Marlborough Tramping Club

Click here to edit subtitle






 November 2017

PRESIDENT:          Kerry     Ph (03) 5788836      SECRETARY:         Jane   Ph (035787441

 CLUB CAPTAIN:   Murray   Ph (03) 5724812






Club   Xmas BBQ.      17th December

BBQ for all members and their families at Murray Chapmans, Angoradale. From midday on. Angoradale is about 20 mins from town, follow the Waihopai Valley Road then look for our sign on the right just over the singing bridge. 

 After you have eaten you can walk off your lunch then have a swim, kayak or just laze around.

We will supply meats, bread, sauces etc.  You just need to bring a salad or dessert to share, something to sit on and any beverages you may want.  (We will have some plastic plates etc but you might like to bring your own.)  If you would like a ride contact one of the committee.


New Itinerary.  Thanks to Jane and Sue for putting together another good itinerary.   Hardest job in the club.     Still a few gaps if there is anyone that can fill them please ring Jane or Sue.


Wanted to borrow.    Two person tent for Jill Spooner who is walking the Abel Tasman with her daughter from 18th to 25th December.  Phone Jill 027 666 8496


Pizzas in the Park  Wednesday 20th December.  Back by popular demand.  Bike or walk from Rifle Range Road at 9am.  Lunch at Pollard Park midday.  Please bring your own drink this year. Contact Mary 5828762 or 0272785633 to book for lunch $7.






 The Forgotten World Highway


On Sept 19th Linda and I left Blenheim for Taupo.  Arriving Taupo later that day we went our separate ways, Linda visiting family and also to bike the Geyser land Gravel Grind in Rotorua.  I stayed for a few days in Taupo with friends and then travelled to Tauranga for a school reunion. Sept 30th I returned to Taupo where Linda picked me up and on a rather wet day we set out for New Plymouth via the Forgotten World Highway, NZ’s oldest heritage trail which is 155km’s long.  Starting at Taumaranui or Stratford it follows ancient Maori trade routes, pioneering farm tracks, historic settlements, untamed native bush and beautiful natural scenery.  Our start was from Taumaranui, the railway where first we had a legendary Taumaranui pie and a cup of tea. Our appetites satisfied we departed there in light rain and mist, with time on our side we travelled at a leisurely speed, traffic was minimal.  We were treated to an amazing day. Saddles, Pa sites, railway tunnels, gorges, bridges, deep hidden valleys, pioneer graves and forgotten settlements.  Of considerable interest was a Papa, a Papa is and enormous culvert skilfully formed by manually digging using only hand tools and working by the light of candles. What resilient men they were.

From the tops of the saddles viewing was impossible, low cloud had formed a visible cloak over Mt Taranaki and the Central Plateau.  However, light rain and mist in the magnificent Beech and Pod carp forest was magical.  Eventually arriving at Whangamomona once a bustling pioneer town, their pride and joy is the Whangamomona  Hotel which has a Historic Places Trust rating. Whangamomona has reinvented itself; it offers people the opportunity to discover a Forgotten World by railcart.  Railcarts are self driven modified golf carts which ride the rails, departure is from Taumaranui , Stratford or Whangamomona. Options include a 10 tunnel tour to 24 tunnels and 98 bridges.  A very popular adventure indeed, connecting you to nature and enriched past.   After refreshments at the Hotel and a chat with the locals we continued south leaving the Forgotten Highway at Junction Road heading west to New Plymouth still enjoying the Tarata Saddle, farmland and a special moment where counted 22plus Kereru (native wood pigeons) A wonderful sight. 

Journeying on we started to encounter the high producing dairy land and herds of Taranaki, which was good on the eye.

Reaching New Plymouth  7.30 ish  accommodation was Belt Road Holiday Park, our unit was beach front and with a fierce Westerly wind blowing we slept to a tumultuous and restless sea.

The Forgotten World Highway, I thoroughly recommend it.

Thanks to Linda


Geyser land Gravel Grind.

This was a 3 day bike packing ride in the Bay of Plenty. Day 1 Rotorua to Matata, day 2 Matata to Waikite, Day 3 Waitaki to Rotorua via Tokoroa. The weather ended up being fine though the weather man had prediced rain for some of the weekend.

Day 1: an 8am start with 70+ riders at the museum, through Spar Park pass Redwood forest onto the mtb. track down to Lake Okareka then Western Okataina walking track to Lake Rotoiti pass Rotoehu then a hill climb before a great downhill to a lovely seaside town of Matata and a D.O.C camp for the night. Arriving at 5.45pm. to a waiting beer from Tony.

