic and caption.)

Once across the Lee Creek it was uphill all the way until we reached the tussock.

Other than a short distance at the bottom, the track was good and dry, and non slippery. We were in light bush, with some large and obviously very old Broadleaf trees to be seen. Mahoe (white wood) were there in abundance, and many other species.
A level area beside the track at the appropriate time was the smoko stop.

Onward, the track was ever upward, and the perspiration flowed freely. A couple of steeper and trickier bits were safely negotiated,

The last steep pinch. (Gordon pic and caption.)

and in due course we all reached the first viewing point above the bush -and where the tussock began. Two of the group elected to wait here for our return.

Into the tussock now,

Traversing tussock country before the gale got up. (Phil pic and caption.)

the height of which reduces with altitude. We lost 5 more at the next rocky knob.

Lords and ladies surveying their domain…. (Phil pic and caption.) [[Ed: N.B. Not necessarily among the “lost 5”]

The remaining 6 trampers carried on for another 20 minutes before eating their lunch (10 minutes early) in the shelter of a rocky knob, with great views out over the Taieri Plain, and far away.

Last stop.Lunch & great views. (Gordon pic and caption.)

Shelter was absolutely necessary as it was quite windy up here.

Frequent clouds of pollen could be seen being blown out of the native bush, down in the Lee Creek area. Lots of pollen around this year.
As we packed up to begin the return, the wind was rising, becoming very strong and blustery. Hold onto your hat weather. At least one hat got blown away, but safely retrieved. It had cooled down too.
A fast return was made down through the beautiful tussock, which was waving in the wind.
Once back in the shelter of the bush the temperature rose notably, a bit hot in fact. Several clumps of the lovely white clematis could be seen as we reached the bush line.
Down, down, down now, all the way. We met two chaps coming up with a large number of dogs, out for exercise. Birdsong was heard all day in the bush and I heard my first Shining Cuckoo of the season.
No one was wasting any time for the descent, and the whole team were back together by the time we crossed Lee Creek again. It ended up a shorter day as we were back at the cars at 1-35.
A refreshment stop was made back in Outram.
Thanks to all. – Art.
10. 28/9/2016. Trampers. Woodside Glen to Maungatua. H. Leader: Arthur H.
Good weather had been ordered for this tramp, and it was delivered. The sky was partly cloudy with some wind from the west. (Down at Outram it was a northeaster.
Six trampers left Mosgiel with high expectations for the day’s adventure. We parked our cars at Woodside Glen, starting from there at 9.25 a.m. Only ten minutes or so brought us to Lee Creek which was a little tricky to cross. I think all made it with dry feet.
The work then began. It is a relentless climb upward through the bush, broken only very briefly by following an old water race. We had a good rest period at morning tea time though.
As the bush thinned out, a patch of low cloud was flowing down the gully to our right – coming in almost from the southwest. It didn’t affect us and soon cleared.
The track up through the bush was good and dry, thankfully, but would have been very slippery if wet.
The upper track had been well cleared as far as a rocky knob where the tussock began. We reached this position at 11.00 a.m., which was a good effort.

The westerly wind was cold here, but a brief stop to admire the view was made.

View of Saddle Hill. (Helen pic and caption.)

View of Saddle Hill. (Helen pic and caption.)

We were up in the tussock now (great) where the track is not well defined. Taking our time, as some found the tussock was a little slippery underfoot, we continued up the eastern spur of Maungatua.

A few minutes before 12 noon we reached a hugh knob from where the view was magnificent. This was our lunch spot…

Lunch Spot. (Helen pic and caption.)

Lunch Spot. (Helen pic and caption.)

…and in Antony Hamel’s book is marked as being at an altitude of 686 metres. (See his map on page 9.05).

The sky was rather hazy, with cloud down on the hills to the north and northeast – on Swampy, for example. But the climb had been well worth it for the view nevertheless.

Outram in distance. (Helen pic and caption.)

Outram in distance. (Helen pic and caption.)

No wind spoiled our lunch, which was quite a leisurely affair, stretching out to 45 minutes in fact – but don’t tell Neil! He would be horrified if he knew!
We began our return, taking care in the downhill slippery tussock. The trouble was that vegetation overhung the little used track and one could not see where one was putting one’s feet.

Out of the tussock and down…

Down, down and more down. (Helen pic and caption.)

Down, down and more down. (Helen pic and caption.)

…into the bush, where there are two or three difficult patches – not to be rushed.

