Archive for the 'Trampers' Category

Nov 22 2017

Mt Charles, Cape Saunders, Puddingstone Rock, Allans Beach

Published by under Farm,Trampers

No. 99 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Mt Charles Mr Neil Farm”

27 km from car-park.

Click here to read about Cape Saunders Lighthouse and the two graves

9. 22/11/2017. Trampers. Mount Charles. M. Leader: Phil.

Mt Charles – 22 November 2017 – Leader: Phil.

Following a quick rendezvous of 4 vehicles at Macandrew Bay it was follow the leader via Allans Beach Road, with the leader doing a feint turn the wrong way at Hoopers Inlet, just to test the following car drivers, before arriving and parking under the pine and macrocarpa at the end of the road.  There was then a few recounts on the numbers of intrepid trampers as I was reliably informed we had 16 when we left Mosgiel, but now we had 18!  Wow Mt Charles must have a reputation!

So off we set at 10 to 10 back down the road to the gate with ‘closed’ on it; there was a promise of the most well earned morning tea for the year at the stile at the top of the first paddock….this was achieved comfortably by all but clearly the steep start had an affect,

Up, up, and more up. (Helen pic and caption.)

with everyone sitting for a good 20 minutes…maybe it was the views?  This was said to be about ‘halfway up- yeah right!’

We then set off up a variety of knobs and farm tracks, and following the fence lines to ridges and little saddles and then via a track – commented to be the stairway to heaven –  that dissected some remnant native bush (and where the level of craic was very low), before we emerged on a little plateau, and veering left and with the help of some gentlemanly fence lifters to get under the barbed wire arrived and ‘summited’ Mt Charles at 11.30.

 

Group at the top. (Helen pic and caption.)

On the last part of the ascent we had been accompanied by a herd of inquisitive and very well conditioned cattle, that set about corralling and dividing us before realising we had no barley sugars to give them so off they bashed through the forest. At the summit we were greeted by the mist clearing and revealing 360 degree views, only to be tested by a swarm of bush flies and other flying objects, so after admiring the views and taking the obligatory photos

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

we headed off through the fences and along the ridge to start the descent down the sea side (East) of the mountain. Around half way down the lumpy and steep hillside we found a spot for lunch, where someone had nicely placed boulders and logs for us all to be comfortably seated and take in the surroundings,

Lunch stop. (Margreet pic and caption.)

including a top dressing plane, piloted by Snoopy. The plane  made numerous and continuous sorties along the coast

‘’Snoopy buzzing the team’’ (Phil pic and caption.)

and around the mountain for the duration of the rest of the walk. At about this time the sea mist moved back and the summit was shrouded in….

Gradually we descended and returned along the ‘flat’, parallel with the coast, and then over a small saddle and down to the road end and carparks, where we were warmly met at 1.15 by Jill D and Clive, who having completed 90% of the ascent, returned and undertook a walk along the beach.  Well done folks for the inspiring effort.

We then had sometime at the beach, walking to the headland, dipping toes in the sparkling seas, or just lounging and taking in  the peace and tranquillity, but for Snoopy! Then onto the Mac Café, where as a sign of the season, and in very Mediterranean like conditions,  there were probably more ice creams, and cold drinks consumed  than coffees and tea.

Although the walk was ‘only’ 5.7km it was 403 m up a mountain, and of course 403m down!

This was NZ walking at it’s best; a mountain, 360 degree views of land and sea scapes, and lovely weather followed by a walk on the beach and admiring wildlife, with great company. – Phil

 8. 8/4/2015 Trampers. Mount Charles M.
GPS of route, courtesy Ken.

GPS of route, courtesy Ken. We walked 7km; 2 hrs moving time; 3.1km/hr; climbed 452mtrs; max elev.412mtrs

Having met up with the others at the meeting place in Andy Bay, 6 of us travelled to the end of Allans Beach Rd. where we parked under the pines, & geared up for the climb up Mt. Charles. We walked back along the road for the 3-400m to the stile over the fence at the start of the climb, then it was up, up, & more up!
We stopped just after 10am for morning tea break, then resumed the climb. An hour later we reached the trig on top of Mt. Charles,…

1 At top of Mt. Charles. (Ken pic and caption)

1 At top of Mt. Charles. (Ken pic and caption)

…where we spent some time admiring the view, which was fantastic.

2 View from Mt. Charles, with Harbour Cone on left. (Ken pic and caption)

2 View from Mt. Charles, with Harbour Cone on left. (Ken pic and caption)

4 Allans Beach, & Hoopers Inlet from Mt. Charles. (Ken pic and caption)

4 Allans Beach, & Hoopers Inlet from Mt. Charles. (Ken pic and caption)

We also found the trig station was falling to bits, with all of the bolts securing the stays to the legs missing.

3 looking at he damaged trig. (Ken pic and caption)

3 looking at he damaged trig. (Ken pic and caption)

As there was a bit of a breeze blowing up there, we decided to go down the seaward side, & walk back around that area to the cars. So we set off following sheep trails through the bracken, & Onga Onga, down a steep slope until we were approx halfway down, where we had lunch in a pleasant spot with a great view.

5 Lunch stop with a view. (Ken pic and caption)

5 Lunch stop with a view. (Ken pic and caption)

6 Allans Beach with Sandy Mount in the background

6 Allans Beach with Sandy Mount in the background. (Ken pic and caption)

We then finished the descent,…

7 The clay road down there was our destination for the walk back out. (Ken pic and caption)

7 The clay road down there was our destination for the walk back out. (Ken pic and caption)

…& made our way back past Belmont House out to the cars.
As it was still quite early in the day, we then went out to the beach, where we had to detour around a sleeping sea lion on the track. There were others on the beach also, ignoring the presence of humans.
The trip up Mt. Charles is a serious climb to get to the top, but I think we all enjoyed the experience. And we stopped off at Mac Bay for a coffee & chat before driving back to town. – Ken.

7. 10/8/2011. Trampers. Allans Beach, Belmont, Cape Saunders, Kaimata Road, Puddingstone Rock, return. Medium.

GPS of route from Allans Beach to Puddigstone Rocks, return, courtesy Ken. 13.8 Km. Total metres climbed: 690.

It was a brilliant winter’s day as can be seen from the pics.

Looking South at Allans Beach. (Ken pic and caption). – Sandymount beyond.

Looking north towards on Cape Saunder’s coast. (Ken pic and caption)

Cape Saunders ‘LightHouse’. (Ken pic and caption)

The site of the old Lighthouse Keeper’s house which was vandalised and later destroyed by fire. Site very tidily cleared.

Our intention had been to return via Mount Charles, but an early evening appointment of one of our party indicated a return by the way we had come would be more prudent than risking the – perhaps over-time commitment – of tackling Mount Charles as well. (Note: Making this a summer tramp would lessen such time constraints.) – Ian
6. 11/2/2009. Trampers. Allans Beach, Belmont, Cape Saunders, Kaimata Road, Puddingstone Rock Cape Saunders Road, Mt Charles, round trip. Medium. Leader: Bill

45 minutes’ drive to Alans Beach by Hoopers Inlet. 37.5 km from car-park.
(Click to enlarge thumbnail pics)

Route Map
The trip this time was enhanced by a group from the Christchurch Over Forties Tramping Club joining us for the day. The day was pleasant as we made our way from the Belmont homestead over a ridge or two to our tea break spot with a fine view of a small beach and the Wharekakahu Rock islet.

Down to tea break

Down to tea break

Beach and Whatekakahu Rock Islet at tea break

Beach and Whatekakahu Rock Islet at tea break

A bit of a climb from there brought us to the experience of an abrupt cliff face

A cliff edge

A cliff edge

before climbing a fence line to make our way across to the Cape Saunders road and down to the Matakitaki Point lighthouse.

While there we showed our visitors the ancient grave site of two young children (see information at bottom of this post)

Picket fence grave site

Picket fence grave site

before climbing back up to the Kaimata Road and down to our lunch stop.
click to enlarge

Lunch time

Lunch time

Then it was down a paddock or two to view the seals on the Puddingstone Rock ledge,

Seal and offspring?

Seal and offspring?

Seals frolicking

Seals frolicking

before climbing the road back out to the Cape Saunders Road and along to the NE of Mount Charles to climb through paddock and bush to the trig.

Sandymount from Mount Charles

Sandymount from Mount Charles. Hazel, Angela

Last climb to trig

Last climb to trig

After that it was down the conventional ascent route, much steeper than the one we had climbed, and along to the cars.

