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Trip Reports 2016

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






Blue Mountain Station                                                                 16th & 17th January

A combined Methven & Districts and South Canterbury Tramping Club trip. Lousie could not have packed any more enjoyable elements into our trip, except maybe clear skies so reveal the amazing views I know that district exposes; including a good view of the south face of Mt Peel. Even then we had better weather than the folk back home. There is something to be said for the romanticism of lurking around the lofty tops like ‘gorillas in the mist’. Thank you very much Louise for a wonderful and very memorable trip.

Red Hill                                                                                         24th January


The weather forecast was for strong winds, but down on the Plains there was only a light breeze. At the Rakaia Gorge it still wasn’t too bad, and even along the Lake Lyndon road where we started tramping, conditions were reasonable. Up the valley floor, then a steep climb onto a ridge. It was starting to get windy here, and as we ascended it became quite vicious.

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Camp  Stream  Hut                                                                        February 14th  2016

After a little confusion 8 trampers met at the carpark on Coal River access road, about 1 km off the Lillybank Road, 5 km past Round Hill ski field turnoff.

Crossing Coal River we followed a marked uphill route along a public easement through private farmland.  We walked past deer paddocks to the boundary of Te Kahui Kaupeka Conservation Park.  From there we continued uphill along a well-worn track through bands of tall tussocks and patches of low matagouri scrub.  

Wilberforce Valley                                                                           6 – 8 February 2016

The destination on day one of our 3-day weekend was Urquhart’s Hut in the Wilberforce Valley. A reminder of depression time mining projects, this historically significant hut was built in 1933 for a gold prospecting party, a project that was financed by the Unemployment Board and controlled by the Ashburton County Council.

Our party of ten in two 4WD vehicles reached Harper Settlement, a cluster of about six houses established in 1921 when the Harper River was diverted for the Lake Coleridge power scheme. From there, instead of taking the track through Glenthorne Station, we drove up the riverbed over some very ‘hairy’ sections. After a short time Judy noticed that a back tyre on David’s vehicle was flat. With all hands to the deck, the tyre was soon changed and we were on our way again, hoping that, without a spare tyre, we would not have second puncture.

Canyon Creek                                                                              27th – 28th February

 Six of us headed off early Saturday morning to the headwaters of the Ahuriri River, with a coffee stop at Omarama en route followed by a  long slow drive up to the car park at the end of the road. A sort out of gear and a re-arrangement of packs followed, then we tramped up the river flats to the edge of the bush. Here the going became very steep as we climbed up over the gorge, then a drop down into the hanging valley of Canyon Creek. Up the river flats for an hour until we encountered another gorge. A lunch stop here, then another steep climb through scrub avoiding numerous waterfalls and this brought us up to the upper basin which was very rocky on account of the scree slopes above.

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Macaulay Hut Expedition                                                             9th – 10th April 2016

We were up before light on the Saturday and at 7.15 met up with 2 other vehicles on the outskirts off Timaru and thence off to Tekapo. A fine warm autumn day, perfect for the drive up the east side of the lake. We stopped at the top of lake and 2 fit brave cyclists, Christine and John left the comfort of their car and took to their bikes. The rest of us in 2 separate vehicles ably driven by Colin and Dave then headed off on a supposedly marked track up the side of the Macaulay R. Following the track required a certain amount of imagination and somewhat more off road driving skill. We did pass the intrepid cyclists but the going was slow.

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Maryburn Stream Walkway ( Simons Hill )                                   Sunday 1st May


On Sunday 1st May five trampers left Timaru at eight o’clock and headed for the McKenzie country, at Fairlie we stopped to pick up a new member and then set off for the Maryburn Walkway, initially our destination was going to be Mt Mary but that will have to wait for another day. Maryburn Stream walk turned into a very good second choice as it was pleasant to walk along the stream and occasionally  look for trout.

Dunedin Day walks Queen’s Birthday                                            4th – 6th June

Over the weekend we covered a lot of ground. Day one featured Orakanui, Longbeach, Organpipes and Mt Cargill. Day two Taieri River Track and Day 3 the Pineapple track starting from the Bull Ring on Flagstaff Whare Flat Road following the track up to Swampy Summit and return. We were treated to some amazing weather and awesome views over the three days. Great accommodation at in a comfortable cabin and we  shared two awesome evening meals. Seven member attended this long weekend trip. Read more……

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Airies Station                                                                                   11th July

After a leisurely departure from Timaru we stopped at the house were Dave touched base with the owners. We parked at the yards and shortly after 9:30am started our walk. After 500m on the flat we started climbing a ridge, gaining height quite quickly. It did not take long to reach the main ridge, where we had views across to Dobson, down to Fairlie and also the low cloud of the Mackenzie basin.

Little Mt Peel                                                                                     Sunday 24th April


This trip was planned at short notice after the planned long weekend trip was postponed. The day was fine with clear skies and a chilly breeze. Four of us set out and walked the deer spur track which was a little muddy in places and for the time of year now the board walk was a little slippery in places.

Lake Alexandrina                                                                             Sunday 17th April

We had four members for this trip. My goal was to complete a circuit of the lake. This was something I had wanted to do for some time and this proved to be a big day. We started at the south end of the lake and set out up the eastern side past the huts to the head of the lake. After investigating the possibility of crossing the swampy area here we realised that we weren’t going to get across so did the up and over following the deer fencing out to the road then turning in at Glenburn to the northern huts along the roadway.

A Weekend in Twizel                                                                       18th - 19th June

A drive over the canal to Glen Lyon Road to the Greta Track carpark. Ben Ohau Ruataniwha Summit, 5 km-2.5 hrs. Phew that looks a bit of a grunt. Better get going, it looks like it is a bit damp at the head of Lake Ohau from a Norwest breeze coming over the Divide. 

It’s like every time to get to a Summit you have to start up hill straight away.

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