Roaring Meg Exploration MF 27 March
27 March 2013
Colin promised “quite a bit of off–track and a good chance of running into supplejack, lawyer and other goodies.” Who could resist such a prospect? The idea was to explore around the dam on the Pukeatua Stream (‘Roaring Meg’). This befell the lot of 10 souls.
It was a quick walk from the carpark by the Roaring Meg bridge to the dam, via a track across private land on the north side of the valley. With the aim of exploring further upstream, we decided to cross the dam, then ascend and sidle around the south side of the impounded water. Here we honed our contortionist skills, threading our way through the supplejack before dropping down to the stream again. What a gem - clear water rippling over shingle in the bright sunshine. The valley was narrow, almost a gorge in parts, with pools and small waterfalls to negotiate. An eel supervised our awkward manoeuvres along a big half-submerged horizontal log. Difficulty increased with each pool - knee-deep to waist-deep wading, inching gingerly around greasy slabs. On one slab, John proffered a helpful length of string from above. At another, Colin gallantly took off his shirt as a pseudo-rope to be clutched by his followers. But to no avail. Robin meanwhile pioneered an upwards escape route, albeit a little desperate initially.
After lunch we reached the ridge on the south side of Roaring Meg stream, between bumps 476 and 470. A pleasant afternoon followed, looking for the pink plastic marker strips on a rough track NE down the ridge back to the car park. At each pause, an array of hand-held devices and maps came out, for a navigational huddle. Once or twice north became south, mysteriously. But how could we possibly fail with such an armoury of aids – and minds?
It was a delight to spend the whole day to the accompaniment of bird song – mainly bell-birds. Sometimes a robin or fantail would come to inspect the strange assemblage below. The forest seemed dominated by tawa, with some huge rimu towering above. Rata was in flower, so no possums here. What a day!
- Party members
- Joan Basher, Robin and Sue Chesterfield, Colin Cook (leader), Tricia French, Howard Larsen, Peter Reimann (scribe), Bob Stephens, John Thomson, Bill Wheeler.