This article was first published in the Tararua Tramper in September 1997
30 May - 2 June 1997
What better than a Queen's Birthday Lodge Trip when the weather forecast is somewhat dodgy? Comfortable beds, hot showers, great meals, cappuccinos, even a little tramping if the weather's fine.
Once again, our leaders Jenny and Ginny planned and led a highly enjoyable weekend, this year at Rotoiti Lodge, Nelson Lakes Education Centre. Thanks to some members already in the South Island, we were welcomed with hot scones and a warm building after a ferry and bus journey on the Friday night.
Alan Wright's group was up and away early to start their Hopeless and Angelus Huts visit. Our lot went up Lake Rotoiti in several boatloads to have a look at the mist-shrouded Travers Valley, lunching at Lake Head Hut and meeting up with Alan's lake-edge walkers. In spite of the rain, the beech forest was beautiful as we walked back to St Arnaud around the lake. Others had enjoyed local walks and cappuccinos.
A major assault on Mt Robert was the plan for Sunday, hiring a shuttle van to reach the car park. Most people used the steep zigzag Pinchgut track and some sidled on Paddy's Track to reach the skifield tops. As the mist cleared we exalted in the bright sun and fresh show - what a perfect day. The Parachute Rocks expedition reached the snow and rocks but weren't so lucky with their sun and views when the mist persisted.
Various short trips were taken on the dry blustery Monday before the Big Clean Up started. Each area of the lodge had its own cleaning instructions in great detail on big yellow cards and like good Tararuas, we made the place cleaner than before. It dawned on us that this was just a trial run for Jenny's Clubroom work party the following week. Alan's group arrived back just in time for quick showers be ore the bus departed for Picton.
We heard rumours of a southerly blast arriving and bad vibes for the ferry crossing. It was all true. Icy winds blew into the terminal as we joined several hundred hopeful passengers and hurried on to the ship in search of seats. Well, the floor wasn't a bad place to be on that extra long rough trip, but a few passenger coats and bags must have enjoyed their journey on the only spare seats.
Thank you J and G for a great weekend.
- Margaret Foden
Fay Barclay, Jocelyn & Paul Bieleski (now in Nelson), Lindsay Buick, Harriet Byrne, Sally Chesterfield, Denise Church, Pat Crosby , Dave Currie, Bob Cyffers, Sylvia Dixon, Diana Doney, Glenys Evans, Margaret Foden, Viv Healey, Lyn Kelly, Tim Kelly, Lois Kluger, Rolf Kluger, Jenny Lewis (co-leader), Gordon McKenzie, Janet McMenamin, Ken Mosley, Ginny Murray-Brown (co-leader), Robert Murray-Brown, Anne Nelson, Kath Offer, Carol Perry, Kath Satory, Hugh Slocombe, Michael Veneer, Murray Watkins, Oriana York.