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Arthurs Pass Weekend                                                                                                                  5th & 6th August 2017


We drove to Arthur’s Pass departing 5.30pm from Timaru. After a couple of brief stops we arrived around 9.30pm. Our accommodation for the weekend was the Christchurch Tramping Club Hut. In no time we were settled in and appreciating this great accommodation.

Up at 7am on Saturday the day looked promising towards Bealey Spur our planned walk for the day. The weather towards the west looked somewhat stormy but managed to keep to the west of the Waimakariri River.

We set off from the car-park around 9am

The track is well used and well-marked. It climbs gently up the spur, through mountain beech forest. The track with patches of muddy and wet bits, some bird life was observed and views looking down into Bruce Stream. Further up expansive views of the Waimakariri Valley and surrounds. Passing through tussock grasslands and subalpine scrub, a board walk across a wetland area and tarns in view made for some lovely photo shots. At this level there was a bit of snow about and with blue skies above and great company made for a great day out. The track ends at an historic hut, once used by mutterer’s in the days when this area was farmed for sheep. It appeared freshly painted and looked awesome with the snowy surrounds and blue skies. Inside the hut was well maintained, original and very tidy. We sat here for lunch for some time then returned back down the track.

On return to Arthur’s we went for a stroll around town, a visit to the DOC centre, checked out the resident Kea then a refreshment over the road before heading back to the hut. Overnight the weather turned to custard with some amazing thunder and lightning. We awoke in the morning to rain and unpleasant conditions so plan A wasn’t going to happen, and plan B didn’t either, then Plan C turned out to be a walk up the Rakaia Gorge walkway. We enjoyed this for around 2 ½ hours then on arrival back to the cars the weather was changing and we continued on our way home in to the rain. We managed to escape the wet weather for the weekend and didn’t put our rain coats on at all.

All in all a great weekend was enjoyed by Michelle, John, Barry, Bruce, Robert, Wayne and myself Christine.