Trip Reports

Herbert Forest Working Bee

Sunday, June 10th, 2018

A poor forecast for 10 June left expectations low for a good turnout for this working bee, but it turned out that 16 people came including 5 from the various highschools. The mission for the day was a good snip along the tracks and rebaiting the traps and topping up the bait stations. With so many to do the work this task was accomplished comfortably by 2pm just as the rain set in. The kill for the traps was 1 ferret, 4 stoats,11 rats and 1 hedgehog. The bait for this kill was eggs donated by Mainland and rebaiting was done with chicken necks and peanut butter for the sentinels. A great effort and a big thank you to those who came and a special thanks to the high school students. 


Mavora Lakes, Queens Birthday 2018

Wednesday, June 6th, 2018

 With a great forecast and outlook for the weekend four of us set off from Goblin Woods just after 3pm on Friday, Bess driving. We had fitted the pushbike in the back ready to drop off somewhere near Kiwiburn Carpark along the way in. Only stopping off briefly in Gore for some Turkish food followed by baklava. After stopping to drop off the bike and lock it onto a fence we arrived at the Mavora Lakes Camping area at the south end of Hikurangi(Upper Mavora Lake) and set up tents for the overnight camp. We quickly found a good spot under the beech trees sheltered from the severe frost settling around us in the clear, it was going to be cold. After a boil up and cuppa’s we had a yarn to some of the other campers sitting around their blazing fire, hunters possumers and fishers. A stroll around to the lake and the surrounding snowy peaks bright as in the near full moon.

It was a chilly night in the tent but invigorated anyway, we got up at 7ish and ate packed and left by 9. No desperate rush as we should have plenty of time to get to Kiwiburn Hut for that night. Over the first swing bridge crossing the passage in between the 2 lakes, its a slow flowing river. The sign said 2.5 hrs to the next swing-bridge at the bottom of the South Mavora Lake. This is a part of Te Araroa and also the Mavora Walkway. It’s beautiful and not difficult going along beech, tussock grassy flats and more beech, a break at the next swing bridge for a snack. We carried on along a slow deep part of the Mararoa River as it flowed out of the South Mavora Lake. Heading for the last swingbridge in the vicinity of where the bike was left and the turn off to our intentioned route which was the loop track around to the Kiwiburn Hut. A minor navigational glitch when we found another junction prior to this which was named the Terrace Track but was unmarked on any map and in the end we decided not to follow this track only being able to guess where it came out.

It was 1.45 by the time we came to the junction and the turnoff for the loop was posted as 3.5 h, the direct route posted as 1.5 h and we choose the more direct track because of the shortness of the day. As it turned out we arrived at Kiwiburn Hut before 3 and it was a great location for that time of the day with full sun and relative warmth. Two others were there but away at the time, plenty of room with 10 bunks free. A potbelly klondyke on one side stacked with fresh wood all around it, a warm night was promised and delivered. Another couple arrived and the ones away returned from a hunt, a large Maori man and a tiny Norwegian woman and a young dog named Pippie. It was a busy warm night with the usual laughs and stories.

An early wake up for the hunters ensured bed by about 9. We woke up to the fire already going and the hut warmer than what we usually find. The party split here and after breakfast and packing 3 went around the loop track and 1 went back directly, crossing the last swing bridge and reunited with the push bike. Initially it was a struggle to get traction against a steady slow climb and a strong headwind as well as trying to eat a bit of early lunch. In the end the food won and the biking got easier after a brief stop and became very pleasant for the section in the forest and around the lake.

Back at the camping area and the bike was packed back into the truck and the truck then driven to pick up the 3 loop walkers. The group now reunited and ready for the next bit of the adventure. We were advised by campers to drive beyond the next carpark going north and attempt the 4WD track leading to our destination Carey’s Hut. This turned out to be bad advice and the truck had to be extradited from loose gravel only meters from the start with the help of some young noisy ones in 4WD’s and noisy quadbikes. We were grateful for their help nevertheless. The next 2 hour walk was on a very badly damaged 4WD track which has suffered much abuse and looks bad and is difficult to walk on when the ice turns to mud and the wallow holes are nearly 1 meter deep. We saw no other walkers even though this is Te Araroa, only noisy bike, quadbikes and 4WD’s and fizzboats on the lake.

We arrived at Carey’s Hut to find it occupied by a family with a boat, there were 8 there already in a 6 bunk hut with enough gear spread around the hut to fill it. We erected the one tent we’d brought and got it ready to accommodate the inevitable over flow from the hut. More 4WDers arrived and set up camp. As the afternoon turned to an icy evening there were more arrivals looking for room in the hut, some in 4WD’s, one more walking. Eventually the hut fitted most with just 4 being turned away in their truck. One slept out in the tent and the temperature fell low enough to freeze the water bottle inside the tent. An early night, with little room in the hut for all to be comfortably sitting.

