Hermits Cave, Silverpeaks

Sunday 17 October 2021

Eight club members left from Oamaru and headed for the car park on Steep Hill Rd at the entrance of the Silver Peaks Tracks, where our Dunedin club members Rodney & Helen meet us. The weather was looking good so we headed off at 9.30am up the track in the bush for an hour to the old green hut site where we stopped for a wee break.
 After the green hut site the track climbs out of the bush to be a bit more exposed, with a bit of a grunt up past Pulpit Rock (760m) and some great 360 degree views. After Pulpit Rock the track levels out a bit with a wee bit of up & downs until we reached the faint side track that leads along Rocky Ridge underneath the Silver Peaks trig (767m). From here there was a well worn track on the ground but at some places we were pushing through scrub up to our shoulders. After about an hour of pushing through scrub we came to a rocky outcrop at point 739m that Robbie’s son had told Robbie where the track to the cave was and sure enough there was a well worn track heading down the side of the outcrop.
We dropped down about 50m off the track and came to a cave that had stacked stone at the front to provide shelter from weather. It was flat enough to sleep a few people and had candle holders in the rock shelves and a visitor’s book. By this time it was about 12.30pm and there was a strong wind coming up from the valley below, so we got some shelter around or in the cave to have some lunch.

If you want to know the history about the cave just google Hermits Cave Silver Peaks for info. There was a track at the cave that dropped further down the hill but the wind was quite strong, so at about 1pm we headed back the same way we had come in, just about getting blown over in places along the ridge. Despite the wind we had good views of all the Silver Peaks area and could see Jubilee Hut in the distance.
We did meet some other trampers that had come along the length of Rocky Ridge and said it was a bit of a battle in places on the track with the high scrub, so may need a trim some time. We were soon back on the main track again with 5 of us climbing up onto Pulpit Rock on the way past. With another break at the Green Hut Site, we got back out to the car park at 4pm with 17 km for the day. We said good bye to our two Dunedin member and headed for home.   

Thanks to, Jenny, Julian, Lynette, Jonathan, Phyllis, Maurice, Robbie, Helen and Rodney for the company and making it an enjoyable day. Neville


PS; When Rodney got home he did a bit of research on Hermits Cave and reckons the actual cave was further down the steep track that went below the cave that we were at. He reckons we were at the top bivvy cave, so we might have to go back some time for a bit more exploring, but until that time we will say we visited Hermits Cave!