Three car loads (13 of us) left Timaru Saturday morning, after the coffee/pie/scone stop at Wrinkly Rams in Omarama we checked into the backpacker accommodation at Dunstan Downs and put dinner in the crockpot.
The owner kindly offered to let us walk on the station, so after getting directions for a track that would take us up a hill and loop around to bring us back to the accommodation, we travelled 7km up the road towards Lindis Pass, then walked over Dunstan Downs Station – up a valley in search of some sun to have lunch amongst the tussock dusted with permafrost. From the summit we had views towards Omarama and Lake Pukaki, behind us towards Lindis Peak, turning to head back towards the accommodation there were beautiful views down the Ahuriri Valley/River. The permafrost on the vegetation was a treat to experience and photograph.
A steep descent saw everyone ready for a well deserved hot shower, beverage and amazing dinner which was super well organised by Judy.
Sunday dawned with low cloud, a gentle stroll along Avon Burn was on the agenda for this morning up the Ahuriri Valley (part of Te Araroa Trail). This did involve getting our feet wet on a few occasions with stream crossings. The super keen amongst us did make it to a private hut (9km in), while the remainder made it just past the turn off for Ahuriri Conservation area.
The trip finished the way it began with a scone/hot drink stop at the Wrinkly Rams before returning to Timaru.
Huge thanks to John, Colin, Judy and Barry for your organisation to make the weekend successful.