Sinclair Creek roundabout
Wednesday 18 May
It is always good to have friends in high places, especially one on each side of the fence! So we were delighted when Chief Guide Grant Timlin contacted Wainuiomata catchment Chief Ranger of the same name and confirmed we would be permitted to venture into the WRC forest. A digging of holes in an access road then shifted the tree trunks and our final plan (C) was to circumnavigate Sinclair Creek, a tributary of the Wainuiomata River.
We parked at the George Creek - Catchment Road junction. A twenty minute walk up the valley road was enlivened by the necessity of scaling a two-metre high padlocked wire gate - the leader having forgotten its existence and come away without the combination lock code.
Across Sinclair Creek we took to the bush; steep slopes but easy going through punga forest. Higher up, things returned to normal with a few throws of lawyer and a light dusting of hail. At Bump 592 a surprise, the start of a cleared route which carried us to the top, Bump 791, in very good time. Here we joined a well marked route along the Sinclair Creek/Big Huia Creek watershed and quickly traversed to Puketaha 767. Along the way we met Neil, determined to catch the party after traffic delays caused him to miss the start, but who was circumnavigating in the opposite sense.
The real navigation did not begin until we attempted to descend the spur running north west from just west of Puketaha. Mistakes were made, GPSs flourished, and when we emerged through a thicket of supplejack we were still a good 50m from the cars.
About seven hours to go round. The trip did not really live up to its M/F billing due to the much easier than expected travel along the watershed ridge.
- Party members
- Robin Chesterfield, Sue Chesterfield, Neil Challands, Colin Cook (leader and scribe)), Paddy Gresham, Patricia French, David Ogilvie, Lynne Pomare, Peter Reimann, Bob Stephens, John Thomson, Bill Wheeler.