NOTMC Meeting Report 11.9.23

NOTMC Meeting Report 11.9.23

Jenny welcomed members.
Trip Reports: 
Station Peak – 4 people went .Very cold and windy on top.Great views.
Mt Somers – weekend  8 people went .On Saturday 4 climbed Mt Guy and 4 walked around Lake Clearwater. Groups met up for lunch.Perfect weather that day.Sunday all set out for Double hut but turned back due to bad weather.
Wednesday walkers gave their report.
Upcoming trips
Mueller Hut (weather permitting)
Sailors Cutting along A2O track
Trotters Gorge 
Jane N.gave us a talk on how important a PLB is and an example of this after an incident on Stewart Island on the very boggy Masons Bay track where a person with a badly broken leg had to be rescued.
Labour Weeknd Trip to be finalised.
Jane N and Margaret C.Then tested our knowledge with a great quiz.We knew how much we didn’t know after that
Meeting closed 8.50pm

Mt Somers Base Camp

Mt Somers Base Camp Friday 25th – Sunday 27th August 2023

Base Camp at Mt Somers Holiday Park gave eight trampers from the club a great opportunity to investigate the mountains, tussock lands, wetlands, rivers and lakes of the vast and stunning Hakatere Conservation Park.

By travelling up to Mt Somers village on Friday afternoon and evening, we had time to settle into our bunk rooms (beware the bunks’ wire bases), prepare a shared dinner including Karyl’s apple crumble for dessert, and play some hilarious games of ping-pong and pool in the games room. Then we were ready for an early start next morning.

We had a fine, frosty, still day to drive up the valley to explore Lake Clearwater and the surrounding mountains. We broke into two groups of four: the first one to explore the northwest side of the Lake Clearwater Circuit and Te Araroa Trail, the other group to climb Mt Guy.

The 2km climb up Mt Guy is short and intense, going straight up to the summit. The 4km from the carpark took us about 2 hours. From the top (1319m) the view is immense and magnificent, looking from the sea to the Taylor Range, across to the Arrowsmiths, the Rangitata River, the Southern Alps with Mt d’Archiac towering high, and down to Lake Clearwater. A breathtaking spot to eat lunch! The snow was low and glittering, the tussocks golden and the sky clear blue. From here we headed down the northwest ridge for 4km to meet up with the other group lunching at the saddle where the Te Araroa trail crosses between the Dog Range and Mt Guy. (Thanks to John and Neville on their radios, we knew exactly where to find them!)

From the saddle all eight of us retraced the footsteps of the first group, heading northwest along the Te Araroa track and around the Lake, across the tussock lands and wetlands with incredible vistas of the Alps ahead of us. The western carpark at the end of Lake Clearwater was a handy carpark to pick up tired trampers in the late afternoon.

Saturday evening saw us dining in style at Stronechrubie, a restaurant complex in Mt Somers village, followed by Roz’s award-winning pumpkin sultana cake back in the camp kitchen and a game of Five Crowns for everyone.

Snow and rain fell that night, so it was a cold start to Sunday. But with the promise of the weather clearing, we headed to the wide tussock lands of Lake Heron, parking at the Lake Heron carpark, hoping to walk to Double Hut by lunchtime. But the weather closed in, and we all turned back to the cars, heading straight into a sleet storm. Every item of warm and waterproof clothing was hurriedly pulled from our packs.

On the way home, Bess was keen to show us the intricately shaped macrocarpa hedges that are becoming a show- stopper in Mt Somers Village. Someone is having great fun creating lattice worked hedges. Then on to Barkers in Geraldine for afternoon tea.

Thanks to such a good-humoured team of trampers who are fun, flexible and enthusiastic; who are keen to share in and appreciate the beauty and magnificence of the country we are walking through.


Jenny Kitchin

Station Peak

Station Peak, Sunday 20th August 2023

Station Peak is an impressive peak up the Waitaki Valley, over the river from Kurow, and can be accessed from various starting points along the Hakataramea highway. After a couple of reconnaissance trips, one with Karyl from Little Roderick, and one with John and Neville from a gully marked by a willow tree, we decided on the latter.

Four trampers from the club met up in Kurow, drove over the Waitaki River Bridge and headed southeast along the Hakataramea Highway for 512 km, parking in a layby off the main road.

We set off northwest at 9.08 am back along the line of the main road over the paddock for 1.6 km to the gully that would be our ascent route, marked by a large willow tree by the road.

After heading up through the gully for half an hour, we could see across the Waitaki river to Kurow with the St Mary’s Range peaks of Little Domett (1860m) and Kohurau (2009m) in the background.

After a morning tea break, we continued up the farm track until we reached the crest of the range, joining the Station Peak access road with views out to the Hakataramea Valley, bordered by the Kirkliston Range, and the Hunters Hills. Following the road, we reached Station Peak (885m) summit two and a half hours after leaving the carpark.

With a cold nor’west wind blowing off nearby snowy peaks, three of us huddled behind tussocks to eat lunch, while Rodney ventured into the wind to check out the trig and collection of masts and sheds that are scattered over the summit.

