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Tribulation Hut                                                                                                             17th – 18th January

On a nor westerly Saturday Catherine, Neville, and I left early for an enjoyable grass roots tramp to Tribulation Hut. Creation of this Redcliffe Conservation Area in 2009 followed tenure review. While the track is mostly well marked, some incomplete fencing blurs the boundaries in places. However it was easy enough to follow sometimes the stream, an old bulldozed track, fence lines, or old stock tracks to climbing to a large terraced area and on to the Redcliffe Saddle gaining 500m in the process. From there it was an easy 4km mainly downhill with a tail wind to the refurbished hut right beside Swift River for lunch.

Trip Reports 2015

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

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Light House to Lighthouse Evening Walk                                                                Monday 12th January

Thank you to all those who made it to this enjoyable evening walk.

There were 17 of us gather at the car park by the Tennis Stadium. Two cars had been already located at Jacks Point for return transport. With the large group two trips were made to shuttle everyone back.

The evening was very pleasant with grey sky overhead and a light easterly breeze at our back. It was great to chat to many along the way. Judy gave us a bit of interesting information about the Concrete Plant site that is under construction on the Port. Walk time was around 2hours 15mins and it was 9.40pm when I got home.


Huxley - Brodrick Hut                                                                     Waitangi weekend  6th – 8thFebruary

Robert Christine and Sandra departed Timaru at 7am on Friday morning. After three hours driving we arrived at the head of Lake Ohau then travelled on the four wheel drive track as far as we could before parking up and with around and hour and a half walking we arrived at Monument Hut for lunch. With signs of great weather ahead we set off leaving the Hopkins valley in to the Huxley valley with destination of Huxley Forks Hut for the night.  After crossing the swing bridge we followed the river across grassy flats arriving at around 4pm to find the Hut unoccupied so set up our spot for the night before the influx of more trampers.

Great Barrier Island                                                                           Saturday 14 February to Sunday 22 February

 If you think that Great Barrier Island is another playground for Aucklanders, think again. It is an amazingly un spoilt bush-clad island with a few small settlements joined by narrow windy roads.

Our party of eleven arrived there late Saturday morning after a 30 minute flight from Auckland. We proceeded to the local shop to stock up with gear and food which couldn’t be taken on our flight. Then it was into a rental van and we drove over to Port Fitzroy on the west coast, stopping en route to tramp up into Windy Canyon.

The Branches - Skippers and Lochnagar                                                  4th - 8th March 2015

Mustering the hills with the “Old Dog”   With the greatest respect, I title this report, “Mustering the Hills with the Old Dog”. “Dave”. To those who read this and do not know Dave, he is a musterer from way back and has worked on many well-known stations around the South Island. If it was not for his passion for the High Country and his desire to revisit some of his old haunts, the South Canterbury Tramping Club would not have accessed these places. In New Zealand today many areas are owned by overseas interests, big Corporate’s. Due to our Health and Safety rules, it deters owners from letting people onto their land. Well done Dave for your efforts to get us into the Branches. It helped having a family connection.

Cameron Hut - Makarora Area                                                                Easter Trip 3rd - 5th April

Our Easter journey (adventure) started on Friday when we headed down to Makarora to start our walk into the Cameron Valley on Saturday. After a brief stop at Omarama and as we were about to head off the car wouldn’t start.  Omarama proved to be a convenient place for a car to breakdown with thought that this could have happened further down the road at some remote car park. Times like this is when you are so grateful for being an AA member……

Cameron hut is a 4 bunk old deer cullers hut built in 1960. It had recently been done up with a new roof and relined with ply inside. The character had still been maintained. It sits on a lovely grassy flat by the river catching the all-day sun. Behind it are two large waterfalls and dense bush across the river and behind it.  The country is rugged and vegetation dense and closed in with only the tops open.

Jacks Hill Mount Algidus                                                                            24th - 25th January  

After a 3 hour drive and an early lunch we left the cars on the South side of the Rakaia River and walked downstream to find a safe crossing. We found a divided section and crossed in water mid-thigh depth. The Rakaia is a wide river bed and with only a small section of paddock between the Rakaia and the Mathias we spent 3 hours in river. The day was hot and the water in the Mathias well braided.

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Benmore Peninsula and Deep Stream                                                   Sunday 14th June

Six people travelled from Timaru to the top of Benmore Dam to walk the Peninsula Track. On arrival at the carpark Justin and his three delightful children Jack, James and Emma were waiting to join us. This walk took us through a mixed forest on a loop track. We were rewarded with fantastic views of the islands including Junction Island and the mountains beyond with Mount Cook clearly in sight.

