Trip Reports

14 October 2007 Brook to Founders Organiser: Alison Pickford

14 happy trampers met at Founders Carpark for the urban fringe wander. Not the best choice of a meeting place, I discovered, as Founders Park was not up and about as early as we - so a loo stop was had by some at Branford Park - and we managed to leave someone behind. However! The missing person was noticed to be missing at The Brook carpark, was retrieved and counted among the heads before we set off for Tantragee Saddle. We were not only too early for Founders Park loos, but too early for the mountain bikers to be out on the practice tracks on the Maitai side of the Saddle. But two mountain boarders were up early enough to give us a demo with minimal encouragement. The trees in the arboretum were discussed and admired, heads counted as we crossed the Maitai to look at the information board, and recounted as we re-crossed to wander down the bank of the Maitai. We were almost at the golf course before we began to meet runners, bikers and dogs. There were golfers to watch tee off as we followed the edge of the course. Heads were counted as we crossed to Branford Park , counted again after the loo stop. We achieved the summit of the Centre of NZ by the path of least effort, and admired the view while we had our second stop. The correct number of heads started along the ridge to Atawhai. The views across the city, port, bay and mountains are wonderful. Down the zigzag path to cross the road to Founders, where (after counting to make sure we hadn't managed to leave anyone somewhere) those that had a substantial lunch on the Centre of NZ departed for home, and the rest of us went to the Founders pub to chat over beers and pies. It was great to have the youngsters out and about with us - 7, 9, and 81! Participants were seven visitors and seven club members.

28 October 2007 Maitai River Walkway Organiser: Robyn Walsh

As soon as our eight participants had arrived at Millers Acre we commenced this easy stroll by the Maitai River at 9.30am. The weather was fine and mild and the cloud thinning out. The track is a popular spot for the town fraternity. We passed several walkers out with their dogs and various cycling family groups throughout the day. By the time we stopped for a snack overlooking the golf course at 10.45am a strong cool wind had sprung up. We arrived at the section of the track where the pipeline shoots up and over the river with a footbridge on top of it at 11.30am. With the plan to have a side trip up the Tantragee Saddle, Lyn and Zuiwhen decided to head back at this stage; then ten minutes later, Mark and Noeline did the same for they had to check a possum trap in the Brook Sanctuary. The remaining four of us climbed halfway to the Saddle and realizing that there would be a howling wind up there, turned back and had lunch on a park seat situated on a bend in the river, so we had nice views up and down stream. With our chewing completed we began the walk back at 12.50pm and the afternoon was now much brighter and sunnier. Nearing the end of the walk we spotted a trout lazily swimming upstream, then a small school of silvery herrings going downstream. We arrived back at the Acre at 2.45pm to go our separate ways having enjoyed a pleasant five hours.

Participants were Ted Brooks, Robyn Walsh and visitors Lyn Charteris, Zuiwhen Zhang from China , Beatrice Savolei from Switzerland , Mark and Noeline Tullet and John Liell.

3-4 November 2007 Kiwi Saddle / Mt Luna. Cancelled. Weather Organiser: Colin Duncan

4 November 2007 Doom Creek Cancelled. Weather Organiser: Philip Ruffell

10-11 November 2007 Mangarakau / Puponga Farm Park Organiser: Ross Price

Day 1. Five keen trampers enjoyed the drive over Takaka Hill, with some stops to admire the views, before lunch at the hall and a short exploration of the old logging track, which resulted in some bee stings and a gorse and thistle restricted attempt over some partly swampy ground. So a walk along the beach at low tide was a welcome diversion with interesting rock formations on both the beach and surrounding hills. Ruth was busy snapping photos (for the competition?) along the way.

Day 2. After a comfortable night in the hall we again headed out along the beach, this time being blocked by the tide, not gorse and thistle, then headed inland on a farm track, past a couple of lakes to an interesting stone bridge before returning to the car. While Ross looked after the car, (well read and slept actually!) the others walked out to Pillar Lighthouse and on their return there was time for a visit to Farewell Spit Café (for a farewell drink!) before heading home. Ross obviously had not got enough sleep as he handed the keys over to Karen for a time so he could have another sleep!! The weather was kind all weekend and the accommodation at the hall proved more than satisfactory. Those who took part in the weekend trip were Ross Price, Beverley Muirhead, Ruth Hesselyn, Karen Wardell, and visitor John Horgan.

11 November 2007 Parachute Rocks Organiser: Gillian Arbuthnott

Known as the St Arnaud Track, from the starting point at Kerr Bay the track climbs steadily through beech forest to just over 1650m with the lower section crossing moraine terraces. Red beech - see it entangled with white clematis in full flower - changes to silver beech – hear the sounds of tui and kaka - as the altitude increases and eventually changes to stunted mountain beech dripping with lichen. From here we emerged above the bushline to the whoosh of a glider as it skimmed overhead and soared away to the north and we sank thankfully to rest atop Parachute Rocks. After being rejuvenated by the view of the St Arnaud Range and Lake Rotoiti far below it was onwards and upwards another 300m through snow tussock and scree to the ridge line where both the sight and taste of lunch was surpassed by the spectacular views of the Wairau Valley, Mt Richmond Forest Park, Kahurangi National Park, the Buller Valley and Nelson Lakes National Park; a Nelson icon - WOW. The deep blue glistening waters of a cluster of tarns set amidst sparkling snow warranted further investigation, so a rapid downhill sprint/stumble through knee-deep snow drifts brought us to the water's edge and its bubbling surfaces. Our return to the ridgeline marked the start of a rapid descent back to Lake Rotoiti and with a bit of arm twisting from Ken, a caffeine fix at St Arnaud, before heading home after a very satisfying and enjoyable day.

