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Wilberforce-Moa River                           6th – 9th February

On Waitangi day we drove over Rakaia Gorge and up to Glenthorn Station where we swapped $20 for a key and continued on farm tracks.

We took an hour to drive up to the Wilberforce River and passed Fang hill Hut (private), stopping opposite Moa Hut (private).

After a quick lunch we set off walking up the Wilberforce. Where it turns right we had a view of Browning Pass but we turned left up the Unknown River. WE had lovely views up the unknown and the Moa Saddle.

Trip Reports

Click on the title of each report to read the full story, click on each photograph to view an enlargement.

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Nelson Lakes 8th - 15th March 2014

This Rob Birks-led circuit through the Nelson Lakes National Park started on Saturday 8th March and included Colin and Judy Blakemore, Christine Mold, Russell Grant and myself.

Rob, Judy and Christine started along the shore of Lake Rotoiti at 3:15pm while Colin, Russell and I delivered my car to the Mt Robert carpark where we were to end our circuit. Department of Conservation staff had warned us thieves had been targeting vehicles left at Mt Robert and while we did not suffer their attention it was a reminder not to leave valuables in vehicles at track ends.

Mueller Hut,  29-30 March 2014

Sitting at 1800 metres on the Sealy Range in the Mt Cook National Park, the Mueller Hut on a fine day provides a panoramic view of glaciers, ice cliffs, vertical rock faces and New Zealand's highest peaks.

To make the most of the weekend there, the five of us – Bruce, Barry, Catherine, Christine and Dorothy – left Timaru at 6 am on Saturday morning and arrived at the DOC Visitor Centre before its 8.30 am opening time. Bruce had been in phone contact a couple of days before and places were reserved for us. Just as well because with the recently introduced on-line booking system others were not so lucky.

Team photo Mueller.jpg

Woolshed Creek - April 13th 2014

We arrived at Woolshed Creek car park where there was light drizzle but still mild. A mountain bike event in the area had been postponed due to the weather and ground conditions. 6 of us set out, initially along the nature walk where the bush and plants looked stunning and fresh due to the light moisture on them. The colours were lovely and we saw lots of spotted red toadstools and a variety of coloured berries in the bush. We returned back along the nature walk and then commenced walking along the track to Woolshed creek hut. Two members of our party hadn’t been on this track before and even for those that had it varies each time you visit.

Craigmore Station  - Sunday 12th May

A dull overcast foggy day greeted us as we met up at the car-park, but we were soon on the road to Maungati where the cloud had lifted. Just beyond the golf-course we turned into Cleveland and parked up by the ‘Red Stables’. Here we were greeted by Fiona Elworthy, who waved us up the hill with some very basic navigational instructions. At the top of the hill we had very extensive views, to the east it was fog, to the west one could see the Main Divide with Mt Cook emerging very prominently.


Crooked Spur Hut - 7-18 May 2014

Robert's taxi service picked Fergus and myself up at 8 am in excellent weather, and with Christine and Barry already on board, it was off to the Bush Stream car park where we were the only vehicle. Tents were left in the vehicle, however a kilometre up the four wheel drive track, two vehicles were parked at the Mesopotamia fence, and Christine and Robert returned for the tents while the rest of us started up river.

The poled route up Bush Stream was somewhat erratic, while the stream itself was carrying a considerable quantity of water, near the upper limit of comfortable crossing. A pleasant if somewhat cool trip up valley ensued until the first climb to avoid a gorge, then the real climb up Crooked Spur to the hut, to find 7 hunters in residence.

Mid Winter at Braemar - 21st - 22nd June 2014

After arriving at the Shearers Quarters, choosing a bed, putting the crock pot on we  drove back several  kilometres to a new DOC sign and parked the car. The sign indicated it was  11km to Landslip Creek but our goal was the hut where a few of us stayed when we had a wild pine clearing weekend. The day was  mild but it was a strong head wind and the view excluded Mt Cook.  The view was still spectacular with the wind blowing the snow off Mt Stevenson.  It was about 2 hours later when we arrived at the private hut. A slow 5km. The chairs came out of the hut and we found a little shelter to enjoy the sun, while we had lunch. Liam enjoyed the time out of the front pack and was a happy little boy.

Rangitata Gorge      Sunday 29th June

Departing at 8am from Aorangi Park and after around an hour’s drive we arrived at the start at the Rangitata Diversion Race. Parking up in the large signed car park area we got out of the cars into a rather chilly wind and cool temperature. After putting on plenty of warm layers we set off following the poled track which followed through a public access easement onto the terraces. Following the Rangitata river through the gorge we had great views along the way.

Mount Cass and Mount Grey    26th – 27th July
David Mason was trip leader for a fabulous weekend away north of Christchurch. We left Timaru early on Saturday 26 July and arrived at his sons property at Amberly House, just this side of Amberly. Here we are treated with tremendous hospitality by his family. We stayed in the spare cottage. Unpacked, and off we went to tramp Mount Cass. A beautiful winter day for doing a coastal tramp. We turned right at Waipara and drove 5km. The track is mostly on farm tracks, but well sign posted. There is a toilet at the Loop Track Junction. We strolled past large deposits of limestone cliffs, and past and old lime quarry. We did enjoy the picnic area near the summit and found shelter for our lunch. The track does not actually go to the summit. This track is closed during lambing. 