We didn’t linger for long in the freezing winds and set off down the access road to the top of the steep gullies heading back down towards the Waitaki River. We were searching for the orange tracking tape that Neville had tied to a Taranaki gate at 650m. Neville was determined we would not get lost, and we duly found three tapes fluttering in the wind, guiding us down a 4WD track and the steep descent to large groups of flowering kowhai trees growing in the gully, before coming out to the carpark. The trip down took one and a half hours.

Thanks to Wade Newlands for permission to access the farm, and to John and Neville for finding the route.


Jenny Kitchin and Rodney Meiklejohn

August Club Night

The monthly meeting was held at the Lansar rooms Severn St. Jenny welcomed members and 2 new potential members.

Trip Reports
Kahikatea Lodge; 3  members walked 1hr from the carpark to the new Kahikatea lodge.A very nice building with a few finishing touches yet to be done.From there and with a lot of bush bashing
.they found and marked a route to Staircase hut making a circuit.
Jenny then gave us a taste of a trip to Pegasus Cove Stewart Island We look forward to more.       
 7 members travelled to Dunedin and met up with Rodney and Helen.They started their walk from Cedar Farm Forestry Rd and proceeded to climb Mt Martin,Mt Cutten Mt Kettle and Mikiwaka Peaks all between478 and 561 m with good views from all.          The Wednesday Walkers gave their report.
Up and coming Trips:
Station Peak near Haka
Mt Summers area from base camp
Trip Planning then took place for Sept to the end of the year.
A brief discussion was held about holding an Open Day at Herbert Forest next year.
Meeting closed 8.40pm.

Cedar Farm Forest / Cedar Creek Reservoir

Cedar Farm Forest / Cedar Creek Reservoir – Sunday, 13th August 2023

Seven club members left the Medway Street car park in two vehicles and headed south to Waitati, before
continuing on to the Cedar Farm Forest car park, a few kilometres south of the Orokonui Ecosanctuary on
Blueskin Road, above Port Chalmers. Arriving at around 9:20 a.m., the group met up with Dunedin club
members Helen & Rodney and the party of nine soon after set off along Cedar Farm Road in pleasant
conditions under a blue sky. After a 20-minute warm-up along Cedar Farm Road, the Cedar Creek Reservoir
(built in 1953 as a secondary water supply for Port Chalmers) was reached at 10:00 a.m. The group opted to
walk the track around the circumference of the reservoir, before continuing west past the reservoir and along
the remainder of the vehicle track at the end of Cedar Farm Road.

A short distance along the track, we headed left up the bank and entered the pine forest, following a marked
route up the northern slope of Mt Martin (478m). About halfway up, we came to a post-mounted AT220
Possum & Rat Trap, which had a dead rat in the cage. Fortunately, we had Robbie in the group, as he was
able to remove the cover of the unit, showing the battery powered mechanism, and explain how these traps
actually work, including setting off the ‘kill bar’ like a gun shot, which immediately got everyone’s attention!
Continuing upwards, we soon reached the tree-covered top of Mt Martin (478m), the first of the four named
peaks on the circuit of tracks. From here, we descended back into the forest and followed the route
southwest to the start of the steep foot track up Mt Cutten (530m). The track was a bit slippery in places, but
after only 15 minutes, we came out onto the tree-cleared top of Mt Cutten (530m), the second of the four
named peaks. While taking in the panoramic views across Otago Harbour and Otago Peninsula, and out to
the valleys and ranges to the west, we continued southwest along the cliff edge summit track of Mt Cutten
and crossed over to the southern peak and the site of Andrew Drummond’s 1980 tribute sculpture to kinetic
artist Len Lye. With a bench seat installed at the site, the group took a break to study the sculpture and enjoy
the view out across Otago Harbour.

Just after 11:30 a.m., we were underway again and carefully descending back down the steep track off the
top of Mt Cutten, before initially heading northwest through the bush across Cedar Creek and then north
towards Mt Kettle (545m), the third of the four peaks on the circuit. It’s a pleasant walk along a well marked
foot track through the bush before climbing steeply up the southern side of Mt Kettle, which was reached
within an hour-and-a-half from Mt Cutten. The top of Mt Kettle is somewhat overgrown with scrub and wilding
pines, although there is a viewpoint from a rocky outcrop where the track begins to descend down to the
southeast. At this point we had a lunch break and surveyed the view of the Cedar Creek Reservoir and
surrounding area.

A careful descent was made down the rocky ridge of Mt Kettle, but after re-entering the forest and crossing
over the vehicle access road from the reservoir, we were soon heading up through the forest and across the
gentle scrub covered slopes of Mihiwaka (561m), the fourth and final peak of the day, reaching the summit
trig beacon in an hour from Mt Kettle. By this time, it had become overcast, so after enjoying the views one
last time, we headed back down to the access road and returned back along Cedar Farm Road, reaching the
car park just after 3:00 p.m.

After a brief discussion, we opted for a debrief at the Blueskin Nurseries & Café in Waitati, where we had half-
an-hour before closing to enjoy some refreshing drinks and light food, thereafter parting company and
heading for home.

Many thanks to Jenny, John, Julian, Mike, Neville, Phyllis & Robbie for their company on an enjoyable wander
through the forest and bush, and across the volcanic outcrops of this less frequently visited location with the
Dunedin area.
Rodney & Helen Meiklejohn.