5. 23/5/2007 Trampers. Allans Beach, Belmont, Cape Saunders, Kaimata Road, Puddingstone Rock Cape Saunders Road, Mt Charles, round trip. Medium. Leaders: Bill, Pat
Keyhole in rock

Keyhole in rock (31/3/2004)

click to enlarge
Lunch time

Lunch time

4. 29/11/2006. Trampers. Allans Beach, Mount Charles, Cape Saunders. Medium. Leaders: Bill, Pat

click to enlarge

Off-shore islet

Off-shore islet

Surf on Cape Saunders

Surf on Cape Saunders

Cute gate

McLeods’ gate

Victory Beach from Mount Charles

Victory Beach from Mount Charles

Struggling against the wind up Mt Charles Pat, Wendy, Hazel

Struggling against the wind up Mt Charles Doug, Pat, Wendy, Hazel, Glenice.

Cresting Mt Charles. Who? Doug, Ian, Pat, Wendy, Hazel

Cresting Mt Charles. Who? Doug, Wendy, Pat, Hazel, Glenice.

Cautious descent in wind. Pat, Wendy.

Cautious descent in wind. Wind, Glenice, Pat, Hazel, Wendy.

Allans beach from Mt Charles. (Bill pic)

Allans beach and Sandymount from Mt Charles. (Bill pic)

Papanui Inlet, Otago Harbour from Mt Charles.

Papanui Inlet, Otago Harbour from Mt Charles.

3. 7/12/2005. All. Cape Saunders from Allans Beach. Leaders: Bill, Pat, Bob, Nadia
2. 26/1/2005 Mount Charles Hoopers Inlet, Allans Beach. Leaders: Dorothy S, Shirley
Prospect. Before the climb.

Prospect. Before the climb.

Mount Charles summit. Dorothy, Pat.

Mount Charles summit. Dorothy, Pat.

Lunch

Lunch lee Mt Charles. Peter, Lex, Ian, Dorothy S, Dot B, Ria, Pat Wendy, George, Margaret, Tom

1. 31/3/2004. Trampers. Cape Saunders, Puddingstone Rock. Easy+. Leaders: Bill, Pat
Tea Break. Pat, Molly, Bill, Joyce, Nancy

Tea Break. Pat, Molly, Bill, Joyce, Nancy

Peter, Bob & Bill on edge

Peter, Bob & Bill on edge

Wave surge. Lunch. Margaret, Who? Bev H, Peter. Old grave.

Wave surge. Lunch. Margaret, Who? Bev H, Peter. Old grave.

Keyhole in point.

Keyhole in point.

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Nov 15 2017

Walrus Bridge. Nardoo Scientific Reserve. Little Peak.

Published by under Trampers

Distance from Bush Road Car-park: 50 Km.

Tramp area map

8. 15/11/2017. Trampers. Nardoo Reserve Walrus Bridge. Leader: Art.
3 vehicles conveyed 9 Trampers out past Lake Mahinerangi to the Nardoo Reserve, for a day in the tussock. It was an hour’s journey.
On the last few kilometres up the farm road on Waipori Station we were able to admire all the ewes with their lambs. They obviously wanted to keep up their fitness, as instead of moving off sideways, they preferred to run uphill on the road in front of us!
From our car park we walked for 10 minutes to have smoko by the D.O.C. sign, as we entered the Reserve.
Up the zig zag and into the tussock. There was a faint trail to follow all the way, but concentration was needed at times so as not to lose it.
We stopped a few times to regroup and have a rest, uphill all the way. But our precautions taken to guard against sunburn were wasted as we remained under low cloud all day.
At one of the rest stops it was noticed the cloud was flowing up the gullies on either side of us, converging, and then going upslope in front of us. The cloud was close above us further up, but we had good visibility of several hundred meres on the group in all directions.

‘’ come on up Bruce, there’s a better view of the mist here”. (Phil pic and caption.)

And so we came to Walrus Bridge, some time being spent on admiring and photographing it, before drawing up to the festal board (we ate our lunch).

Walrus Rock. Dave up on top. Rest underneath. (Helen pic and caption.)

A swallow arrived, and to our pleasure began flying backwards and forwards over the water and under Walrus Bridge, no doubt looking for a snack.
Before turning for home, some time was spent by the botanists among us, in studying the large area of mosses, etc, just beyond Walrus Bridge.

There was a lot of interest in the flower. ‘’Possibly the buttercup ranunculus gracilipis (slender) ( A Mark ‘ Above the treeline’)’’. (Phil pic and caption.)

We retraced our path in the beautiful tussock, downhill now of course, and eventually arrived back at the D.O.C. sign for a photo opportunity.

The group. (Helen pic and caption.)

And so it came to pass the 9 very happy trampers returned to the cars after a very enjoyable day in the tussock.

A brief stop was made at the Waipori Cemetery on the way back. A tranquil place. And Lake Mahinerangi was very low, we could see.

Back at Outram refreshments were obtained at the “Gobbly Woat”.

A few figures now – our day’s tramp distance was 8.7 km. We parked the cars at an altitude of 624 metre, and Walrus Bridge was at 934 metres.

My thanks to all my fellow “tussock jumpers” for such a good day out. – Art.

7. 28/10/2015 Trampers. Nardoo Reserve.
On a cool morning, 11 trampers, 9 who had not been there before, set off to visit Nardoo Reserve,
After a tentative drive along the road from Lake Mahinarangi, past the old Waipori cemetery, desperately looking for any sign that I remembered where we were, we finally arrived at the parking spot where we would start walking from.
As it was already just after 10am, we decided to have morning tea before setting off on our walk. Then it was off along the old 4WD track around to the boundary fence of Nardoo Reserve, where we were puzzled by the fact that the gate was open into the reserve. This was later explained to me by the owner of the surrounding land, who had a legit reason for it being open.
On the way up…
Some great scenery (Heb pic, Ken caption)

Some great scenery (Heb pic, Ken caption)

… the long climb to Walrus Bridge, I let some of the group take turns with the GPS so they could follow the track on the GPS display of our previous trips here.
Taking a break on the way up (Heb pic, Ken caption)

Taking a break on the way up (Heb pic, Ken caption)

I also did this on the way home again, as I think it wise to let others see how the GPS can guide you in this type of featureless country, which is all tussock, with no track showing in most places, as it’s many years since anybody has had a vehicle up there. Most agreed that they had no idea how to return to the cars, & I think there would’ve been a lot of head scratching going on if they had to find there own way back.
After having lunch at Walrus Bridge,
Lunch at Walrus Bridge (Heb pic, Ken caption)

Lunch at Walrus Bridge (Heb pic, Ken caption)

where everybody was suitably impressed by the sight of the pool under it, we decided to go on a little further as it was still quite early. Se we trudged across to another rocky point where we had a rest & a good look around, trying to decide in which direction Lawrence, & some other towns were. Then we made our way all the way back to the cars,
Exiting the reserve (Heb pic, Ken caption)

Exiting the reserve (Heb pic, Ken caption)

where some expressed amazement that the walk was quite short, but felt as though they had walked much further.
There were some appreciative comments made about the trip, so I think everybody enjoyed the day out on the open tops. And I for one have some sunburn on the back of the hand I use with my Trekking Pole.Walked 9km
3.1km/h
2h 54mins moving
climbed 382mtrs
max height 972mtrs.
6. 27/10/2010. Trampers. Nardoo Scientific Reserve. Little Peak. Medium. Leader: Ian.

GPS of Tramp. 10km. courtesy Ken.

The day was hot. Tempered by a strong but pleasant cool wind. Five of us enjoyed a return to Little Peak. To access Nardoo Reserve we had to drive through part of Waipori Station, whose permission was kindly given. The protected tussock of the Reserve was as long as ever but the 4WD track was still detectable. We stopped early at the customary zig-zag for the tea break.

Morning tea on the zig-zag. (Ken pic)

Then it was on up, across to the left, then right, along a bit of a gully before climbing to top the wee hill to our left, (see the first left point of the two major zigs on the GPS map.

View of Little Peak just discernable on skyline. About to climb wee hill on our left. 4WD track visible in tussock.

Then the swing down to our right, across a wet mossy decline, and up again, angling on a long reach to our left to reach Little Peak, (see the second major left point on the GPS route). Here we rested beside Walrus Bridge rock.

Break at Walrus Bridge. (Ken pic)

We had made good time and it was too early for lunch. We decided to head in the direction of Peak No. 2. The tussock on the top here shares pride of place with a large variety of mosses, and a profusion of celmisias. We made our way across these to a solitary rock on a bit of a rise and decided to lunch there.

Rock where we had lunch. Little Peak rocks in back-ground.

We were struck by the deep blue of a group of able 5 tarns in a dip, looking towards the Lake.

