Old-New Smith Creek Tracks, Mid Tauherenikau
31 July 1999
This medium trip was one of the day trips on Saturday 31 July as part of our 80th celebrations at Kiwi Ranch.
In keeping with the nostalgia associated with the celebrations we walked towards Smith Creek Shelter on the usual track until we first crossed Smith Creek. From here we moved onto the old Smith Creek track - the leader having been shown the route the previous Monday by Kerry and Bruce Popplewell. It was surprising how clear the track still is and interesting to speculate on the old bridge over Smith Creek removed in 1973.
Rejoining the usual track we then had to drop down again to the creek when confronted by a new slip shortly before the shelter. We had lunch there and were joined by other TTC parties in the area. On the way to the shelter we took a side trip to the original Smith Creek hut site where probably the first hut in the Tararuas was built by the Public Works Department in 1902.
After a short stop at the shelter the party returned to Kiwi Ranch with the majority going via the Dobson Hut site where we encountered some snow flurries and snow lying on the ground. The historic notes were obtained from "A Chronology of the Tararua and Rimutaka Ranges" compiled by Ross Kerr and available from him at PO Box 540, Levin, price $10.00.
Trip participants: Diana Barnes, Marilyn Bramley, Robin and Susan Chesterfield, Murray Gibbons, Mary Inglis, Maurice Kennedy, Victor Negrin, David Netherclift, David McCrone, George Spencer, André Visser and Alan Wright (leader and scribe).