Trip information, past trips and contacts for Wanderers Tramping Club

Waiorongomai tramp             22 March 2020

Six of us set off up the Lower Level Loop track at a comfortable pace. Mosses and lichens looked shrivelled and dead and a number of waterfalls were totally absent - not even a glisten!

We had brief stops for historical tales, peering into mine tunnels, or minor detours to historic sites close by. We saw the 1-way tunnel made for pack horse use, and most of us took the longer route around it.

Following the track, we joined Butlers Incline at its base, where our energetic Grade 3-er set off to explore greater heights while we remained grounded, and admired the feats of engineering that went into the mining operation here. Even though mining failed, these tracks remain a lasting monument to the mining legends of the time!

Another tunnel had a carefully constructed arched brick entrance, now almost hidden beneath us in a bush filled cutting. Our companion caught up with us again as our eye was caught by movement. Two stick insects, 1 green, the other large and brown and being attacked by a wasp. Once released, they were photographed in their sticklike pose .

We reached Fern Spur Incline where piles of sleepers provided a good seat while we ate lunch, and watched the rain clouds and sunshine below on the plain. Fern Spur Incline ended a few metres below in tangled gorse and bush, the restoration obviously in abayance.

As we began our descent down the Loop track, rain was unable to dampen our spirits as we headed into the canopy, and descended to the van waiting below.

We headed home through rain, with a short detour to a cafe and well deserved coffee, cake and chips!

Thanks to Dianne and Keith for organising and driving and informing us about this historic area.

It was relaxing to set out in the clean fresh air with friends, away from phone, TV and Internet, and to be able to forget Covid-19 for a few hours.




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