Deep blue of tarns viewed from lunch spot. Lake Mahinerangi. (Ken pic)

Then it was back down and across to Little Peak and to retrace our steps back to the car. Ken let us take turns with holding his GPS navigator to note just how accurately we were keeping to the track it had marked out on the ascent. (A good tool were we ever to get lost.) Only five of us, but good company. Wish there were more to share our enjoyment of yet another brilliant Wednesday. – Ian
5. 16/1/2008 Trampers. Walrus Bridge, Red Rock, Nardoo Scientific Reserve. Medium. Leaders: Ian, Bill M
Today, which saw the mercury rise uncomfortably high , 10 of us travelled in 3 very different cars to the start of the tramp, well past the turnoff to the Waipori cemetery beside Lake Mahinerangi.
This was going to be the day we all needed a large supply of water. Luckily it was only a slow leak from the water bladder and Ian did not run out of water. Ria, who is very fit, found the slow pace hard to take , although the rest of us appreciated the regular breathers Bill allowed us on the rather hot, tussocky ascent. Wonderful views surrounded us over the nearby slopes of the Lammermoors, and back over lake Mahingerangi. The area we were in was a scenic reserve called Nardoo and had been fenced off from the stock which roamed over the rest of Waipori Station.
Nardoo sign

Nardoo sign. (Bill pic)

This had allowed regeneration of the native plants and tussocks and on the summit of Little Peak 1 the Celmisias were everywhere and a real treat to see their lovely silver foliage and white, daisy like flowers. Walrus bridge is a large rock spanning a deep dark tarn and it was here we sought shelter from the midday sun and had our lunch.
Walrus Bridge

Close-up view under Walrus Bridge/ (Bill pic)

We posed. Emma, Marjorie, Tash, Doug, Hazel, Ian, Bruce.

We posed. Emma, Marjorie, Tash, Doug, Hazel, Ian, Bruce.

Bruce suggested it was called Walrus because a walrus moustache is shaped like a bridge over the mouth and droops down the sides rather like a walrus’ long incisor teeth. Hazel needed a good wake up call
Lunch snooze.

Lunch snooze. Ken, Doug, Bruce, Tash, Emma, Marjorie (Bill pic)

Overhang rock

Rock overhang. A walrus? (Bill pic)

Mahinerangi view

Mahinerangi view

as we headed back down after lunch and Ian managed to end up fighting to get up from the tussocks after falling dramatically into them. And so back the way we came, but this time all down hill.
Us on way back down. Ria, Hazel, Doug, Tash, Emma, Bruce, Marjorie, Ken, Ian

Us on way back down. Ria, Hazel, Doug, Tash, Emma, Bruce, Marjorie, Ken, Ian

A great day out in beautiful, wild country with blue skies, and white shaped clouds.
Cloud effect

Cloud effect (Bill pic)

A quick visit to Waipori Cemetery and memorial on the way out, and we still hadn’t seen a living soul.- Tash
4. 15/2/2006. Trampers. Red Rock, Nardoo, Walrus Bridge. Leaders: Ian, Bob H, Judy G.

Walrus Bridge.

3. 20/4/2005. Both. Nardoo, Walrus Bridge. Leaders: Helen S, Ria, Lance and Lois.
2. 19/3/2003. Both. Lake Mahinerangi, Red Rock, Walrus Bridge, Nardoo. Medium. Leaders: Ria, Evelyn, Molly, Mary M.
1. 14/4/1993. Lake Mahinerangi, Red Rock, Walrus Bridge, Nardoo. Medium+. Leaders: Ria L, Ria H, Jean, Lesley S.

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Nov 08 2017

Rollinsons, Swampy, Swine Spur

Published by under Trampers

Location: 15 km.
Click Swampy ridge track for background information.

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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Oct 25 2017

Careys Creek track, Black Gully Dam to Evansdale.

Published by under Trampers

Distance from car-park: 40 km

Black Gully Dam. Accessed from Semple Road. Black Gully Dam/Seacliff Dam. Av Time 1 hr; Route. Manager: DOC.
Click http://trtc.blogtown.co.nz/1980/12/14/seacliff-dam-historical-track/ for information on the Creek and pipeline.
Extension of Route to Black Gully Dam/Seacliff Dam. to Honeycomb track  junction. return. 4 hours return. Managed by DOC.
Best done in summer when Careys Creek is low, as there are many crossings. Attractive bush surrounds, which give good shelter from a hot sun.

8. 25/10/2017. Trampers. Black Gully Dam, Careys Creek, Evansdale. M. Leader: Keith.

Nine trampers left the car park and after delivering one vehicle to the tramp end,we left the car park at Semple road at 9.50am.

We made good progress on an times slippery and steepish track and stopped for smoko at 10:15.
As we followed the old pipe line down, the creek crossings became more frequent…

River crossing. (Helen pic and caption.)

 …and the track more muddy.
Lunch was had at 12:15…

Lunch. (Helen pic and caption.)

…and soon after the rain began, so it was on with the coats.

The hairy goat and his kids. (Helen pic and caption.)

Every one was quite wet by the time we got to Evansdale Glen but it was a good tramp and a great coffee at Blueskin cafe.
Distance Semple Rd car park to Evansdale walk bridge 11.6 km – Keith
7. 16/3/2016. Trampers. Black Gully Dam, Careys Creek, Evansdale. Leader: ?
On a day that didn’t promise much weather wise, we had 9 trampers on the Careys Creek tramp. For a change, the women outnumbered the men as well !!!
After doing the car shuttle thing, & having morning tea,

1 Packing up after morning tea (Ken pic and caption)

1 Packing up after morning tea (Ken pic and caption)

we all met up not far down valley from the Black Gully Dam,

2 Black Gully dam (Ken pic and caption)

2 Black Gully dam (Ken pic and caption)

3 Black Gully dam (Ken pic and caption)

3 Black Gully dam (Ken pic and caption)

& continued on at a leisurely pace,

4 track (Ken pic and caption)

4 track (Ken pic and caption)

being careful  of the quite slippery conditions.
The many creek crossings …

5 Crossing the creek (Ken pic and caption)

5 Crossing the creek (Ken pic and caption)

6 An easy crossing (Ken pic and caption)

6 An easy crossing (Ken pic and caption)

… were also treated with great care, as the boulders were mostly treacherous to stand on. It was pleasing to see the new much larger orange triangle track signs that have been installed along the places where it is necessary to walk the riverbed.
We had lunch alongside the creek at a suitable place, & then continued on downstream, where we met up with a quite a large group of Kings High School boys with two supervisors. They were making a lot of noise, & could be heard from some distance away. We spent the rest of the trip mixing with these boys, as they would race ahead, then stop to pick Blackberries, which they were going to make into a Blackberry Pie later that night.
We had some of our group who had not done this tramp before, & all agreed that it was a good day, which most of us finished off with a coffee & chat at Waitati.Walked 11.7km
3.6km/h
3h 13mins
climbed 173m – Ken.

6. 1/10/2014. Trampers. Black Gully Dam, Careys Creek, Evansdale.
Careys Creek track was the destination for this tramp, & 6 trampers turned up for the day out. We drove to Evansdale, & left one car there, & then drove up to the top of the track at Black Gully Dam track. Morning tea was taken at the wooden seat part way down this track just before the steep steps leading down to the creek. The dam was inspected, along with the old hut that is situated there, & then we made our way downstream over the many slippery creek crossings to a late lunch spot, not far from the signposted junction of Rongomai track. We then made our way back out to Evansdale Glen via the ‘new’ track, where two of us left the others to have a spell, & a look around the area, while we went & retrieved the two cars, so we could ferry everybody back to town. Once again, this tramp had not been done by some, & for others it had been a long time [many years] since they had been there, so even although most got wet, or damp feet, it was enjoyed by all, & the weather was brilliant !
We walked 10.8km
2h 45m moving time
ave 3.9km/h
climbed 163m – Ken.
5. 18/9/2013. Trampers. Black Gully Dam, Careys Creek, Evansdale.
Seven trampers gathered at the top of the Careys Creek track after leaving a vehicle at the Evansdale end.  The descent through the bush was pleasant easy going, with a stop to view the Black Gully dam and then another in a patch of sunlight for morning tea, where George shared his birthday goodies.

The creek was low so the numerous crossings were made with dry feet, except for one member who measured her length over slippery rocks and now sports a bruised cheek and knee, not to mention scratched specs.

The party then split, with three opting for an early lunch and the rest pressing on to the Rongomai junction.  Here the others caught up again, for an easy ramble out to the road.  – Judy

4. 26/1/2011. Trampers. Black Gully Dam, Careys Creek, Evansdale. Ken, Ian, Sabina.

GPS of Careys Creek track route, Semple Road to Evansdale, courtesy Ken.