Going up the Western Okataine track proved to be tough the last 3km. due to the rain gouging out the track with deep ruts running down the center and in a couple of areas they would be a meter deep. It was easier to push the bike rather than hop on and off. Even the downhill was the same.

Day 2.  108km. for the day getting away at 8.30am. With an easy ride to Te Teka via the back roads to S.H 30 then up the valley into Kaingaroa forest on the public roads to Rerewhakaaitu Township, Rainbow mtn. to Waiotapu then a 3km hill climb at the end of the day before Waikite Spa and camping grounds at 5.30pm. The days ride started out flat to TeTeka before the undulations started for the rest of the ride subsequently that last hill became a mind game.  A lovely welcome when that camp came into site with the café there for a meal and beer again, tasted good after that day ride.

Day 3 Waikite to Kinlock.85km Another 8.30am start though Waikite valley (farming area) to riding next to Poeroa ranges before turning to cross the Ohakuri lake  heading toward the Ohakuri Dam. This section of road was an undulation ridge ride with farm houses up high with their cherry trees in blossom and beautiful valley. A snack at the Dam before hitting S.H.1 to Atiamuri  a turn left riding beside Kinleith forest down to Maki to the last uphill that I had to talk to myself not to get off and walk after all the hills I had been up in the last 3 days before arriving at Kinlock and a very welcoming

cup of tea.


Overall - first part of day 1 was a challenge but otherwise a very satisfying  ride.


Blind River to Awatere River Mouth     Wednesday 25 October 2017


The Wairau Tramping Club was meeting at Horton Park at the same time as us and we nearly gained an extra passenger as one woman was briefly convinced that she was coming with us. (The confusion was understandable as they were also doing an Awatere trip, though inland rather than on the coast.)  On a mild day we enjoyed a pleasant drive out to Seddon and along Blind River Loop Road to the coast.  After crossing a stream, most of us with dry feet, we headed north along the beach.  The tide was still coming in so we had to walk on stones and soft sand near the cliffs, providing some of us with more exercise than we really wanted. We reached the narrow spit at the mouth of the Awatere and spent a while there taking photos and identifying landmarks. It’s a lovely spot.  We then walked back along the beach to a reserve area where we had our lunch break.  By then the tide was going out leaving firm sand for us to walk on. We took a scenic route back via Yealands, and stopped for ice creams in Seddon.  A relaxing outing in good company.


Bill Woollcombe, Ling Sun, Roy Phillips, Gordon Stone, Sue McKenzie, Alison Scobie, Paulette O’Sullivan, Chris Beech, David Roberts, Jane Minto (‘Leader’)    

              Ling Knox    (Yanling Sun)                                                        Bill, David and Gordon

 Slaty Hut


So there I was, perched inches away from the phone on Friday evening eagerly anticipating a burst of calls from eager trampers up for a challenge. Sadly everyone’s sense of adventure had obviously departed them as the hours rolled by while waiting for those elusive calls!!!

The Saturday morning brief at the Forks road end was indeed a brief affair as I reminded my imaginary tramping colleagues of our code of conduct while glancing at the alluring ridge line to the north, eagerly anticipating the thrill of being at one with nature and of course successfully finding my destination.

The sun had barely risen but already the day was warming as I strode along a well manicured track easily capable of taking two abreast. Sadly this was short lived as after little more than a k it changed to little more than the route of my hazy recollection from thirty odd years ago. Still it was pleasant walking as it was extremely dry underfoot as the track sidled sixty or so meters above the Top Valley stream. That is until the last major stream crossing which on exiting one went straight up hand over hand. Well that knocked the wind out of my sail but thankfully the gradient eased as I reached a steepish spur which eventually topped out onto the Old Man track and familiar territory as I had passed this way four months earlier as a group of us tried to emulate exploits of our youth!!!

The Old Man summit was bathed in sunshine as I contemplated an early lunch atop. The views proved to be to captivating as I dumped the pack for an early lunch. The Inland Kaikouras to the south east were still cloaked in snow while specks of snow glistened along the Bounds and Raglan Ranges while the Travers range to the west still had a descent covering. To the north there was a slight haze over Tasman Bay while to the east patches of low cloud shrouded parts of the Kapiti coast. I was hopeful that Dan the weatherman’s big anticyclone was going to keep this at bay for at least another day and so far it was looking promising.

From Old Man north the track was part of the Te Araroa Trail and a well worn path was visible descending into a saddle before winding its way up onto the tussock covered Ada Flat where a gentle laid back spur took you North West onto point 1538 with the peak beyond this being at a guess being Slaty Peak. At a guess was because I couldn’t be bothered getting the map out but my hunch was affirmed as the track sidled just under the spike and there below tucked on the edge of the bush sat Salty Hut. I ditched the pack and scrambled the hundred odd meters onto Slatys summit.