After the usual activities in the morning we were walking in crispy frozen conditions for the return 3 hours to the truck, a much more enjoyable walk in the hard icy conditions compared to the previous day. The sun eventually shone on us about halfway back and we stopped for snacks and a look, arriving back at the truck at midday for a lunch and then the long drive home. This was a great early winter walk, the first part of the walk beating the second hands down due mainly to the activities of vehicle users in this conservation area which leaves a very large footprint indeed. Thanks to Bess for driving and John and Marion for coming too. Robbie

Silverpeaks Rosella Ridge via Cedar Spur

Tuesday, May 29th, 2018

Sunday 20 May 2018

This was a trip the Otago Tramping Club did in November last year and it looked like an interesting trip. Four of us meet early at 7.30am and headed for the Silver Peaks car park, with the weather outlook looking not bad for the day with strong N/W winds changing to a cold front and rain by late afternoon.

We set off about 9am and took the Green Ridge Track to the old Green Hut site. We then took the track down the ridge, dropping steeply near the bottom to Possum Hut. After a wee break followed a good track down the South branch of the Waikouaiti River, which was more like a creek, for about a 1 km till we found the track we were looking for over the river. After crossing the river we followed a good track for about 200m until it split into two tracks. With no signs on which was the way to go we took the high track that went up. The track was well worn but in some places the ground cover was starting to take over.

After about an hour of uphill we came to another intersection with what was the other track that we had decided not to take further down. This time the tracks were marked and we found we had come up the Direct Spur track while the other track was the Cedar Spur track. From here it was a bit of a grunt up onto Rosealla Ridge arriving about 1pm. Lunch was had beside the Rosealla Ridge track in the bush to get out of the strong wind that had picked up.

We then followed the Rosealla Ridge track N/E over Little Pulpit Rock for about an hour, with great views when we weren’t getting bowled over by the wind, until we came to the Hunters Access track which took us steeply back down into the valley below. It was then back up the river track, checking the map a couple of times as there were a few tracks going in different directions and we wanted to take the direct track back up to the road near Possum hut. We starting the last steep climb up to the road about 4.30pm and got back to the Vehicle at 5.15pm just as the rain and the cold front started to come through.
It was a big day out, but a goodie. Thanks to John, Bess and Marian for your company for the day.

Twizel Area: Biking and Walking 12th-13th May

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018

There were 11 of us in all and fortunately 11 made it back.
The day began with a scone at the Wrinkly Ram in Omarama. It fell apart in your mouth and was chokka full of savoury bits and bobs. But it was also where we first met to hatch a plan for the keen and less keen.
We ditched our gear at the Twizel High Country lodge which suited our purposes to a tee. Thank you Karyl for organising this accommodation.
Three of our posse stayed in the town vicinity while eight of us embarked on the Dusky Trail. This is a 23k Grade 2 bike ride and is very do-able. It leaves very near the Pyramid car-park and follows the Fraser stream very slightly up-hill. It was quite an overcast day so the muted palette made the brilliantly diverse textures on the Dusky trail quite noteworthy. After lunch at the Fraser stream crossing, we had a small slog and a couple more opportunities to get the tootsies wet – then it was a fun little downhill – always a great reward after a gradual climb. Perhaps not so rewarding for Mike who was on a hybrid which was possibly 10% mountain bike and 90% town bike. I think he felt every rock on the trail to his core. Note to keen bikers – mountain bike tyres are more forgiving. Apart from Mike’s tyre, the only near fatality on the ride was John who managed to K.O. backwards from a perfectly static position. Really not so sure how he managed it but there was no permanent damage to his person or the dirt road. We lost over half an hour while several of the team endeavoured to change Mike’s tyre. NB It might be a good idea to get Maurice to recap us on bike maintenance again. We biked along the canals to our car and this was a real treat riding into the last of the day’s glorious sun. We’d taken a short-cut through a farm and, all told, we biked 33.3k that day. On return, we regrouped at the pub and discovered the rest of the crew had organised our pot-luck. Thanks ladies, top job ! Prize for best savoury dish was Pete and Kate for their delicious freshly-caught fish and Roz for her banana and limoncello mousse.

The next day, the group split up and Karyl’s team biked and walked – and coffee-ed at every nook and cranny of Twizel and it’s out-skirts. Meanwhile, John, Neville and I tramped up Ben Ohau, which is 1522m above sea level. Even car-racing sounds exhilarating when you need a distraction from a gradual up-hill challenge and the basic tramping knowledge they imparted was also greatly appreciated. One very interesting fact I learnt is that for every 300m you climb, the temperature will drop 2 degrees. Near the top we spotted a couple of chamois so we were pret-ty fortunate ! The view at the top was beautiful – orangey-ochre tussocks were complemented by a bright azure blue sky and lake. There were strips of fluffy white cloud layering the ranges behind Ohau, and in the distance there were some dangerous-looking jagged, snowy mountains. There were three other adventurers having lunch at the top. Due to time constraints we decided to return the same way rather than via Greta Stream. We’ll tots have to do that in future. It took us 2.5hrs up, and we shaved it back to 2hrs down. We hoofed it back to Twizel to get the crew back together and back to Oamaru. Thanks Karyl for all your organisation. Thanks to everyone else for your positivity in the face of the unknown. And great kai. Anna.


Introduction to Tramping 2018

Friday, April 20th, 2018