With two cars between only three of us we nevertheless decided to do a car shuttle between Semple Road and Evansdale and to do the entire Careys Creek track. Ground conditions were wet and slippery, which would have ruled out the steep Honeycomb track anyway.
We were reminded again of just how many and how steep the steps down to the dam were. But they are well benched-in, so not too bad.

One of the more level parts of the track down to the Dam.

We took Sabina up to see the Dam and the slightly greater overflow didn’t auger well for the many creek-crossings and creek-wadings ahead, where the track is just the actual creek-bed. But again, things weren’t too bad.

The Dam waterfall was slightly heavier than usual.

Along the way we met up with several small groups of the Green Hut Track Group. They have almost completed clearing the entire track. Bravo! We were delighted to find several areas modified. These were where difficult parts of the track had, where occasion warranted, been either better benched, stepped or even completely re-routed. Again, bravo!
And then, just past the foot of the Rongomai, behold, a track now mown where  at all possible, all the way down to Evansdale Glen.

An example of the mown track nearer Evansdale.

This had been the first time the club has done the entire 10 km of creek in a long time. And it felt good. – Ian
3. 31/12/2009. Holiday tramp. Black Gully Dam, down Careys Creek some distance and back. 4 hours. Ian, Ken, George.
The weather forecast had promised a fine day but it turned out overcast. Rain on the previous wet day had left the track muddy and slippery necessitating great care not to slip. Exposed parts of the track produced lush rank grass and buttercups, and rain during the day left steep grassy slopes extremely slippery. The track is well-cleared for a considerable distance but from near its highest point and onwards, it was much more heavily overgrown than when we did the recce. First of all, of course, we climbed the track to the old Seacliff dam.
Looking across dam. Ken, George.

Looking across dam. Ken, George.

Dam and overflow.

Dam and overflow.

Peering through foliage to see extent of dam pond.

Peering through foliage to determine extent of dam pond.

Then it was down the Careys Creek old pipe-maintenance track. As mentioned above, this part was well cleared.
Track down Careys Creek. George, Ken.

Track down Careys Creek. George, Ken.

Of course there were very many stream crossings, some entailing a walk quite a distance down the creek before entering the track again. These were well-marked with indicators suspended from branches overhanging the stream-bed.
One of many stream crossings. George, Ken

One of many stream crossings. George, Ken

There was a restriction on time as George had belatedly discovered he had to be back home mid-afternoon, so although we managed a short-notice early 8.15 a.m. setting out, we were unable to make the full distance down to the Honeycomb Track turn-off before having to turn back. A memorable part of the tramp was a (unnoticed at the time but decidedly stinging later on and into the night) brush with some concealed onga-onga, Ken on his left wrist, George on a finger and Ian on his right knee. But all in all, a very enjoyable way to finish the old year off. – Ian
2. 5/12/2009. Recce of Black Gully Dam, Careys Creek, Honeycomb, returned Mountain Road, Semple Road. 5.5 hours. Ian, Keith, Glenis.
Track is well-cleared for most of its length.
The road-walk back is about 8 km.
1. 19/10/1994 Evansdale, Black Gully Dam/Seacliff Dam, Double Hill. Medium. Leaders: Ria L, Marie F, Jack R, Bob H

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Sep 13 2017

Bethunes Gully, Mt Cargill, Buttars Peak, Organ Pipes,Old Main North Road, Brown House corner, Norwood Street, Bethunes Gully.

Published by under Trampers,Year round

Click Mount Cargill history for background information.

No. 11 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Bethunes Gully to T.V. Mast Organ Pipes. Wiggins. Year Round.”

No. 100 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Bethunes Gully – Brown House – Signal Hill – Chingford Park Year Round”

Cars meet at Bethunes Gully. A broad gravelled track from picnic ground. NB. Opposite Brown House corner is an RSA Memorial to First World War servicemen the old Junction School.

21 km from car park.

21. 13/9/2017. Trampers. Bethunes Gully. M. Leader: Eleanore.
A record number (9 female and 8 male) trampers drove to car park at Bethunes Gully and started the steady climb up, up and up some more on a well maintained track.

Firstly, alongside Lindsay Creek.  The track climbs steadily up the flank of Mt. Cargill, first through pine forest and then regenerating native forest.  We found a cosy spot and enjoyed a smoko break.  Once again we climbed steadily to the top of the ridge between Mt. Cargill and Buttars  Peak.  The intersection to the Organ Pipes Track was reached, by now we knew the mast was getting closer.  Only to find we had to climb steps to reach the top!

(Margreet pic and caption.)

The weather was calm and the views fantastic.

On top of Mt Cargill looking towards Taiaroa Heads. (Phil pic and caption.)

For quite a few members it was a first time visit to this track.  Also, the company of the intrepid adventurer Judy Knox was enjoyed.  We continued onto the A.H. Reed track where lunch was had.

Lunch view. (Helen pic and caption.)

The beauty of this track is the downhill—all the way to the car park!
We chose the little coffee shop near Baldwin Street for coffee, cake and a chat.

Coffee. (Helen pic and caption.)

We travelled 10.9km and climbed 676 metres to the mast on top of Mt. Cargill
Another great outing had by all. – Eleanore Ryan.

20. 28/9/2016. Hikers. Bethunes Gully. H. Leaders: Adrienne and Judy K.
Route map

Route map of trek only to the top. (Sorry, jammed up the app.)

21 hikers with an age range of 12 to 89 (is that a record?) gathered at the car park at the start of the Bethunes Gully track. It was fine (well, not raining anyway) when we left Mosgiel, and dry at the start of the track, but a nasty creepy little drizzle hung round us the higher we went. Loud bird calls accompanied us for the steady climb up the gully on a well-formed track, slightly muddy in places, across several bridges where the creeks were running a bit higher than usual, to a welcome morning tea break on the side of the track.

Morning Tea. (Adrienne pic.)

Morning Tea stop. (Adrienne pic and caption.)

Slow and steady was the order of the day, with plenty of stops to get breath back. Up – and up – and up. Several fell by the wayside – first two, then two more. When at last the junction for the Organ Pipes and the Mt Cargill summit was reached, 10 more subsided and declared “Lunch!”
An intrepid 7 continued another half hour to the summit (a first for some), up the steps in annoying drizzle. No views available from the top.

Cloud Mountain. (Adrienne pic.)

The misty summit. (Adrienne pic and caption.)

so it was down to the junction again for lunch.

Lunch in cloud. Where had the others gone? (Ian pic and caption.)

Lunch in the cloud, back down from the summit and at the junction. Where had the others gone? (Ian pic and caption.)

By which time the other 10 had departed, it being a bit cold and damp to hang around.
Down – and down – and down – collecting strays as we went. Fred wasn’t present but his chocolates were, and much appreciated, thanks Fred. It was warm and sunny back …

Our welcoming crowd at the end. (Adrienne pic and caption.)

Our welcoming crowd at the end. (Adrienne pic and caption.)

… at the cars so parkas were discarded for the ride to the Botanic gardens and a well-earned (we think) coffee stop.  – Adrienne and Judy K.

19. 30/9/2015 Trampers. Bethunes Gully, Mt Cargill, Organ Pipes return.
Bethunes Gully track was the destination for the day, & 9 keen trampers arrived at the car park in Bethunes Gully, ready to tackle the continuous climb up to the transmitter mast at Mt. Cargill.
We arrived at the picnic spot about 3/4 of an hour up the track, but the leaders misread the sign, & decided that it wasn’t the correct place, but they were called back, & we all had a relaxing morning tea break in the sun. Then it was up the track some more, with a few rest breaks till we reached the junction with the Organ Pipes track, where we had another short break before heading off up the terrible track with the very large steps to arrive at the transmitter mast on top. This section is getting worse as time goes on, or is it just the mind thinking that way ??
After a good look around…
Top photo One (Ken pic)

Top photo One (Ken pic)

Top photo Two (Ken pic)

Top photo Two (Ken pic)

… & a chat with a guy from the university language department who had a group of very well dressed [all in black suits] Chinese visitors to the city, we made our way back to the Organ Pipes track. After a regroup here, we walked down to the Organ Pipes …

Eric (Ken pic)

Eric (Ken pic)

 … where I could see how my handiwork on the boardwalks was standing up from nearly 20 years beforehand. We had lunch at the Organ Pipes, then retraced our steps back down to the cars at Bethunes Gully. It was a very nice day for a tramp, with only the slightest breeze at the top, & some weak sunshine all day. I think everybody enjoyed the day, despite the grumbles about the steep climb, & those terrible steps !! We stopped off at the new cafe in the shop at the bottom of Baldwin Street for a coffee, just to keep up the tradition of the Trampers Coffee Club. This cafe is owned by the former owner of the ‘Flax’ cafe in Caversham.
Walked 10.9km
2h 53m moving
3.7km/h
climbed 679m
max height 672m – Ken.
18. 21/9/2011. Bethunes Gully, Mt Cargill, Buttars Peak, Organ Pipes, Old Main North Road, Brown House corner, Norwood Street, Bethunes Gully.

