23rd February 2020
After a day of rain on the Saturday, it was a surprise to see clear skies and sunshine on Sunday morning. We left Oamaru and picked up Donna and Bill at Kurow and Julia at Omarama. From Birchwood Road, we turned left at the DOC sign and drove down the paddock, to the Ahuriri River. The river was deeper than usual so with 14 of us, there were a few groups linking up. Some of us had opted to cross in other shoes and change into our boots on the other side.
From the river, we walked over to the building under the terrace and then veered off to the left, stopping to re-group at the plateau at 11.45. From here it was only 15 minutes to the tarn so we stopped here for lunch. Bill decided a swim would be good. Usually there are Canadian Geese and other birdlife on the large tarn but there wasn’t any today. On the return trip, we did see two large trout.
After lunch we continued on to Hideaway Hut and reached it about 1pm. The hut itself is interesting with names etched into the corrugated iron, the earliest I could see was 1958. Inside, there is a large board showing where the names can be found, for example Lord Bledisloe who visited in 1936 was on the left north corner of the roof. The roof was quite rusty but the walls had lists of mustering and shearing gangs for Benmore Station.
We left the hut at 1.30pm and six people opted to return to the vehicles via the south east side of the big hill following the creek out. The remaining eight returned on the same route which we came in. We got back to the vehicles at 3.30pm and the other five arrived soon after. After a hot day, the river crossing was quite refreshing. We debriefed at the Omarama pub and then returned to Oamaru.
Great to see five new trampers out with the club, look forward to tramping with you again – Bill B, Bill F, Donna, Pragati, Margaret, Clair, Julia, Robbie, Lynette, Julian, Neville, Roz, and Colin. Bess