Thirteen Mile Bush

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Seven of us left Church Corner at 8am for Benmore Station, not far from Porters Pass. But first we had to stop at Sheffield to pick up John, and then Kim and Carol in Springfield.

We arrived at Benmore Station just after 9.0am to be greeted by a very boggy car park. We wasted no time in putting our boots on. First, we had to paddle our way through a flooded area to reach the small swing gate. This was the feel of damp feet! Once on the four wheel drive track, muddy to say the least, it took us onto another track to which followed the Thirteen Mile Bush stream to the Kowai River ford.

A short time later we entered the beech forest, leaving the tussock and brown tops behind us. Unfortunately, from thereon, the track became very uneven and muddy .At times we had to balance ourselves on fallen tree trunks to avoid the bogs. With several stream crossings, it made us to forget the other challenges! It seemed I was too anxious to get to the hut away from the mires, when Kerry reminded me we hadn't stopped for morning tea. Sorry about that my fellow trampers!

We arrived at the hut two and half hours later. it had been built by the New Zealand Deerstalkers Association, in the mid-nineties. The interior has been well maintained with four bunks, although possibly five could sleep there if one wishes to double up. Benmore Hut is situated in a forested saddle on the junction with two other main tracks, one on the south side of the hut ,which takes you up to Benmore, while the other takes you down to the north tributary of the Selwyn River. We left the hut at 12 45 pm, with a quite eventful return on the same track. A couple of us went sliding on our backsides due to the previous week's wet weather while Hilaire decided to tackle it face down into the bog.

A short time later our leader got his boot well stuck into it as well Poor Kim thought I was a gonna .Once on the track out of the forest ,John thought it was ok to tramp ahead and back to the cars, Didn't somebody forget to tell him about afternoon tea stop. Devonshire teas I believe! We arrived back at the cars at 3 15pm, and soon left for Christchurch. A very enjoyable tramp everyone.

We were. Jill Fenner, Hilaire Campbell, Kim Ashmore, CaroL Cheong, Kerry Moore, John Robinson, Shiping Wang, Justin Loe, Peter Umbers, and Norman Burden (Leader) (NB)