GPS of tramp, clockwise, courtesy, Ken

Nine of us did this tramp, the most we have had out for a while, and one that the club had not done since 2006!
We were surprised with the new (?) bike barriers, although we still met a biker further on up the track.

Cycle barrier

Doug (nice knees?) and this reporter (the eldest two in the group) elected to remain at the track junction, letting the others (one or two who had never done it before) go on up to the top.

Relaxing in sheltered comfort

Their only reward was to reach the summit. Mt Cargill was entirely cloud-capped. Too bad! Doug and I rested in complete shelter from the cold Norwester. Even down where we were, we could see the mist still briskly blowing across the saddle below us. See Moving Mist
It was a surprise later on, on the former main road and nearing the old Brown House site to see the lovely-but-misleading external sight of the cloud cover we had bracingly experienced from the inside.

Cloud over Mt Cargill. Mast just peeking above cloud, barely discernible to the left of the cloud’s apex..

Another good tramp. Bethunes Gully track is still no less steep at the beginning before easing off further up. – Ian
17. 27/10/2010. Hikers. Bethunes Gully, track junction with summit/Organ Pipes. Medium. Leaders: Lesley G, Joyce.
16. 5/5/2010. Both. Bethunes Gully, Bike Tracks. M-. Leaders: Bob and Evelyn.

We parked cars at by the toilets at the end of Cluny Street (that’s  what the Map said. Didn’t know that before.) in Bethunes Gully. Bob and Evelyn were  to turn on a delightful surprise for us all. They led us back down the road to the gate to discover for us on the left a bike track leading up through the trees. We admired the loving attention lavished on the system of tracks by bike devotees as we climbed up through the un-pruned Oregon plantation. After a morning tea stop we ascended yet further to reach the plantation’s NE corner. Then it was down to our left back into the gully.

Looking up at the tops

The tops of the tall Oregons.

Looking up at the tops.

Looking up at the tall Oregons. Wendy, Sabina, Peter, George, Lex, Ken.

We emerged at the head of the grassed part of the gully at the bridge across the Lindsay Stream.

Sturdy bridge
From here it was up the Mount Cargill walking track, stopping for frequent rests, one of which was by a small track on our left promising to lead eventually to Campbells Road in Pine Hill. (Bob and Evelyn had recced it, but it ends in dense gorse.) Eventually we reached the Lookout down on the right of the track where we stopped for an early lunch.
Bush view from the lookout.

Bush view from the lookout.

After the leaders had ascertained all seventeen of us were back up onto the walkway from the Lookout, (with Ken obtaining dispensation to carry on on his own to Mount Cargill, as he had come in his own car), they took us part way back down the walkway before striking off on the right up a rutted vehicle track through the bush,

Rock on rock

How did they lift the smaller on top of the larger? Leader Bob strikes a pose on the vehicle track

… from which eventually a track led off to the left and down to parallel the walkway back down the bridge and then it was just a short walk to the cars.

Thanks to Evelyn and Bob for finding us a new set of tracks in a Bethunes Gully we had thought we knew all about already. – Ian
15. 24/5/2006 Bethunes Gully, Mt Cargill, Buttars Peak, Organ Pipes,Old Main North Road, Brown House corner, Norwood Street, Bethunes Gully. Leaders: Judy, Tash
14. 15/6/2005. Trampers. Bethunes Gully, Mount Cargill. Leaders: Hazel, Ria.23/5/2007. Hikers. Bethunes Gully, Mount Cargill. Medium. Leaders: Betty, Dot T.
13. 5/11/2003. Trampers. Bethunes Gully, Buttars Peak, round trip. Medium. Leaders: D Jenkins, B McCabe
12. 10/9/2003. Trampers. Bethunes Gully, Buttars Peak, Round Trip. Medium. Leaders: Doug J, Barbara McC.
11. 28/8/2002 Bethunes Gully to Mount Cargill, Organ Pipes return. Leaders: Ray & Diana, Val
10. 16/5/2001. Bethunes Gully. Leaders: Nancy, Dot and Nelson.
9. 19/4/2000. Bethunes Gully, Mount Cargill. Leaders: Judy C, Mary M, Bev McI.
8. 27/5/1998. Bethunes Gully, Organ Pipes, North Road. Leaders: Hugh and Judith.
7. 25/3/1998. Bethunes Gully, Organ Pipes return. Leaders: Betty, Denise.
6. 25/3/1998 Bethunes Gully to Mount Cargill, Organ Pipes return. Leaders: B Bryce, D Pearce
5. 30/7/1997. Bethunes Gully, Mount Cargill. Leaders: Diana and Ray, Catherine.
4. 9/7/1997. Norwood Street, Bethunes Gully, Opoho. Leaders: Shirley McN, Pat, Wendy.
3. 27/9/1995. Pine Hill, Mount Cargill Track, Waitati Road, Bethunes Gully, North East Valley. Medium+. Leaders: Ria L, Catherine, Ria H, Shirley R
2. 12/5/1993 Pine Hill Road, Cowans Road, Mt Cargill, Old Mt Cargill Main North Road, Return Bethunes Gully, North East Valley.  Back to Pine Hill Road. Leaders: Ria L, Catherine T, Penny & Peter
1. 11/4/1990 Bethunes Gully, Mt Cargill, Buttars Peak, Organ Pipes,Old Main North Road, Brown House corner, Norwood Street, Bethunes Gully. Leaders: Margaret S, Hartmann, Bev H, Peter R



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Aug 16 2017

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

Published by under Trampers

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

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

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

Morning tea. (Helen pic and caption.)

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

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

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

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

(Margreet pic)

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

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

(Margreet pic)

… as we descended …

(Margreet pic.)

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

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

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

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

Onto the 4WD track through the tussock we travelled

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lunch and view. (Helen pic and caption.)

Lunch and view. (Helen pic and caption.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lawson Lodge. (Margreet pic)

Lawson Lodge. (Margreet pic)

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

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

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

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

Morning tea break. (Ken pic and caption)

Morning tea break. (Ken pic and caption)

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

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

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

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

Valley we walked along. (Ken pic and caption)

Valley we walked along. (Ken pic and caption)

Old hut. (Ken pic and caption)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Getting

Getting organised to have lunch at the ‘Lodge’

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

Lunch at the ‘Lodge’

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frisky friendly horses who were content to muzzle us.

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

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

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

Gully down to Waikouaiti River, South Branch.

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

Wider part of the river valley

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

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

Abandoned 4WD transport. (Ken pic and caption)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lodge on Lawsons Farm

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

Start at cars

Stepping Out

Stepping Out

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

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

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

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Jun 21 2017

Leishmans, Chalkies and/or Boulder Hill.

Published by under Trampers

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

We soon came to the old pump house…

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

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

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

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

Margreet pic.

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

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

Chalky rock. (Keith pic and caption.)

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

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

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

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

Lunch stop (Ken pic and caption)

Lunch

Lunch (Ken pic and caption)

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

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

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

Lunch at Chalkies Ledge (Ken pic and caption)

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

Morning tea on the only plateau on Leishman track.

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May 31 2017

Ardachys – Blacksmith Flat

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lunch spot (Ken pic and caption)

View from lunch site (Ken pic and caption)

View from lunch site (Ken pic and caption)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ascending Blacksmith Gully

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

Back at the car at top of ridge

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

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

GPS of route, courtesy Ken

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

 

Memorial Site

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

Climb

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

Ridge

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

Lunch by Taieri River (Ken pic)

Retracing our steps,

Walking back after lunch (Ken pic)

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

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

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

“22/8/90. Members of Taieri Recreational Tramping Group waiting for billy to boil after tramp. Ardachy Station, Hindon, Taieri Gorge.” (Ian pic, scanned from Peg Chisholm photo collection.)

He invited them to get their mugs out and filled them with tea. A very happy introduction to what has been a satisfying series of tramps there over the years.

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

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

Home is the farmer, home to the hills

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– OTAGO DAILY TIMES

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

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

 

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May 24 2017

Purakaunui, Mopanui, north face, ret.

Published by under Trampers

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

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

Lunch on Mopanui. (Arthur pic and caption.)

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

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

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

Dairy and cowshed? (Keith pic and caption.)

of the McKessar house and farm shed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Weary end. (Arthur pic and caption.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Osborne Mopanui wrong way. GPS courtesy Ken

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

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

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

 

Pura

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

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

At Purakaunui waterfront. Mopanui shrouded in mist.

