Cockayne Alley Track – Cuckoo Creek Track

Sunday 11 July 2021

On a fine frosty morning our carload drove along Texas Flat, parked near the northern access to Hogsback Track and headed up the Cheeseman Ski Road, looking for the start of the Cockayne Alley Track. We didn’t see a DoC sign but found a little track that got us on the right path. The ground crunched as we climbed up this forest track. It was hard to resist breaking the ice on puddles we came to. Near point 1265 we stopped amidst tussock and scrub for a cuppa and admired the view towards the Torlesse Range. Pushing on, the tussock track was quite flat and led to the ski road which we went down for about 1km.

Much of the road was in forest, shaded and cold so we held-out for a sunny lunch spot. At Cuckoo Creek we stopped in full sunshine as a threesome and their border collie dog arrived, complaining about the vicious spaniards on the untracked shortcut they’d taken. The track takes its name from Cuckoo Creek and much of it is in forest, so fairly frigid. One little bridge had a thick patch of ice above the anti-skid netting which Kerry skated on but he managed to stay upright. Halfway down we passed the track junction leading to Dracophyllum Flat. The lower part of our track has lots of dracophyllum too. Thawed, sunny spots had sticky clay underfoot. 300m away, smoke rose from the huts at the ice-skating rink. We reached the car by 2pm so had plenty of time for a shop stop at Springfield. We were: Dan Pryce, Kyung Sang Lee, Peter Umbers and Kerry Moore. (KM)

On the Cheeseman Ski Road. The literal high-point of the walk