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Trip Reports 2016                  July - December

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

 Packhorse Hut Track Banks Peninsular                                                         July 23rd-24th 2016

At 7.30am five keen trampers left Timaru on route to our weekend tramp. After parking the car at the Kaituna Valley Rd car park and in fine but windy weather we proceeded to make our way over farm land. After about an hour of steady climbing and the wind getting stronger we arrived at the beautiful old stone Packhorse Hut. This hut has been done up a lot since I was last there and now is very spacious comfortable hut.

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Scott’s Saddle                                                                                                29th July 2016

Beginning with pick up at 8am on a cold but clear morning, with myself and three others we headed out of town through Geraldine we picked up another willing trampers which gave us a grand total of five which made a nice number for this short but interesting outing. We were soon on the road to Awa Awa Rata Reserve near Pudding Hill, Mid Canterbury.

Benmore Hut                                                                                                  20th - 21st August 2016

This hut is situated in the Big Ben Range, which in turn is on the south side of Porters Pass on the West Coast Road. Ten km past Springfield one turns left onto Ben More station parking the cars at a DOC car park, then following a rough track to Thirteen Mile Stream and thence into an extensive area of bush. A two hour climb through the bush takes you up to an A-frame three-bunk structure which was erected by the Deerstalkers Association, but is now maintained by DOC.

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Day Tramp in the Nimrod Scenic Reserve                                                 11 September 2016

An early Sunday morning start eight of us headed out west to the Nimrod reserve below Mt Nimrod. By around 8.30am we were all ready to make a start of the loop track around the reserve starting by crossing over Nimrod stream and gaining height through the zig zag track which leads out of the bush into sub alpine terrain before dropping back into the stream with a short diversion to the picturesque Nimrod Falls

Had a ball at the Ballroom                                                                             16th – 18th September 2016

Inland Pack Track Paparoa National Park

What a cracker of a weekend. Well, became a long weekend. The weather forecast for the week was (sh..). Not good for a tramper to be crossing rivers, on open ridge tops. In general wandering into the wilderness. Anyway five keen hearty souls decided to defy the odds and go for it.

Friday afternoon, 1pm thereabouts was departure time for a bit of a drive to Punakaiki. We all meet up at Colin & Judy’s, loaded up the Ute and headed off to the dreaded rain which the West Coast is known for. On the way there, plan B, C & D were thought up if the weather was .....(not good for trampers). A stop over at Arthurs pass cafe for a coffee. Yep, it was raining.

Oteake Conservation Area                                                                 24th - 26th September 2016

Oteake is a nice area and less than 2 hours from Timaru. This trip we headed into the area from the Otamatapaio River opposite Sailors Cutting.

We parked at the car park, 15m from the first Doc marker, but there was no DOC sign. Catherine had a new brochure so we checked our route. It stated 8km up the river then onto a 4WD track.

Of we set, knowing we had 20km to the Otamatapaio Hut…

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Killermont Conservation Land                                                            5th  November 2016

Five members met at the Kimbell Pub for a day in the hills. John, Ross, Hazel, Louise and a new little lady, Sherry.
John drove us up to Omarama, we turned off onto Short Cut Road, which is not sign posted from the main road. This turn off is 15km past Omarama. You can access it off Broken Hut road.  We then drove a few kms and parked at the start of the 7km easement.

Flagpole  Whitecliffs                                                                              20th November  2016                                                 

After worrying about the weather Sunday morning turned out to be a great day for a climb up a hill, seven o’clock we all meet up at the Morgan’s Road car park jump in four cars and away. We arrived at Flagpole Station just before nine thirty touched base with the owners and drove through their farm to the base of the hill, two hours later we were at the top taking in the nice view down to the Whitecliffs village back to Porters Pass area and High Peak Station along with the head waters of the Selwyn River.

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Te Araroa Trail – Glenthorne Station to Cass Village

Friday 18th November – Saturday 19th November 2016

Jim knows all the good spots in the Canterbury foothills and shared more as we drove to Glenthorne Station to walk the Harper River Track to Hamilton Hut. First stop was the Terrace Downs golf course where we enjoyed a morning tea of coffee, scones and muffins.

Dressed casually and ready for some tramping I felt slightly out of place in the first class surroundings and with being called, “Sir.”

The second stop was the Lake Coleridge hydro-electric scheme’s powerhouse and penstocks in the Lake Coleridge Village, which Jim was able to share some history of. The third stop was on the shoreline of Lake Coleridge, and finally we reached the Harper River Diversion at Glenthorne Station from where we had to do some walking.

Te Araroa Trail – Glenariffe Station to Castleridge Station

Sunday 20th November – Tuesday 22nd November 2016

Starting out from our comfortable backpackers in Methven on Sunday morning, one carload went up the Rakaia Valley to Glenrock Stream, the other car headed up the Ashburton Gorge to Castleridge Station. Both parties had a straightforward day’s tramping. The southbound party began with a steep climb onto the 1,120m Turtons Saddle, then a long descent to Comyns Hut. The northbound party had a gentle climb over the 963m Emily Hill and then down to Double Hut, meeting a couple of solo Te Araroa trampers en route, an Irishman and a German called Daniel.

Te Araroa Trail – Mount Gerald – Two Thumb Range Circuit

Wednesday 23rd November – Friday 25th November 2016

Life is all about how you handle Plan B.

Rob in an early communication had said that Bush Stream, “Could be a problem.”

So it proved for Daniel Maier-Reimer of Hamburg, who lost his footing but scrambled out having been tumbled for 50 metres, still in possession of his life but battered in body by contact with the rocky bed. A timely scare. He lost his poles and hitched to Geraldine and bought some more.

Terra Arguimbau, a young girl from New York, had managed to get across and Daniel had followed the same route. They turned back as they could see that the Bush Stream would continue to be dangerous in the many crossings needed.

They met Irishman David Linear and Kar Keong Ng, “Just call me “K K””, a 28-year-old Malay who also turned back.

We met K K at the Peel Forest Farmstay operated by Steve and Jenny Deans, Steve being the son of A A Deans who lived in the Peel Forest area for many years and painted many landscapes of the area.

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Edwards Valley – Tarn Col – Hawdon Valley                                                                 22 – 24 October 2016

Five of us set out on this trip with an unusual addition, a push bike. Driving up to Arthurs Pass we stopped off at the Hawdon Shelter, unloaded the bike which was securely padlocked to a tree, then continued driving until we reached the Bealey rail bridge. Then on with packs, immediate river crossings, so we had nice wet feet to start the trip. There is a proper track up the Edwards River, but it has deteriorated in recent times, so the five hour gradual ascent up to the hut was more difficult than expected. Unexpectedly we all had bunks for the night, unusual for this long weekend.

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Evening walk Centennial Park                                                                                        Monday 16th January 2017  

In place of our monthly club meeting we had an evening walk around Centennial Park.

This was a great evening and really pleasant walk of around 1 ½ hours. There was much chatter and catching up amongst the 22 that participated.


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Mt Cook  Thar Lodge                                                                                                        28-30th October 2016

We left Timaru Friday night to travel up to Mt Cook National Park to arrive in the dark with it lightly snowing. Saturday morning greeted us to a cool morning with about 1cm of snow on the ground, the planned trip up the Southern ridge of Mt Wakefield quickly changed to a flat walk up to the Hooker lake. After lunch most of us climbed a short way up the Wakefield ridge to have good views down the Tasman river to lake Pukaki.