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

On Mopanui summit. George, Doug, Ken, Ria

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

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

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

Sign at top of McKessar Track. (Ken pic)

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

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

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May 17 2017

Mount Hyde Station

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

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

(Margreet pic.)

between the two pipes

(Keith pic.)

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

(Keith pic.)

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

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

Morning tea break.

Taieri gorge train looking like a model train set

Taieri gorge train looking like a model train set

Ian on the Flying Fox

Ian on the Flying Fox

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

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

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

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

Arch structure of aquaduct.

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

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

Distant view of Aquaduct.

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

Unruffled

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

Keith in flying fox. (Ken pic and caption)

We then lunched by the stream.

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

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

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

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

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

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Apr 19 2017

Kempshall Road, Maungatua

Published by under Trampers,Year round

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

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

 

Morning Tea. (Margreet pic and caption.)

 

Confidence course. (Margreet pic and caption.)

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

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

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

 

Lunch. (Helen pic.)

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

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

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

Small waterfall. Doug, George. (Hazel pic)

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

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

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

Back at the cars

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

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Mar 22 2017

Deep Stream Pipeline by Highway 87 (upstream)

Published by under Trampers

38 km from car park.

4. 22/3/2017. Trampers. Hindon Pipeline upstream. Leader: Neil.

Wednesday 22nd dawned clear and fine for our usual walk.  Nine keen trampers departed for Hindon and the pipeline up-stream.  After a bit of misunderstanding by the leader, we departed the cars at 9.45am.  The first 1/2km of this walk is uphill on the farm track which tests everyone’s lungs, legs etc then over the top and down towards the cattle yards in the distance.

Walking uphill. (Arthur pic and caption.)

We had morning break at 10.15am on the grass above the creek.

Morning tea stop. (Arthur pic and caption.)

After that, it was onwards and upwards till we crossed over the road to Rocklands and on up to the high knob with the tree on it where we stopped at midday for lunch.
There was quite a strong, cool wind blowing up there …

Lunch in the shelter. (Arthur pic and caption.)

… but a good view all round.

Lunch view. (Arthur pic and caption.)

We returned parallel to the uphill climb but on reaching the road walked about 1/2km before going through a gate to continue  our paddock walk back to the cars which we reached about 2.0pm.

End in sight. (Arthur pic and caption.)

One car load chose to go straight home and the others stopped at Outram for the usual coffee break and chat.
An enjoyable day was had by all. -Neil.
3. 20/5/2015. Trampers. Hindon Pipeline upstream.
Deepstream pipeline - South. GPS of route, courtesy Ken.

Deepstream pipeline – South. GPS of route, courtesy Ken. Waked 12.6km; Ave 4.1km/h; 2hrs 53min; climbed 406mtrs; max height 562mtrs.

 This week, we had a good turn out of 9 trampers, who returned to the same parking spot as last week, but this time we went off to the LH side of the road. from the bridge over Deep Stream in the big dip on highway 87. This was a new tramp for all, as we had not been this way before.
The first 10 mins. of this walk up a steep gravel road, really got the blood flowing, & warmed us up, as there were signs of a frost in this valley.
On the way along here, we met up with the landowner, & had a chat to him for a few minutes. He suggested a walking route for us, which we did some of on the way back out, but we went a long way further than he suggested.
We had morning tea, at a spot where there was some dry ground,
1 Morning tea spot. (Ken pic and caption)

1 Morning tea spot. (Ken pic and caption)

& then carried on towards Rocklands Station. When we arrived at the edge of the ridge looking down on Rocklands,
2 Looking down on Rocklands Station. Old Dunstan Rd. in distance. (Ken pic and caption)

2 Looking down on Rocklands Station. Old Dunstan Rd. in distance. (Ken pic and caption)

we thought that the fence we were leaning on was a boundary fence, so didn’t cross that to go down to the Deep Stream. Instead, we headed off in a SW direction, which took us across the Old Dunstan Rd. & into the paddocks on the other side, where we spied a suitable high spot with shelter to have lunch.
3 lunch. (Ken pic and caption)

3 lunch. (Ken pic and caption)

This proved to be a good choice, as there was a very light breeze blowing, & the sun had not quite made it’s presence felt yet.
4 View from lunch spot. (Ken pic and caption)

4 View from lunch spot. (Ken pic and caption)

While having lunch, I made some mental notes of the route we could take on the way back, as I could see a large amount of the country we would have to walk across. So after lunch, we retraced our steps for a few hundred mtrs. to a gate in a fence we needed to cross, & then made our way back in the direction of the cars.
This tramp was throughly enjoyed by all, as the weather was fine, the views were great, & the country side was nice to walk through. – Ken.
2. 16/7/2014. Trampers. Deep stream Bridge, Middlemarch Road, Hindon Pipeline. (upstream).
Hindon pipeline to left of highway 87

Hindon pipeline to left of highway 87. We walked about 7.6 km; moving time 1h 55m; 3.8k/h ave; climbed 319mtrs. GPS courtesy Ken.

Not one of the 6 trampers who ventured out on this walk had been to this area before, so it became like doing a recce !! We started by examining the map on the GPS & deciding to walk towards the Old Dunstan Rd. which was about 4km from where we parked the cars.  After climbing a couple of small hills, & a stop for morning tea, we got to within about 4 -500mtrs of the Old dunstan Rd. where we watched some farm hands feeding out to some cattle. then we turned right & went inland further to overlook the valley into Rocklands station. The lunch stop was on the tops with a view over to the Lammerlaw/ Lammermore ranges which were snow capped, & a rain shower passing along them. then it was back along the tops to join up with the road leading in, & back to the cars. A short walk, but enjoyable to be out on the open tops, & not in bush. the day was cool, but mostly calm, which made for pleasant progress. – Ken.

1. 12/12/2007. Trampers. Deep stream Bridge, Middlemarch Road, Hindon Pipeline. (upstream). Medium. Leaders: Arthur & Barbara
Lunch

Lunch. Ria and Hazel by stream

13 of us parked the cars to the left of the Highway 87 bridge over the Deep Stream gully and Arthur and Barbara took us on the upstream farmland of the Deep Stream Pipeline route. Some confusion arose from an enforced wait for the late arrival of the station owner who had wished to point out aspects of the area and from an imperfect memory of a recce of a trip cancelled due to bad weather six months earlier. We stopped for morning tea on a steep slope providing an excellent view of the willow-clad stream below, later lunching…

Lunch. Peter, Wendy, Barbara, Abe, Arthur, Pat, Bill, George, 2 visitors

Lunch. Peter, Wendy, Barbara, Abe, Arthur, Pat, Bill, George, 2 visitors

…further upstream beside a robust concrete bridge structure over the stream. Elsewhere, the remaining…

Chimney ruin. Peter, Visitor, Ria, Bill, Arthur, Barbara, Abe, Visitor, Pat, George, Wendy, Hazel

Chimney ruin. Peter, Visitor, Ria, Bill, Arthur, Barbara, Abe, Visitor, Pat, George, Wendy, Hazel

…chimney of a former stone house also provided interest. We caught only a few indications of the pipeline, largely buried under paddocks. Hot sunny weather gave way to threatening black clouds but we experienced only light rain on an early return to the cars. – Ian

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Mar 15 2017

Hindon, McPhee Block, LHS Lamb Hill

Published by under Trampers

3. 15/3/2017  Trampers. Hindon, McPhee Block, LHS Lamb Hill. Leader: Arthur.

Eleven of us travelled up to Hindon in fog/cloud which obscured all views. However it was clear down in the Taieri Gorge where we parked beside the combined road/rail bridge.

Neils number from right, 1, 2, and 3 so we don’t get them mixed up. (Helen pic and caption.)

We began our tramp by walking across the bridge and onto Lamb Hill Station and then following the Taieri River upstream.

A morning tea stop was taken at 10.15 on the river bank,

Morning tea by river and train line. (Helen pic and caption.)

and just as we prepared to move on, the Taieri Gorge Train went past, going up the other side.

Taieri Gorge train. Some waved to us. (Helen pic and caption.)

After crossing Three O’Clock Stream it was uphill for some time, the clouds obligingly shading us from the sun to give very pleasant conditions as we expended energy.

When the farm road reached the top, a weak spot in the fence under the long row of pine trees allowed us onto a high knob …

Knob at top of tramp. (Margreet pic and caption.)

… with a great view down into the Taieri Gorge at the mouth of Deep Stream.

We came to the farm sheds (on the McFee Block) at 12.15, where we met the manager for a good catch up.

The cloud quickly dispersed now and we ate our lunch in brilliant sunshine beside a shed. It was the place to be as we could look across at the main block of Lamb Hill and much further.

An unhurried lunch …

Lunch at top by farm sheds. (Helen pic and caption.)

