Klondyke circuit, Victoria Forest Park – 12-13 January 2019
Eight keen trampers met in Wakefield at 8.15am on Saturday morning and travelled down to Rahu Saddle by 10.30am. We were surprised at the number of cars in the carpark but at least we knew we would not be competing for bunks and there was plenty of room to park. In very pleasant warm weather we headed up the Klondyke Spur Track, having decided that we would prefer to hike along the exposed ridge in good weather and knowing that later on Sunday it was likely to deteriorate. It was good going up the spur and not as steep as expected. By lunchtime we were at the bushline with great views to the south, east and west. From the bushline the track is not marked but it is a reasonably popular walk and it was not hard to follow a track. The track climbs up to 1541m sticking to the ridge crest most of the way. We passed a group of much younger trampers which helped the ego. From the ridge above the upper tarn we chose to drop down a gut with a rocky bluff to the north. Except for pushing through the tall grasses in full flower and being a bit steep in places it was a reasonable route down to our campsite. We set up camp near the stream feeding into the upper tarn. Other tents were scattered around the area. The water was surprisingly warm for an alpine tarn and two of the hardier members of our group couldn’t resist a swim. With a rocky area for our cooking we made ourselves at home in very pleasant surroundings. For an evening walk most of us did a circuit of the tarn and later one even walked back up to the ridge top.
Next morning we were packed up and away by 7.30am and headed down the creek on the northern side of the tarn. On the way down we were met by a father with his five year old son doing the same circuit as us but in reverse. The descent to the lower tarn was a bit steep in places but not difficult. We found the start of the track near the lower tarn and had a very pleasant walk down the Klondyke Valley Track photographing a few more plants and birds along the way. We heard kaka and long-tailed cuckoo and saw riflemen, robins, tomtits and fantails. We were back at the cars by around 11am and decided to head to Reefton for a pleasant lunch at a café and then enjoyed a different route for at least some of the way home.
It was a very pleasant trip which should perhaps be graded “mod-hard”.
Those on the trip were: Maria, Rob, Chris, Jo, Eric, Esther, Joy and David S. Chris