Cave Stream - Gorge Hill

Saturday, 25 January 2020

Five ‘cavers’ left Church Corner on a cloudy Saturday morning. We got to Cave Stream Reserve while it was still quiet and walked through the cave at our own pace with no other walkers in sight. We met some intrigued, but unprepared tourists at the entrance, happy to take a group picture of us. The water was well above waist level at the down-stream entrance.

The flow of the river was strong enough to make us pleased to be in a group, as there were some places where it was impossible to climb up against the push of the water without help. Wendy and Mary were initially hesitant cavers, wondering aloud if they’d be crawling through tight spots and mud, but declared this cave a worthwhile experience. We did wonder how the 30 little rugby players with their parents would get through with the water neck-high on many of them.

Heading to the Cave Stream exit—our entrance. Photo courtesy of Markus Kaufmann

After a change of clothes and morning tea/lunch we set off for the walking part of the day. The trip title said ‘Prebble Hill’, but we quickly declared that too ambitious and walked from the Cave Stream car-park down the hill and across the river (why did we change clothes and shoes?) up Gorge Hill instead. We walked to the south side of the hill to enjoy the view of Prebble Hill, the Torlesse Gap and the valley below while we had a lunch break.

In our attempt to descend to the Porter River we found a steep section near the bottom with soft, crumbly slopes. This made it a bit too exciting for my liking, as my vertigo is under tenuous control when descending. We had to retrace our steps and sidle to the east side of Gorge Hill where the descent to the river was quite easy.

The day had warmed up considerably and we were getting quite hot, so most of us had a dip or two in Broken River as we walked up the gorge, back to Cave Stream. Beautiful country and great views. The second part of the day ended much like the first part, with very wet but happy trampers. It was a very enjoyable trip.

Thank you Wendy McCaughan, Mary McKeown, Markus Kaufmann and Kerry Moore for the lovely trip and putting up with a very unfit leader, who had not been tramping in a long time. Evelien Baas ( leader)

Emerging wet and triumphant. Photo courtesy of Markus Kaufmann