12 February 2016

Makarora,Gillespie Pass tramp,Central Otago,Southland

2nd post from my recent NZ trip written in early April after returning home.
Link to photo album.

We drove over Haast Pass from the West Coast to Makarora to start our second tramp of the trip.The route would take us up the Young River,then over Gillespie Pass (1600 m ) to the Siberia Valley ,with a side trip to Crucible Lake ,and on down the Wilkin River back to Makarora.We packed our tents as the huts would be very busy on this Waitangi weekend.These days you can keep dry feet on a shortened version of the route by using the Blue-Young link track and swingbridge at the north end and then flying out from the Siberia Valley or take a jet boat from Kerin Forks on the Wilkin. All a bit too much of a NZ "Experience" and we kept it pure and did the whole circuit with it's river crossings.

Crossing the Makarora River at Young valley entrance - this one a mere paddle

Easy track in the lower Young
A busy Young Hut with tents next to the helipad
Andrew at the Gillespie Pass
Mount Awful
Our campsite in the upper Siberia valley
Hanging valley below Crucible Lake moraine
Crucible Lake
Icebergs near moraine wall
Looking down into Siberia valley

Upper Siberia valley
Siberia Hut afternoon brew stop

Wading the Wilkin below Kerin Forks Hut
Now much greater emphasis on bird conservation than in years past
Recrossing the Makarora below Wilkin confluence - the deepest wade is left 'til last!
Makarora River

Alternative forms of transport for the "real experience"

After the tramp we rested up for a couple of nights in a basic cabin at Glendhu Bay camping ground which has a beautiful outlook across Lake Wanaka to the mountains beyond.
The original plan had then been to move on through Fiordland via Te Anau but we guessed it would be heaving with tourists and so instead went to Southland through Central Otago. Lots to see on the way, old gold mines,settler villages and rural life as well as the impressive hydro works along the Clutha River.

Old goldmining machinery at Bendigo
Welshtown ,Bendigo
Historic shops at Cromwell
Cobb and Co wagons at Cromwell
Glencoe memorial , Southland

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