Parachutists: Gillian Arbuthnott, Gretchen Williams, Ken Ridley and visitor, Marek Kirs.

18 November 2007 Bark Bay to Marahau Organiser: David Nielsen

Seven of us started out from Marahau by water taxi, with Garry and Thomas Dunn being dropped off at Anchorage to walk back from there. The rest carried on to Bark Bay , after enjoying the sight of dolphins playing around in the water near Anchorage . After a wander round Bark Bay we headed off on our tramp back to Marahau. As we crossed the Torrent Bay stream a swarm of bees headed straight at us, but fortunately kept going right over our heads. Pheew! Lunch at Anchorage was enhanced by the lovely views back down the Park and enjoyed by the five remaining trampers: Mary Wu, David Nielsen and visitors, Andrew Browning, Angela Wu and Pam Satherly.

18 November 2007 Rotoiti, Hukere, Angelus circuit Organiser: Ruth Hesselyn

Not too many takers for the proposed workout, like one half-hearted inquiry. Hmm! But I did have a call from someone interested in going to Angelus. A slight change of plan saw Trish and me heading for a ‘ Robert Ridge return the same way' trip. The day was perfect, clear blue skies, little wind and some snow on which to use the ice-axes. At Angelus we enjoyed a late lunch, short rest and a chat with some locals there for the night. Everyone surprised that the lake was still frozen. But, all too soon it was back up the hill for the return journey, at a slightly slower pace. Ten hours after setting out we arrived back at the car after a great day on the tops.

The Participant: Trish Bennett

25 November 2007 Cable Bay Walkway Organiser: Trish Bennett

We parked the cars at the entrance to the walkway at The Glen and went on our way up the hill to the look out where we had our morning tea on a beautiful warm day. The view was amazing looking out over the Boulder Bank and the far away mountains. We then carried on the walk out in the open as well as through some bush and trees which we enjoyed in the shade and any breath of wind that was around. Everyone walked really well and made good time arriving at Sentinel Hill before lunch time, so six out of eight trampers decided to go on down to Cable Bay. We had lunch at a shelter looking out over Cable Bay and over to Pepin Island . We could see kayakers and others swimming. After lunch we walked on down to the camp ground so that the thirsty walkers could slurp some tap water! Then came the hot work back up the hill and very hot it was, but we made it and with a few stops we made our way back towards The Glen. The haze in the distance stopped us from seeing Mount Taranaki . We had another stop at the seat on the top of the airstrip and then went on our way down the hill back to the cars. The day seemed to be enjoyed by all. 

The trampers were David Blunt, David Nielsen, Beverley Muirhead, Jenny Revell, Gillian Arbuthnott, Jim Maxwell, visitor Donata.

24-25 November 2007 Hellfire Creek Track Maintenance Organiser: Dion Pont

With only one person booked in during the week, the organiser had to make a few phone calls, resulting in an additional three participants. Instead of the planned two days we ended up making it a Saturday trip only. After we reached the Rainbow River we set off up stream to find a suitable crossing point. On our arrival at Hellfire Creek we found the track a lot more overgrown than when some of the group had last seen it a few years earlier. With one person up front cutting a way through, the others widened the track to between 1.5 and 2 metres in places. Windfalls along the way added to the time and effort to make progress. On such a hot day we decided to pack it in after five and a half hours of labouring to clear just over 1km. More trips (and more workers) will be needed to make this in to a more user friendly track.

Maintenance workers were Dion Pont, Mark Graesser , Ruth Hesselyn, Tony Haddon and Gretchen Williams

1 December 2007 Family Walk, Marsden Valley Organiser: David Rae  

A small group of us walked from the road end up a valley along a track through some nice bush with lots of ferns and a stream running alongside and up a steep track towards the top of the hill where the hang gliders jump from. We could look down through the bush and see Tahunanui and the beach. Gradually the bush changed to beech and the gradient flattened off. We decided to stop and return downhill. On the way down we met three men travelling separately. One of them called this track "the Scouts Track". Does any reader also know the track by this name? Near the bottom there was a short off-shoot track leading to the old Ngawhatu Hospital weir which we spent some time at before heading home. We surmised that the hospital may not have been on town supply hence the building of this small weir. Trip participants were David Rae, Frances Rae, Sean Rae and Hazel Rae plus Francis Seagrove.