To the east were layers of blue tinged ridges making up the Pelorus catchment melting into a heat haze while to the south lay the fattened summit of Old Man. To the west was the blocky mass of Mt Rintoul soaring high above its neighbours while to the north by about four ks was the flat top of Mt Starvaell with just a glimpse of Rabbit Island.

It was still very early afternoon and the DOC return time from Starvaell Hut was five hours and even though it looked a depressingly large drop off Slaty Peak the allure of what lay on the other side was too great. Even though I told myself I would just go for a bit of a look along the track I knew deep down I wouldn’t be

     Waterfall  4ks from road end                            content until I saw what lay on the other side of Mt Starvaell.


Having jettisoned most of the pack contents onto a Slaty hut bunk and after feeling sufficiently energised from an array of snack foods that would make a nutritionist turn in their grave I strode out north on a surprisingly well formed track as it descended through the forest into the saddle.

 I surprised myself as I soon was scrambling up an easy tussock covered slope onto Mt Starvaell which seemed to be no more than a rock cairn on a rounded ridge. About one k to the sou west was a rocky outcrop that looked higher so I thought I may as well check it out.

I wasn’t to be disappointed as it offered stunning views of Mt Rintoul, Purple Top and Bishops Cap and to the north Tahunanui Beach and the Waimea inlet to Rabbit Island and Tasman Bay beyond. Now this was much more satisfying than mowing the lawns on a Saturday afternoon!!!

After half an hour of visual overload I made my way back down to meet the track and follow it down the ridge until I spied Stavaell Hut ten or fifteen minutes below. After moments procrastination I decided I was close enough to Stavaell hut as the stomach was growling and I reckoned it would be close to five thirty before I got back to Slaty Hut.

With the inner man satisfied after a sumptuous beef pasta hotpot meal I wandered out to get some evening shots only to meet Felix and Leonie who were six days into Te Araroa South Island. After the luxury of the Queen Charlotte Walkway the Richmond Range section was starting to test their stamina.

As I lay in the pit the following morning I was conscious of the fact it was gloomier than it should have been for this time of the morning. On poking my head out the door dawn revealed a pea soup fog caused by a moist warm northerly moving down from the north.  I had hoped that Dan the weatherman’s big anticyclone would have hung in there for one more day but it was not to be. Felix and Leonie were hoping to get through to Rintoul hut today but I suggested in these conditions Old Man Hut was a safer option. This placed them in a bit of a dilemma as they didn’t quite have enough food for rest days, luckily I had enough surplus to give them an extra day up there sleeve.

As the fog wasn’t totally unexpected I had made a mental note of a few spots traversing big rock scree that I thought may trip me up on the return journey as the fog was off such density that the markers couldn’t be seen.

 It was all a bit of a revelation for Felix and Leonie who on parting company with me atop Old Man were going to leave the trickier section through to Rintoul Hut for a blue sky day which I assured them would be tomorrow.

All that remained for me now was the steep drop into top Valley and the awaiting blue steed.

Stats 47.01 kms return with 2280 meters of vertical gain.  





Felix and Leonie - Two trampers on the

Te Araroa trail  grateful for Murray’s local knowledge and good food supply










Cable Bay Walkway    Wednesday 1 November 2017

Due to ongoing road works the drive out took nearly two hours.  We parked at Glenduan Park, the further end of the Cable Bay walkway. The route went up a dirt road for quite a way.  One clueless tramper, me of course, went past a turn off from the road not realizing that the rest of the group were enjoying smoko on the hillside above.  Leader Roy dutifully came after me.  At the top of the road there was no sign of the others for a time but then we spotted them coming up the hill towards us. We all carried on up the ridge on a track which is clearly marked by white posts.  At one place there were windfall trees to clamber over or under.  Roy and Gordon considerately left samples of their blood on the branches to serve as clues in case of Search and Rescue having to be called out.  (Well, with clueless people about, you never know!) 


When we reached the end of the ridge overlooking Cable Bay and Pepin Island we stopped for a leisurely lunch break with sheep and one rabbit for company.   We were all content to look at the bay from above rather than going down to sea level.  We managed to stay together on the return trip, meeting a few young people on their way up, and avoiding the bull near the bottom.  A very enjoyable day in perfect weather.

