Not the Dalgety Range

Sunday 8 December 2019

This was supposed to be tramp by eight participants along the length of the Dalgety Range, between the Hakataramea Pass and the Mackenzie Pass. Sustained bad weather forced cancellation. Instead, two did a tramp around the lower hills on a sheep and cattle run on the west side of the upper Hakataramea Valley. After a brief shower from the north, the day was dry and wind moderate at the relatively low altitude. The cloud-capped Grampian and Dalgety Ranges were in view most of the day.

They started on a broad ridge and wound down into the valley of the Grampians Stream which comprised alternating grassy flats and steep, rocky gorges. At one point they were frustrated by dense matagouri and forced back to descend to the stream. Soon they came to an impressive gorge which brought a side stream (Morton Stream) into the main valley. The crossed the main stream and climbed up a steep spur and along a high ridge which ran 100 metres above the stream’s true right and provided extensive views of the surrounding countryside. This also provided a sheltered spot for lunch.

After lunch, the pair carried on northwards along the ridge as it gradually dropped, and finally descended off it into the valley just before the Grampian Stream entered it from the north-west. Crossing the stream and the valley floor, they climbed up a track heading north on the eastern side of the valley, then swung right to cross the broad ridge which separates the Grampian and Dunstan Streams and drop down to the latter. As the Dunstan valley floor looked boggy, they sidled along above the true right of the stream, enjoying views across to the Hunters Hills. At a marked bend in the valley, they stopped to admire the scene and do a spot of map-reading to identify the best route up the hill back to the car. This proved to be a shallow gully heading south-east past a stock dam housing a family of Paradise Ducks – 2 adults and 9 ducklings – which provided some entertainment.

The car was reached by Bill and John after a very pleasant 5 hour walk on interesting terrain.