Eventually we reached the creek, crossed without incident, and were back at the cars at 2.45.
The outward journey had been 2.25 hours moving, and a neat 2 hours returning. Distance? – From the map, an estimate of 7 km is all I can come up with.
The mandatory debriefing took place in Outram. All were enthusiastic about the day’s tramp and wanted it to be on our list of ones to do again in the future.
There is something special about being out in the tussock.
9. 23/10/2013. Hikers. Woodside area. Easy. Leaders: Arthur and Barbara.

Woodside Route

Woodside GPS of Route. 10.5km in all. (GPS recording started rather belatedly.)

We started from the West Taieri Cemetery and walked directly down Woodside Road to the intersection at the old Store and Post Office building, where we stopped for morning tea on an inviting lawn.

We then turned left and walked down McDonald Road past the grand Beardsmore property gates …

Gate

Gate

.. till we made a right turn up Mann Rd (3 km on route map) before returning the way we had come back to the old store corner.

Now a different route was to go left up Berwick Rd, right onto Helvellyn St and to almost complete the circumnavigation of the block, right again down Crossfeld St to then go left up Ravensburn Rd and finally left again via Mountain Rd into Woodside Glen. We entered the walking track alongside the Lee Creek (name?), finding it rather dangerously narrowed in places by slips, to discover it connecting with a newer, wider track further up which led eventually down to the Maungatua tops track stream crossing, where we lunched.  (6 km on route map). Three of our group ventured to rock-hop across the stream to lunch on the far side,…

Lunching across the stream.

Lunching across the stream.

… the rest judging the nearer side a safer spot.

Our return route to the Glen was by the safer new track which we found kept further up and more safely around the ridge (but made less  interesting by its divorce  from the stream) before descending to the Glen.

Here we met the group supporting blind trampers, who were just about to set off up the track, with much happy greeting exchanges. We went back out along Mountain Rd, down Ravensburn Rd to the old store again, to return back up Woodside Road to the cars.

Obviously a Woodside Glen walk needs a lot of road walk to fill out a decent day. Thanks to Barbara and Arthur for planning this well filling the day with much interest.  – Ian.

8. 30/4/2008. Hikers. Woodside Glen. Easy. Leaders: Bev H, Bev M.

7. 16/4/2008. Traquair/Whare Creek Track & Woodside Glen.

Viewing Traquair Creek

Viewing Traquair Creek

With inclement weather threatening the joy of a beach walk (Purakanui and Canoe beaches) and only 2 hikers along with 2 leaders, a decision was made to seek dry bush cover instead, and so we headed for the recently-upgraded Outram Glen walk. Neil B. diverted us however to a nearby track he had lately helped to clear  – the Whare (or Traquair) Creek track – starting at the Historical Museum. This turned out to be a great delight as it echoed with bird song and followed a dry-clad, benched course through both native and deciduous trees beside still waters and sometimes beside falling waters over large, mossy boulders.

Neil was an informative guide too, giving us the history of the track, showing us the site of the first flourmill in the country and noting features such as an underground water source, a high, man-made retaining wall, and origins of one of the first reticulated water supplies. We had morning tea back at the Museum and rewarded Neil for his services with freshly-picked mushrooms. We then proceeded to an ‘urban crawl’ through the streets of Outram, with a particular focus on new, spec houses. A decision to lunch at the West Taieri cemetery was thwarted by our driver whose momentum carried us on to Woodside Glen where we were

Lunching by Lee Stream

Lunching by Lee Stream

led up a different creek (Lee Creek) without a paddle, and took lunch beside the stream where the track crosses it. A nice spot indeed. Neil then took us on a ‘conducted tour’ of the once-thriving metropolis of Woodside, noting old shops, churches,

 

 

Old church?

Old church?

school and houses from one of which 2 sisters daily used to bike to the railway station and catch the train to Factory Road and thence to Mosgiel Woollen Mill to work. How times have changed!! So, we didn’t get to the beach or the river or the cemetery, but we did enjoy our varied walk. – Bob

6. 11/7/2007. Hikers. Woodside Glen. Easy. Leaders: Bev H, Bev M
5. 8/8/2001. Alt. Woodside Glen. Leaders: Jack and Rosemary, Mary Y.
4. 20/1/1999. Woodside Glen. Leaders: Joyce, Bev S, Les S.
3. 16/9/1998 Trampers. Woodside Glen to top of Maungatuas. Leaders: Bill H, Graham
2. 20/11/1996. Trampers. Woodside Glen to top of Maungatuas. Leaders: Jack R, George, Eleanor
1. 22/4/1992. Trampers. Woodside Glen Bush track leading to Maungtuas. Average+. Leaders: Bob H, Jack R, Doug & Ngaire
16 km from car park.

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