Eastbourne Bus Terminal - Hawtrey Spur - Upper Gollans Valley - Lowry
Saturday 29 May 1999
The trip was planned as one of the easier Saturday trips to have a variety of scenery, but without serious challenges, for 6-7 hours. Weather Workshop indicated showers and a wet afternoon, whereas home barometers did not!
Our comparatively large group of 17 began just before 8.30am on a fine morning behind the Eastbourne Bus terminal. A gentle stroll up the track for a view of the Kaikouras. Then the gradual descent to the confluence of Butterfly Creek and Gollans Stream.
Now for a little more serious tramping from this confluence up the long, untracked spur to the north (magnetic). Soon there were saplings to push through before forest gave more open travel. At one easterly swing we could see the farmed lower Gollans Valley. A few direction changes and dips of the spur, as well as a black beech (with the odd wasp) offered passing interest. The pink tape markers of the opossum trappers sometimes went off-spur to traps, and at one point delayed some of us for a few minutes. Tree ferns were also prominent. Below Hawtrey Trig large rata trees were protected by metal sheathing from opossums. After about one and a half hours spur travel we arrived at the southern. Williams Park track and proceeded north to the northern track from Williams Park. About five minutes past here we turned east down a known side-spur towards upper Gollans Valley. To begin with, an easy gradient through a belt of wind-damaged trees, before lush forest lower down. As the small side creek became evident to our left, the spur had turned north-east.
A sloping, open bank a few metres above Gollans Stream was a convenient lunch spot, with faint sunrays piercing the damp and cool atmosphere. We didnít stay long, wondering if rain would come.
Upper Gollans Valley is narrow with relatively steep sides down to the stream, so in travelling upstream it pays to remain close to the water. After about 20 minutes travel we were at the upper forks. The spur in between leads later to Lowry Trig. This lower spur had some close vegetation, but previous cutting made travel reasonable. The upper spur was open with manuka evident. There were a couple of direction changes - on one occasion by-passing much higher ground to our left (cartographers - what was that bump?!). Then a short, cut route through dense supplejack before the last drag to Lowry Trig.
Then on the "highway" north to near the top of the Wainui Hill Road for last long views, noting the hogs backs above were thin and harmless. An easy descent west back to Cheviot Road to our transport by 3.15pm. We were pleased to welcome Jane Farkert and Colin Hoare as 'Saturday Trampers', and delighted to see Rhonda again. Several members - who hardly knew the area - expressed surprise at the scope within the Eastbourne Reserve.
The Party:- Rhonda Billington Mike Arnold, Colin Hoare, Margaret Conal, Ian Baine, Chris Lakomy, Jane Farkert, Michael Bartlett, Gordon McKenzie, Daniel Casagrande, Bernard Molloy, Colin Cook, David Podmore, Dave Dyett, Dave Reynold, Tim Stone, and Peter Jagger (leader and scribe).