14-15 July 2018
Wendy, Darcy and I left Darcy’s place at 7.30am, picking up Norman on our way out of Christchurch and John at Woodend. We had a stop for morning tea at Culverden and were on the track at Windy Point before 10.30am.
I was a bit concerned when I saw a number of cars parked outside the Amuri Area School Outdoor Centre, and envisioned a large group of teenagers and their minders at the Hope Kiwi Lodge; it being the school holidays. However, not far over the swingbridge and along the track there were few boot prints and so I was somewhat relieved having only taken a single person tent for an emergency.
We had lovely weather and stopped for lunch in a sunny spot on the flats not far before the half way hut. Sitting down to eat was brief due to the attacking sandflies. There were plenty of bellbirds in the beech forests. On the flats there were lots of large areas where pigs had been rooting.
We were: Wendy McCaughan, Darcy Mawson, John Robinson, Norman Burden and Sue Piercey (leader). (SP)
We reached the lodge after 6 hours and had it to ourselves. We soon had a roaring fire going in the stove and three of us chose to sleep out near it with the other two in one of the bunkrooms. Dinner was a Thai tuna curry with lots of fresh vegetables and udon noodles followed by apple and raisin cake with custard. As a reward for cooking too much dinner I got to eat curry for breakfast.
It was a beautiful, clear, starry night followed by a heavy frost in the morning which made the grass very pretty. Red clouds at dawn had our cameras out photographing the red sky around the snow-capped peaks.We tramped the same route back apart from three of us trying to see if we could stay on a track beside the river to get to the half way hut. Unfortunately, this track ended with the river cutting in to steep tall shingle banks. Perhaps when the river is lower in summer it is possible to stay all the way beside the river. We backtracked a bit and found a route up to re-join the track in the bush and met up with the others waiting for us at the half way hut. We were back at the car mid-afternoon and stopped again at Culverden for coffee. Thanks to Darcy for driving.