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Kakahu and Waitohi Bush - Day trip       3rd August                                               

Kakahu bush is situated in Hall Road. It is approximately 15kms from Geraldine and approx. 45kms from Timaru. We drove via Pleasant Point and Seven Sisters road on to Winchester-Hanging Rock Road. Start of walk is from the car park by the historic lime kiln. Kakahu Bush is a 365 hectare protected area, which has a diverse range of geological, botanical and historical features. It is owned and managed by two charitable trusts who have opened it to the public.

Mount John Tekapo Day trip                      24th August

A small group of enthusiastic trampers departed Timaru around 8.30 am on Sunday 24-08- 14 bound for Lake Tekapo and then onto Mount John Loop Track with its spectacular views of the surrounding district. Arriving at Tekapo we meet up with a further three trampers including baby Liam which boosted our party to seven.

Mount Sunday  and  Mount Guy                            14th September      

 We left Timaru 8am and as we drove towards our destination the cloud lifted and by the time we arrived it was a beautiful day.

Our warm up walk was Mount Sunday which took approximately 1 hour round trip. Great views of the Rangitata River although not much water in it, surrounding mountains.

Lake Guyon                                                             20th - 22nd September

We’re off up Jack’s pass onto the Rainbow road. As we got further along the road we are greeted with the fresh snow on the ground. Overcast, the odd dark cloud in the sky. She’ll be right. It’s a runner. We get to our start, but head up the road a couple of kms to have a look at Lake Tennyson and all the fresh snow on the ground. Brrrrr.

Back to the start which is also the start or end of the new ST James cycle trail into Wairau Valley. Here Pete leaves us to take the Ute back to where we are going to walk out to the next day or Monday, weather dependant. With Just his bike shorts on and knobbly knees, Pete has a 30km or so bike ride back to Hamner. If he bikes fast enough he wouldn’t get too cold. (Took him just over an hour to get back to the fire). . . . .

Old Ghost Road                                                       October 2014

On Wednesday 1st the northern party set out from Timaru, arriving at Punakaiki at lunchtime. From here a drive up to the Buller Gorge Road and we parked the vehicle at the Buckland Peak car park. From here it was a 5 hour climb up a steep track through the bush to the tree-line arriving to a beautiful sunset. We still had to grope our way in failing light to find the hut which was situated in a gully 1/2 hour away. Basically we spent the next day confined here whilst the wild weather buffeted the hut about. On Friday the conditions eased a bit, so it was down to the car park in sleety conditions, and off to Westport for lunch. Then a drive up to Seddonville and the motor camp, which in fact was the old schoolhouse.

Old Ghost Road 20.jpg

NORTH  TEMPLE                                                      Sunday 12th October                                    

Sunday October 12th saw seven keen trampers meet at the stadium 6:55 am.  Heading west another joined us at Kimbell.  Sunshine and blue skies accompanied us across the Mackenzie Plain.  A right turn past Lake Ruataniwha took us along the south side of Lake Ohau then beyond it we crossed Temple Stream.  A short distance up Temple Valley we came to a car park 213 km from our starting point.  The day was warm and clear as we lifted our packs and started out by crossing North Temple Stream where a swing bridge once was.  Entering Beech forest on the south bank we soon found a well-worn, moss bordered, track which we followed up valley through forest and scrub with stretches of boulder strewn, shingle riverbed and lots of side streams to cross.






Historic Blue Mountain Station                               1st November 2014

An early rise Saturday morning seen three club members set off from Timaru towards Fairlie then onto Blue Mountain Station where we meet up with six others making up a party of nine which I thought was a  good turnout for this tramp. After arriving at Blue Mountain station the group were soon on the way first following the Orari river before the climb up the Totara spur ridge a gradual and reasonably easy climb with exceptional views in every direction, close to the spur it was time for a spell and a chance to enjoy the surrounding countryside.

Rees Dart                                                                 9th - 15th November

Up in good time to prepare to leave. With the car re-loaded we set off to Muddy Creek car park and the start of the walk. The weather was dry but overcast as we started along the 4WD track. There was a 5 minute side track up to Twenty Five Mile hut which was in a dilapidated state.  

The marked track continued over grassy flats which were very boggy in places. We eventually reached the park boundary and then we entered into the bush. By now it was raining lightly and in the shelter of the trees we stopped for lunch. We continued to climb steadily and the intermittent rain didn't prevent plenty of photo opportunities.

MTB Geraldine Bike Track Orari River                 30th November   

Mountain bike track 27kms.   Christine, Barry, Reno, David, Judy, Colin and Robert set off at 8.30am. Bikes were transported 4 in van and 3 on Colin’s bike rack. We started the ride at the Vance Road car park which is close to the Orari Racecourse. The track followed the south bank of the river along stop bank and then some fun single track through the trees and scrub, taking frequent stops to chat and let the rear catch up with the front riders

Christmas Dinner                                                      Monday 8th December

Our end of year social meeting was held at Robbies Bar and Bistro at Washdyke. 16 of us gathered around the long table set up for us with a bit of Christmas decoration. A 2 course Christmas menu was on offer or you could simply order from the regular menu. A pleasant evening and chance to catch up with everyone’s Christmas holiday tramping ventures. Thank you to all who attended.


Coal Hill                                                                        20th December 2014


A track sign to Coal Hill leads off the Rangitata Gorge Road. No car park, so we pulled off onto the road verge and headed off uphill. And it was literally uphill all the way for 900 metres following a deer fence.  A strong westerly wind resulted in many of us hugging the fence for support, and when rain squalls occurred it was on with waterproofs, and in Wayne’s case it was on with a cape.