Roy Phillips (Leader), Sue McKenzie, Ling Sun, George Arnesen, Gordon Stone, Geoff Butcher,   

 Bill Woollcombe, and Jane Minto (Scribe) 






Mt Stokes/Titirangi


Forecast for Cook Strait, strong SE. 

Saturday 12:30 Murray Chapman and George Arneson turn up. After a lunch of asparagus and eggs on toast we head off with our allotted passengers to pick up, meeting at the turn off of Mahakipawa and Kenaparu  junction. Stopping also at Kenaparu Heads Camping Ground for a pit stop and stretch of legs, before heading up the hill through the bush to Hunts Saddle. Where the SE. is ripping through the gap while I am pointing out to others in the group where I was brought up in Port Gore.


Over to our left you can see down into Titirangi and Waitui which are still farmed successfully, with Foresyth, Chetwoods, Titi, Durville and Stephens Island on the horizon. 


  Without further ado we head down to Titirangi, staying in the shearers quarters for the night. It is almost a three hour drive from Blenheim, so most are keen to go for a walk along the lovely golden sandy beach after unloading the gear from the two vehicles, 


and choosing their beds for the night. I prepare dinner for us all in the mean time, with some willing hands before doing likewise. The gusts are making the old man pines roar and the willy wars curl up a hundred metres over the sea.  Murray went for a stroll out to the NW of the farm nearly getting knocked over by a few gusts.


          I get away from the kitchen to try my luck for a fish off the rocks at Garden Point, on turning back fishless, I spot a large grey shape in the shallow water off the beach end bay before the point. I cast out and retrieve slowly getting a follow, then winding 


like mad so as not to get stuck in the weed. Recast over and beyond the the fish, which sees the lure flying overhead and spooks. It was a large kingfish... Muesli for breakfast  after all.

          Dinner was cooked with the help of a little cheese and wine. Everybody seemed to enjoy the Thai chicken green curry.  With games afterwards provided by Paulette much to everyone’s amusement, before turning in for the night.


     Bill and Jane whipping the cream for the strawberries







The next morning the SE. had abated a bit. After breakfast and packing up we headed up to the main house to pay Rachel for our stay and head back up the road to the Anakoha saddle where we left our vehicles and started our walk up to Mt. Stokes at 9:00am. It took us two hours to get to the top with a half hour for smoko under large Cordyline Indivisa or commonly called a Mountain Cabbage Tree. Not much further on I luckily spotted my first live Powelliphanta  snail.  



















The last few hundred metres it was still unfortunately rather misty so the great views on a good day were not to be had. However it was not wet mist and the lichen covered rocks we had lunch on were dry.  On going down we met a few young tourist couples heading for the top, who had stayed down at the camping ground at Titirangi.


Mt. Stokes is named after Captain John Stokes who chartered the entire NZ. coastline between 1848 and 1851 in the sailing ship “Acheron"


           Those on the trip were George Arneson, Geoff Butcher, Murray Chapman, Ross Mc.Gerty,  Jane Minto, Paulette O’Sullivan, Allison Scobie and Leader and scribe Bill Woollcombe.






Vernon Bluffs Top Route       Wednesday 15 November 2017

This was a really enjoyable walk on a beautiful sunny day with a light breeze.  We drove out to the top of Redwood Pass and parked by a farm gate.  The route went up steeply to start following a fence line.  We then went along the ridge, going up and down in beautiful country and stopping for smoko on one bump before continuing to the Trig. The views in all directions were wonderful. In the past we’ve sometimes gone down to look over the spectacular white cliffs but the landowner’s instructions were to stay away from the bluffs as the earthquakes have increased the risk of sudden slips.  The return route was mostly the same as on the way out.  According to Graeme’s GPS we walked 17.1 km. and the total ascent, with all the short climbs added together, came to 850 metres.

George Arnesen (Leader), Bill Woollcombe, Geoff Butcher, David Roberts, Graeme McKay, Alistair Matthews, Alison Scobie, Paulette O’Sullivan, Chrissie (Visitor), and Jane Minto (Scribe)



REMINDER      First Aid Kits/Eperb/Gps and Maps      These are now held at Mayflower Studio cnr Maxwell Road and Queen Street.       If you want one for a personal trip Contact Kerry Millard 5788836 to book it.  Preferably at least a week ahead.  Kerry will need details of your intended trip and participants plus contact phone numbers.  

 Intentions Forms.  Please email these to [email protected]  or hand to a committee member after your trip.  This information is used to keep our data on track/road conditions and contact details etc for various routes up to date and determine the winners of annual trophies.     Only forms received by Kerry are counted for the trophies so don’t forget to pass them in. 





e to edit text