New and old tracks2021 06 12 barnicoat

Richmond Hills, Barnicoat Range – Saturday 12 June 2021

Twenty-six trampers met at the Easby Park carpark at 9am on a mild winter’s morning. It wasn’t easy to find a park but the carpark is being expanded so parking will be better in future. We headed up the hill but kept to the right going towards the Lodestone Road entrance via the Lookout Point. There were excellent views over Richmond and Tasman Bay. Going down the steps and just before the exit, we headed up the hill again on a narrow, new track which took us through to Tower Road. We then headed down the Macrocarpa Track back into Reservoir Creek. Just past the large totara we headed up Reservoir Creek using a trapping track. There are ropes for assistance in places and plenty of handholds but the track is steep, narrow and a bit greasy in places. It is a pleasant surprise to find such a great piece of native forest with nikau palms and lots of ferns so close to the Richmond CBD. Our morning tea stop was on an easier slope in the native forest.

We then crossed Oliver Road and headed up another new track which was currently being worked on by Mike to our benefit. This track took a zigzag through to Lookout Road which we crossed and headed to the Fire Lookout for lunch. From the Fire Lookout there are great views over the Waimea Plains but the air was a bit murky and the mountains were obscured by cloud.

After lunch we headed down Lookout Road to Fowler Road. At the top of Jimmy Lee Creek we split into two groups with some taking the easier option of the road and Grassy Saddle bush track, while others enjoyed another trapping track through a special grove of young matai and mature native forest down to the Scout Track. We all managed to meet again on Cypress Road and then headed back to Easby Park via Allan’s Gully which goes through a pleasant patch of regenerating native forest. We were back at the cars soon after 2pm having enjoyed a varied and interesting tramp of about 9km along some new and some old tracks.

On the trip were Chris (leader and scribe), Marian (co-leader and trip planner), Maria, Rob, Robyn, Tony, Kerry, Lesley, Lynley, Ian, Gael, Helen, Bernard, Sue, Julian, Alison, Esther, Eric, Miang, Lynda, Julie, Andrew, Ann, Lisa (visitor), Debbie (visitor) and Rosemary (visitor). A special thanks to Mike for spending the morning improving one of the tracks for our benefit.