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Washpen Falls                                                                                          17th May

So it was to be, we all meet up in Timaru at 8 am Sunday morning then headed out through Geraldine and on through the scenic route to Windwhistle on the north side of the Rakaia Gorge on a nice Autumn morning we were soon to turn off to Washpen Lodge where our eagerly awaited day tramp was to begin. The owner of the lodge gave us all a short briefing  of the area we were about to enter, as this track was on private land  with the track up keep solely resting on the land owner, the track ran through an ancient volcanic gorge with an abundant amount of native birdlife in the midst.

THE OLD GHOST ROAD.                                                                             6th – 13th June

What a trip. Catherine, Judy, Colin , John, Chris, Dorothy, Lynley and Bruce left Timaru for Murchison on Sat. 6th June, arriving at the “Lazy Cow” backpackers in late afternoon. Very comfy spot, a stroll through Murch.in the gloom is probably not the way to see the town but had to be done.

Sunday saw us ready to go with photo’s at the gateway with not a wasp or sandfly to be seen, only 80 km’s to go.

There is history here, dating back to the late 1870’s and Gold mining ,plenty of old relics along the way and with a couple of diversions , some old stamping batteries, pans, water wheels, boots,all sorts of stuff……

Rakaia Gorge Walkway                                                                             Sunday 26th July

Leaving the Stadium car park 8am on a fine but cool morning we headed out through Geraldine and on up the scenic route though to the Rakaia George where we were to encounter a change of weather as the rain began to fall, by 10am we were ready with wet weather gear and day packs on, now it was all go as we set off. This is a very scenic area where the track traverses the river edges before entering the forest normally this track would have been pretty easy going unfortunately there are now numerous fallen trees across the track which made the going harder. Going on we were soon to come across the old Snowden coal mine….

 Lake Clearwater                                                                                          Sunday 9th August  

Departing Timaru at 8am with promise of fresh snow underfoot and forecast for sleety showers and for us hopefully a window of a nicer day at Lake Clearwater. This is the way it turned out. The day saw a scenic drive with snow filled paddocks, hills and mountains. The road was clear and not too much traffic about on this day. Lake Clearwater on arrival looking quite stunning with snow all around and a glass like lake.

 Pareora to Jacks Point                                                                                 Sunday 12th July

Looking a great day out with a clear sky and chilly winter’s morning. Meeting at saltwater creek bridge at 10am Michelle, Hazel, Sandra and myself were transported by Grant who dropped off at Pareora car park area which is past the meat works with the plan to walk back to the cars. From here, finding our way back along the beach and cliff tops. This was a reasonable walk which took us around 3 hours by the time we spent some time for a lunch stop, and to take in the calm sea, and amazing waves crashing up on the beach….

Gunns and Kelseys Bush                                                                               Sunday 30th August                                                                                                                           
In spite of the threat of inclement weather a very pleasant outing was had to the two bush walks near Waimate.
Two new people (Tameka and Gwen) joined me and really appreciated the native bush and bird life.
At Gunns Bush the moss hanging from the trees and underfoot added to the magical feel of this 1 1/2 hour loop track.

Akaroa - Sea to Summit                                                                                 26th – 28th September

The weather for Saturday was not the best, cool and cloudy and a moment or two of light drizzly rain. We biked from Motukarara on the Little River bike trail with a stop at Birdlings Flat by the beach for a lunch stop. Eventually arriving at Little River before another spell if light rain. On arrival at Akaroa we checked in to our Bach then set out for a walk about the town. We couldn’t resist the fish n chips cooked fresh on the barbeque on the wharf. This was to be the appetiser before dinner.

Sunday morning we woke to clear blue skies and a very calm sea in the harbour. Today was our planned kayaking day. We set out towards the heads but as a breeze arrived made change of plan and kayaked across towards Wainui on the southern shore .


Sunday October 4th 2015 dawned fine and warm.  Eight enthusiastic cyclists assembled in Nelson Terrace.  Not even a faulty bike rack could dampen the optimism as Christine quickly found a solution and our convoy motored northwards.  Parking in the prearranged spot in Ashburton we met our ninth member, Louise.  Mounting up we rode over the bridge, a sharp right turn and follow the ‘River Trail‘ signs.  Soon we were swooping around bends, through hollows, over ridges and around trees.  After the first kilometre the trail widened out.  Scrub, trees and old logs had all been cleared well back, leaving a wide, clear path to walk or cycle.

Herbert Forest                                                                                                 Sunday 13th September
Paul,Barry,Neville,David,Colin,Judy and Marilyn ventured one and a half hours south to Herbert Forest. This walk encompasses several tracks.
These are the Swallows and Hoods Creek Tracks and the Podacarp and Glenburnie Loops.
With pleasant weather conditions we set off on a Forestry Track before entering the forest area. Herbert Forest has some impressive native trees
as well as spectacular specimens of silver ferns.