… was taken (why would anyone want to hurry from such a great spot?) before turning for home. A slightly different route was followed until it was onto the farm road for the downhill bit, the same we had ascended on earlier.

Down and down in the sunshine, along the riverbank, across the bridge and we were back at the cars.

Distance for the day was the tiniest tad under 13 km, but it should be noted here that the leader and one un-named person actually did 15 km in retrieving a forgotten camera from our lunch stop!

It had been a most enjoyable ramp, and one to be done again. A good turnout of 11 trampers also added to the enjoyment of the day.

Thanks to all. – Art.

2. 1/10/1998 Hindon railway left side Lamb Hill Station. Wenita Permit. George

1. 20/3/1996 Hindon railway – left side Lamb Hill Station Leaders: Doug & Myrie, Mary Y, Denise

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Jan 25 2017

Possum Hut

Published by under Trampers

No. 46 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “High Top – Possum Hut. L Smith”

Location: 41 km.
DoC: Silver Peaks Routes: Possum Hut Route – Silver Peaks Route to Jubilee Hut – Silver Peaks Route beyond Jubilee Hut
Click Silver Peaks Forest for background information on the area.
13. 25/1/2017. Trampers. Possum Hut – Green Hut (site) circuit. M. Leader: Arthur.
The early rain had cleared, and we had a lovely sunny day for our tramp. The southwest wind was quite strong all day, but we were well sheltered (mostly) on the bush tracks.

Lovely track. (Helen pic and caption.)

Out tramp started from Semple Road, we walked in the main Silverpeaks track, turned down Eucalypt Spur to reach Possum Hut. Uphill then to the Green Hut site before returning to the cars on the Silverpeaks track.
Leaving the cars we started with a rather unpleasant uphill 10 minute walk, but stopped for our morning tea at the top. Sunny and windy here, with quite a good view to the Silverpeaks – “The Gap” stood out well.
It seemed a long descent going down Eucalypt, but at the bottom we stopped for some time to decipher the enigmatic wording on the marble plaque beside the track – the wording is recorded on page 7.06 of Antony Hamel’s book.
A few minutes more and we were at Possum Hut. We knew it was Possum Hut as it had a sign on it to say so! The hut was dry inside and even had a wire bed frame as well as other essentials. Accommodation not to be sneezed at if the weather turned inclement?

Possum Hut. Eleanor, Dave, Carol, Neil and Arthur. (Helen pic and caption.)

It was a good stiff 23 minutes climb up from the hut to get on top of Possum Ridge. We continued on, and made our lunch stop at the old Green Hut site.

Lunch at the old Green Hut site in the wind. (Helen pic and caption.)

Lovely and sunny here, mostly sheltered apart from the occasional very blustery gust coming in to us. It was a very pleasant spot for our lunch. While we were three 2 young chaps came past on their way out after overnighting at Jubilee Hut. Good to see.

An hour’s walk then returned us to our starting point. A short car journey had us at the Blueskin coffee stop, for discussion on a variety of subjects. The leader was very grateful to hear that all had really enjoyed the day’s outing – it had been a very worthwhile day out for the 6 trampers. Distance – 9.2 km. – Arthur.

12. 11/9/2013. Trampers. Green Hut, Possum Hut, Blue Gum Spur.
11. 27/3/2013. Trampers. Hunters Access, Possum Hut, Rosella Ridge access, Mountain Rd.
GPS

GPS of route, courtesy Ken. Distance 7.02km
ave moving 3.2km/h
Moving time 2h 12min
Total ascent 380m

We decided to shorten this tramp,
as Ian H needed to take his wife to the hospital in the afternoon. We went down the Possum Hut access track, just a short distance along from the Green Hut track carpark. On reaching the bottom, after getting thoroughly wet from the dew hanging on all the bushes/ grass etc, we had morning tea in the tussock,

 

MT

Morning tea in the tussock at bottom of Hunters Access (Ken pic and caption)

& then went upstream to Possum Hut, where we decided to walk down stream to the track that goes back up to Mountain Rd, from the side of Rosella Ridge. This is an interesting walk, but we just got wetter than before!! As it was still quite early, we decided to have lunch back up on Mountain Rd

lunch

Lunch back up on Mountain Rd (Ken pic and caption)

before walking back to the car. – Ken

10. 28/9/2011. Trampers. Hunters Access. Possum Hut. Blue Gum Ridge/Eucalyptus Spur.

GPS of route, courtesy Ken. Begins middle right, and goes anti-clockwise.

 
The days had been drier, so the mud wasn’t as bad as it had been, thank goodness. Ten of us parked at the main entrance on Mountain Road and walked up the road to enter by Hunters Access for a change, something we hadn’t done for five years. It’s entrance is at the top right hand corner of the route photo.
Hunters Access was a bit neglected and overgrown, so we had to skirt large mud pools on the track and push through some gorse overhang. We had a cuppa on the way down. At the Rosella Ridge junction, the Possum Hut notice, indicating to the left, was a bit askew but resisted Doug’s attempts to straighten it.

Junction between Hunters Access, Possum Hut and Rosella Ridge.

The last descent through the pines to the South Waikouaiti Valley
was the usual almost-vertical descent, thankfully dry and grippy on the pine- needles carpet.

Careful!. It’ steep.

Possum Hut (at the end of the GPS ‘tail’ top LH corner. We had the choice of continuing up the ridge above the hut, but decided to go back down and return via Blue Gum ridge.

Hut

We climbed Blue Gum Ridge. Some of us lunching half-way up, the others at the top where the track joins the Green Hut track.

We meet again at the track junction.

Ready to move on.

The mud on walk out was as we had hoped well dried out and much safer. We met one of the Green Hut track clearing group making a safe bypass around a still very muddy patch. Bravo. – Ian.
9. 14/10/2009. Trampers. Semple Road track entrance past Hightop, Blue Gum Ridge, Possum Ridge , Green Ridge. Leaders: Ian, Bruce.
Mud must be this tramp’s theme. The entrance tracks from both Semple Road and Mountain Road after our prolonged stretch of rain have become dangerously muddy. Starting to dry out come the morning (muddier on the recce), a shower towards mid-day slathered them up so dangerously again that on the way out it was almost impossible to keep one’s feet.
Mud

Not the worst stretch of mud by any means.

We entered by the Semple Road entrance as Mountain Road beyond had developed those dangerous deep ruts again. So it was up over the rise and down again to join the Mountain Road Track further in.

Coming off Semple Road Track

Coming down off Semple Road Track at the site of the track signs. Bruce, Susan.

After a cuppa at the start of the Green Ridge Track, we went up a little way to turn off along the Blue Gums track, one the club had never tackled before, previously going to Possum Hut via Hunters Access.
Looking down Blue Gums Ridge

Looking down Blue Gums Ridge just as rain set in.

Looking back up Blue Gum Ridge

Looking back up Blue Gum Ridge

Blue Gums exit

Emerging from Blue Gum Ridge at its foot. Ria, Susan.

Plaque

The plaque on the track to Possum Hut. Joe Clark P Powell. 1882 Curley F 1892. Our Playground 1952. Gold. Possum Pics

Light rain had set in as we descended Blue Gums so we didn’t tarry at the plaque or Possum Hut except to note that someone has considerately slung a drip-stopping tarpaulin across under the roof. The light rain persisted, the steep climb up Possum Ridge had become no less steep, but had eased as the ascent began to ease and we stopped at a “drier” spot for lunch.
Lunch

Lunch. Ria, Hazel, Susan

Then it was across to Green Ridge, down past the Green Hut site and on till we reached its foot, to encounter again the morass of the now much more slippery mud and greasy clay of the access tracks of Mountain Road and Semple Road. There were one or two falls, but no serious accidents, thank goodness. Ah well. Must remember to schedule those access tracks for the drier summer time. – Ian
8. 19/4/2006 Hunters Access, Possum Hut, Green Hut, Mountain Road. Leaders: George, Ian
7. 26/4/2000. Green Hut, Possum Hut. Leaders: Bev H, Irene, Frank.
6. 25/3/1998. Hightop, Green Hill, Possum Hut. Leaders: Nancy, Lesley S, Bill H.
5. 21/2/1996. Hunters Access – Possum Hut. Medium. Leaders: Bob Q, Frank, Les W, George.
4. 27/10/1993 High Top, Green Hut, Possum Hut. Leaders: Bev H, Peter R, Les W, Victor G
3. 25/11/1988 Windy Ridge, Green Hut, Pulpit Rock, Return Possum Hut. Leaders: Claude, Rob C, Eleanor
2. 9/9/1998. Possum Hut, Green Hut. Leaders: Les S, Claude.
1. 11/5/1988 High Top, Green Hut, Possum Hut. Leaders: Ria L, Ria de J, Kees.