2 December 2007 Fringed Hill Organiser: Shirley de Groot

Six trampers got together for this trip and began by walking up the Dun Railway Track off the lower Tantragee Road. We met several mountain bikers once beyond the stile. On arrival at the junction we had a short break then it was on to Third House, admiring the forest and lush ferns on the way; Kamahi and Libertia in bloom en route. After a good climb we opted to have lunch at the junction of Fringed Hill/Maitai Caves tracks. The grey skies began to lighten somewhat and once at Fringed Hill we liked down on Nelson City bathed in sunshine though the Eastern and Western Ranges still had plenty of cloud/fog. We returned via the track for Brook Street, ending with a short walk on the road which got us back to the carpark at 3.30pm. With me on this pleasant trip were Dan McGuire, Denis Parnell, Gillian Arbuthnott, Jim Maxwell and visitor Donata

2 December 2007 Cloustons Mine / Pyramid Organiser: Gretchen Williams for Tony Haddon

After a couple of weeks of gorgeous weather this Sunday dawned with heavy cloud in the West and forecast of showers. We went anyway. We had varied weather - cloud, sun, and mist - but still enjoyed good views towards Salisbury Lodge and beyond from the lunch spot on top of Gordon's Pyramid. A few bods ventured into the mine and Tom and Andy explored right to the end.

Those who enjoyed a very nice trip were Gretchen Williams (stand-in organiser for an incapacitated Tony Haddon), Mark Stevens, Mary Honey, Ann Sheridan, Lou Kolff, Arthur Jonas, Yvonne Kyle, Uta Purcell, Tom Brown, Jo Kay, Mark Graesser , David Nielsen, Andy Clark, Christine Hoy, David Blunt, and Julie Sherrat.

9 December 2007 Coldwater Hut Organiser: Margaret Page

A dodgy forecast was not enough to put off five of us hardy souls from leaving Richmond at 8.00am.

Actually we hung around for 10 minutes waiting for a no-show visitor. We parked at the lower car park on Mt Robert and set off at a leisurely pace in perfect tramping conditions. The mandatory morning tea stop was enjoyed from a shingle slide with good views followed by a side trip to Whisky Falls . The photographers among us were keen to get an ever closer shot of the falls and not worried about a slight misting! We arrived at the hut in time for lunch, a passing shower and the hordes of little black residents soon had us inside. The newly renovated hut is a credit to DoC. much more user friendly and when the promised fire is installed should be a popular stop-over. The hut had been full (12) the previous night and the tracks were busy so Summer has begun! We retraced our steps back to the cars minus the Whisky Falls detour having enjoyed a pleasant day out. Thanks for the company of Beverly Muirhead, Robyn Walsh, David Nielsen, and visitor John Horgan & Moi.

8 - 9 December 2007 Mole Tops Organiser: Margot Syms

Forecast for Buller: “Drizzle then rain developing Saturday evening.” Plea: “Delay it Hughie, there is no hurry, man.” And our prayers were answered.

Mole Tops is an excellent trip for easing an unfit body back into condition for Summer. The ascent through the bush on Jameson Ridge is gradual and a good distance to cover before lunch. From Mole Saddle the spur leading to the tops is steep in parts, but the body needs a pinch to induce said fitness. This being made all the less painful by the views from Nelson Lakes to the Matakitaki Mountains , and the wee flowering penwipers on the scree. Once aloft there is a bit of a sidle and it is time to choose your camping tarn, and to decide that an ascent of Mt Watson is indeed optional. Our option was “no”.

On site we were treated to an expo of one-man tents. Five brands were on display, and the eager crowd viewed them while consuming cups of tea. The planned stress-test trials were cancelled due to a lack of suitable weather – however no complaints were received by the management.

On Sunday we awoke at 6 am to sun on the tents and the sound of the first stove in action. After a very leisurely breakfast we dragged ourselves away from our idyllic campsite at 1650m, biffed our compass bearing taken the night before, and wandered over the ridge into the Watson Stream catchment. We enjoyed staying high on the true right looking down on a pretty emerald tarn, before finally dropping into the stream. Dion found a Cotulla sp, a sturdy 15 cm high daisy growing on the scree. Tea without scones was served at the bushline. From here the Watson Stream, the refurbished track and ourselves all dropped rapidly. Various orchids were seen in the bush on both days. We paused for lunch, with of course another billy of tea, at a side stream before emerging at the dairy farm.

Walking back along the farm track we looked up and were surprised to see how high we had been and how far we had come in a short time. A quick car retrieval and we were on our way home. The clouds were gathering. Thanks Hughie.

Moles : Uta Purcell, Alice Patterson, Mike Marren, Mark Graesser , Bob Janssen, Dion Pont, Peter and Margot Syms.

16 December 2007 Sharlands Hill Organiser: Gretchen Williams

We gathered at Sunday Hole in the Maitai before a bit of a grunt through the pine trees and onto the fire break. We followed it's ups and downs to the trig on Sharlands Hill but the views were clouded in. Then it was onto the forestry road down to the Tantragee Saddle, through the Tantragee Arboretum, down the Maitai Walkway to a very nice lunch spot and an easy amble back to the cars through grazing cattle, joggers and mountain bikers. Trampers for the day were Val Latimer, Jenny Revell, Robyn Walsh, Gretchen Williams and visitors Phil Blick and Angie Lin.