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Makarora Hut                                                                                                              Labour Weekend 2015

By gee that was a bit of a grunt. The trip started on the Friday night, leaving Timaru at 5:30. Two car loads, Catherine, Christine ,Dorothy, Judy, Colin, Dave , Rob, John (scribe) . Great having the ute capability to take the packs. 4 in each vehicle we headed off to Makarora camping grounds. Catherine had arranged 8 bed accommodation unit, so all were corralled in the one spot. We arrived just after 9:30 pm a 300 something km drive. A cracker of a night, just about a full moon. A cup of tea then off to bed. Didn’t even have to get the sleeping bags out. 7am rise, breaky, then up the road to Davis Track area by the one lane bridge. Find an off the road place to park the vehicles, hoping they are still there when we return, (they were). Sign says 7hrs, 8.30am start, hut by 4pm, sweet. Oh, Oh not quite, add a few more hours and we were there. Getting there was a wee mission at times.

Oteake  Conservation Area                                                                                         10th – 11th October

When I saw Catherine was organising a trip to this area I thought it would be great to have a weekend tramping after a winter tied up indoors, but the destination would be just retired farmland walking on a 4WD track. Well I was only a little bit right.

On Saturday we left the car an hour or so before lunch and headed up to Omarama Saddle, stopping for lunch at the base of the climb. On the saddle we had a good view across Lake Ohau and Pukaki. Cloud was crossing over to the east side of the Alps west of Ohau. The land south of  the saddle were hills with flat table like tops.

Cameron Hut Hakatere                                                                                       7th - 8th December

Christine, John and Russell set out 7am. Arriving shortly after Mt Arrowsmith Station and a short drive up a 4wd track at the side of the Cameron river to a car park area. There was another car there so this helped us in our decision not to carry tents. The track which was not always that well marked followed the river, with parts heading up over a hill to avoid bluff and unsuitable river crossings. The river was normal levels and there were many beautiful clear pools. This was a partly cloudy day and with the coming and going of clouds made for stunning views.

Peak Hill Rakaia                                                                                                   Sunday 13th December

David, Robert, Barry, Ross and Christine departed Timaru at 7am. The day’s forecast looked fine with a predicted southerly change in the afternoon. I think we were lucky as we enjoyed our day in mostly sun with strengthening winds, in particular at the top of the hill. This was a pleasant day out. David, providing us with stories of his year’s shepherding and working in this area in his younger days. We took shelter by a large rock and ate our lunch, watching the skies all around.

Wills – Stafford –Motatapu                                                                                     December 2015

Trip  Stafford Bay.

Dates  Friday 4th December through Sunday 6th December.

Participants Wayne, Jim, Stephen.


A route in south Westland linking Jackson Bay with Stafford Bay. A well-marked route with track and river fording and the 243m Stafford Saddle to cross. A rugged low-tide coastal route was a return option but we chose not to take it due to time constraints.

Wills – Stafford – Motatapu                                                                                      December 2015

Trip  Wills Valley.

Dates  Saturday 28th November through Wednesday 2nd December.

Participants Wayne, Jim, Stephen.


Originally planned as a grand traverse from the Wills Valley to the upper Makarora Valley via the Hunter Valley, it became a five day Wills Valley experience when snow and ice prevented passage over the 1,578m Wilson Pass.

Te Araroa Trail-The Motutapu                                                                               December 2015


One car was driven to Glendhu Bay, the four of us piled into another vehicle, and a very pleasant drive over the Cardrona Range took us down into Arrowtown. Here we started walking up the 4WD track to Macetown. Not too bad a walk either, an attractive valley and all the fords were bridged for pedestrians, so it’s possible to keep feet dry. At Macetown we camped.

teararoa motatapu 1 sm.jpg Stafford Bay Dec 2015.jpg Wills etc 2015 01 small.jpg