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Jan 18 2017

Wallaces Farm on Hope Hill

Published by under Trampers

Distance from car-park: 17 km.
12. 18/1/2017. Hope Hill. M. Leader: Arthur.
Today our team was comprised of 7 regulars plus guest Kathleen from Canada and Dave coming across from the Hikers – 9 in all.
The tramp was on “Hope Hill” farm, just below Allanton and we parked in the paddock off State Highway 1. To begin, we had a 3/4 hour uphill walk on the farm road, and in doing so gained about 200 metres of altitude.

Morning tea was taken beside an old farm trailer,

Morning tea stop at top of hill. (Helen pic and caption.)

giving us a rest after the uphill bit. The weather was overcast, and just touching the top of Maungatua at the time. There were very good views from up on top.

Moving on, after paralleling  the main road south for a short time, we changed direction towards the sea. We were able to view Scroggs Hill, Saddle Hill, Blackhead, and down to Taieri Mouth and beyond at times. The Peninsula was only vaguely visible in the misty conditions though.
Newly-weaned lambs were in the paddocks that we were walking through. Eventually we came to the boundary with the forestry, when the leader realised we had come too far. A little scouting found the top of the track we were to descend, requiring us to backtrack about 300 metres.
We followed a very steep track down through the bush, to emerge into a large paddock of ewes, who baa-ed a greeting to us, wondering where their lambs had got to.

Across the paddocks to McLaren Gully Road. A road walk for a while

Old farm house in the trees. (Helen pic and caption.)

before venturing back into the paddocks to climb up to our lunch spot in the shelter of a hut beside the 2 cell phone towers. It was a stiffish climb up to there,

Up the hill to lunch spot. (helen pic and caption.)

and lunch was eagerly anticipated. The breeze was cool and we sought the shelter. The weather was deteriorating now, the cloud lowering considerably. We were overlooking the airport, but the far side of the plain and far hills disappeared.

View from lunch stop. (Helen pic and caption.)

It seemed wise to make our lunch stop brief, but we had only started off again when fine drizzle arrived with the cool breeze we were facing into. We were still climbing for a while, but it was a gentle slope. Not too unpleasant.
Return to the cars was planned to take a different route, but we changed our minds due to the conditions, and descended the farm road that we had begun on – not so nice going down on it though.
It started to rain just as we got to the cars, so the timing was good. Keith’s distanceometer indicated that we had walked 14.2 km. A good tramp, giving us all a good workout on the hills – and it had been quite enjoyable, too.
Arriving back in Mosgiel, the cars detoured into “Wals” for a little while. – Art.
11. 20/4/2016. Hikers. Hope Hill from McLaren Gully Road. M. Leaders: Lester and George.
Logs being hauled down to be cut. (Jan pic)

Logs being hauled down to be cut. (Jan B. pic)

Lof cutting & trucking processor. (Jan pic.)

Log cutting & trucking on the spot. (Jan B. pic.)

The steep pinch up to the masts. (Jan pic.)

The steep pinch up to the masts. (Jan B. pic.)

Morning Tea view. (Liz pic and caption)

Morning Tea view. (Liz pic and caption)

Lunch view. (Liz pic and caption)

Lunch view. (Liz pic and caption)

Weed. (Liz pic and caption)

Weed. (Liz pic and caption)

10. 16/2/2011. Hikers. Hope Hill from McLaren Road. Moderate. Leaders: Peter and Wendy.
9. 21/1/2009 Trampers. Wallaces’ Farm on Hope Hill and Forest tracks. Medium. Leaders: Keith, Glenice, George
Nine of us walked from foot of McLaren Gully Road through a paddock with a stand of larches, cut across the corner of a paddock newly laid down in grass but at present largely growing fat-hen, to climb a track up through scrub,
Track up through scrub. Glenice, Wendy

Track up through scrub. Glenice, Wendy

then manuka,
Emerging from manuka shortcup. Angel, Doug, Bob

Emerging from manuka shortcut. Angela, Doug, Bob

then gorse
Gorse section of climb. Ian

Gorse section of climb. Ian (Bob pic)

to arrive at the transmission mast by the macrocarpas, for morning tea. Here we enjoyed that panorama of the Taieri plain.
Panorama of Maungatua, Taieri Plain and airport.

Panorama of Maungatua, Taieri Plain and airport. (Bob pic)

Along the farm ridge we inspected the historic site of the Harvard plane crash
Harvard crash site

Harvard crash site (Bob pic)

Plane

The wreckage of the Harvard of the No. 4 (Otago) Squadron Territorial Air Force which crashed on Hope Hill.

The Harvard crashed during a flight from Taieri on 16 Sep 1954. Both occupants of the plane, married airmen, were killed instantly when their night trainer hit the hill at an altitude of 2000ft. The men were Flying Officer Roanald Arthur Slade (30), of Dunedin, a territorial officer and Leading-aircraftman R. H Lester (30), a radio mechanic of the Taieri Air Force Station. The aircraft was one of three which left Taieri at 10.15 pm. on a training exercise. (ODT Sat 6 Sep 2009 “Within Living Memory” section).

and an antique trailer loaded with farm miscellanea.
Antique trailer. George, Doug

Antique trailer. George, Doug

Further along Bob took advantage of an empty drinking trough to take a bath.
Bob bathing

Bob bathing

and down a ridge to the right, stopping to photo Saddle Hill from the south
Panorama of Saddle Hill and Brighton

Panorama of Saddle Hill and Brighton coast (Bob pic)

into the forestry, with a surprisingly clear floor.
Down through open forestry. Keith.

Down through open forestry. Keith, foreground.

Down, down, down, to cross a small stream then up, up up back out into the farm and further steeply up a ridge to a trig
Climb struggle over.

Climb struggle over. (Bob pic)

and to complete a clockwise loop (has usually been down anticlockwise on previous occasions) and back along and down the way we came. A good day, little wind, cloud but still quite hot apart from a passing shower. – Ian.
8. 28/5/2008. Trampers. Hope Hill from McLaren Road. Easy+. Wallaces’ Farm on Hope Hill Leaders: Ian, Pat
Tea Break. Peter, Ken, George.

Tea Break. Peter, Ken, George.

A chilly start in the carpark for a healthy turnout of hikers, trampers and walkers. We celebrated an 80th birthday for Anne Rose, who looked about 50, with several comments along the lines of “Hope I look like that when I’m 60 never mind 80″… A very good advert for the benefits of hiking!
We parked our cars on McLaren Gully Road and started the steep climb up Hope Hill, with someone saying no wonder it was called Hope Hill because you just hoped you would make it to the top. Morning tea was overlooking the Taieri Plains with the Taieri River and the airport down below and a panoramic vista in all directions. George gathered us together on one of the high points to tell us about a tragedy that happened here in the 1950s. A Harvard training aeroplane with 2 people on board crashed into the top of the hill, nose diving into the ground. It was found at the inquest that carbon monoxide had leaked into the plane from a pipe that ran through the cabin overcoming the pilots, probably before the plane crashed. Several people remembered the accident. We continued through Wallace’s farm, in places quite wet and muddy. At a trig we were able to see all along the coast as far as the peninsula, trying to name the headlands we could see. Then we wended our way down to a sheltered spot among some trees for lunch. We were a bit wary of the tall trees, as at a previous spot a large branch had crashed down making us all jump.
After lunch it was down, down, down a steep paddock and then a very steep track
Steep! Joyce, Lex, Ria, Tash, Peter, George, Evelyn?, Emma

Steep! Joyce, Lex, Ria, Tash, Peter, George, Evelyn?, Emma

Steep! Emma, Joyce, Hazel, George, Lex, Peter,

Steep! Emma, Joyce, Hazel, George, Lex, Peter,

through bush until, along turnip paddocks and wet, wet, wet, we hit McLaren Gully Road again and made our way back down to the cars. Thank you to Pat and Ian for doing the recce on Saturday and Monday and making it a good circular walk. – Tash
7. 14/6/2006. Trampers. Hope Hill. Easy+. Leaders: George, Bruce.
6. 17/11/2004. Both. Hope Hill from McLaren Road. Leaders: Hazel, George, Lesley G, Lesley S.
5. 10/4/2002. Hope Hill. Medium. Leaders: George, Ria L, Elaine.
4. 13/6/2001. Hope Hill. Medium. Leaders: Myrie and Doug, Audrey K
3. 11/4/2001. Hope Hill. Leaders: Les and Margaret, Bev H.
2. 27/3/1996. Hope Hill. Medium. Leaders: Margaret and Les, Bill H, Lesley S.
1. 7/7/1993. Hope Hill. Easy+. Leaders: Les and Margaret, Ivan and Bev.

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