Gold Hunters Trail – Information for Participants (click here for a map)
Welcome to the “Gold Hunters” Trail. The trail is named after the Hunter River/Valley/Station which will be the focus of our trip. Your “Trail Boss” (leader) is Peter Dymock , assisted by “Wrangler” Don Morrison . Between the two of us , we have more than 20 years of experience on Cavalcades , as Trail Bosses and/or Wranglers.
Fitness & Ability
A cavalcade is not a hard out tramping trip, but a group walk . Socialisation with a group of like-minded people from all over NZ in an outdoor environment is all part of the fun of a cavalcade . However, you need to be capable of walking for 8 hours and up to 30km per day with a day pack. There is no particular age limit, but please assess your fitness & ability carefully and honestly when you sign up for this trail. We will be walking on well formed tracks (mostly 4WD vehicle tracks) the whole way. Although the route traverses some spectacular lake and alpine scenery , it is basically flat with no big climbs, although the trail does climb about 200m above Lake Hawea on the last day.
We will be starting very early every day (at first light – the best time of the day!) to give us plenty of time to complete each days walk and time to relax in the late afternoon at each stopover.
There is one major river crossing of the Hunter River . If the river is too high to cross safely on foot , we will be rafting across in a six person inflatable raft (life jackets provided) . There are many minor unbridged stream crossings en route.
The route follows the most interesting part of the annual Contact Energy mountain bike race – if they can bike it, you can walk it!
This is best described as “rustic” – communal in a public hall or woolshed . Bring earplugs! There is good camping out side each venue and many people prefer to sleep in their own tent.
The floors are hard , so please bring either a karrimatt, a self inflating mattress (“thermarest”) or a small air mattress and pump.
It is necessary for all to camp on one night , outside the Boundary Hut outstation complex in the Hunter Valley. Everyone must bring (or share) a small hikers tent for this night.
All your overnight gear will be transported for you between stopovers . Space is limited , so please ensure that all your gear fits into a single sturdy back pack or gear bag (including your tent and mattress) .
The trail is fully catered by the Alexandra Primary School PTA, who are very experienced in catering for my trails. This includes a cooked/continental breakfast, packed lunch and three course evening meal. If past experience is anything to go by, the food will be one of the highlights of the trail . All food is included in your registration fee. The PTA will be running a “wet” canteen every night, so bring along a small amount of cash. You can bring along a supply of snack/energy bars/scroggin if you wish, but its not really necessary. Every endeavour will be made to cater for special diets . Please let me know in good time of any special requirements.
Transport to and from Trail
The trail starts and ends at the Hawea Flat Hall. We will all meet at the Hall on the evening of Tuesday 24th Feb 2010, where we will overnight. There will be a trail briefing and a light supper provided. You will need to get to and from the Hall in your own car. There will be secure parking for vehicles in a paddock near the Hall for the duration of the trail. There is a short bus ride to the start of the trail on Wednesday morning and another short ride back to the Hall on Saturday morning. The cost of the bus is included in your registration fee.
The Hall is located on Camphill Rd , a few hundred metres from the Hawea Flat School on the road between Luggate and Hawea. If heading to Wanaka over the Lindis Pass , turn right off SH8A, just before the “Red Bridge” over the Clutha River at Luggate , and follow the road about 6km to Hawea Flat & turn left into Camphill Rd. If coming north from Dunedin or Invercargill turn off SH 6 onto SH8A at Luggate , cross the Red Bridge and instead of turning right towards Tarras , just over the bridge , head straight ahead to Hawea Flat.
There is no public transport to Hawea Flat . However Wanaka is well served . Contact me and I will arrange to get you out to Hawea Flat .
Arrangements for Wanaka (Saturday 27th)
We will drive ourselves into Wanaka from Hawea Flat (about ¼ hr) to the Rugby Club rooms at the showgrounds , right on the waterfront of the Lake, where we will meet the other two walking trails. Overnight accommodation will be available at the Club Rooms for those staying for the “hoedown” or, if you prefer , you could stay at one of Wanaka’s wide range of accommodation options… We will change into our period costumes for the grand parade of all the trails at high noon down the main street of Wanaka . The Host Town will be providing lunch, which is included in your registration.
It is a tradition of the walking trails to walk in the parade in 19th century gold mining period costume. Although not compulsory, making the effort is appreciated. You can make, beg, borrow or steal a suitable costume or hire one from your local Theatrical Society’s wardrobe . You costume is best left in your car for the duration of the trail.
Health & Safety
You are fully responsible for yourself to ensure that you are fit and healthy enough to undertake the trail and for your own personal medication. Your leaders will be carrying a basic first aid kit only. We will be carrying an emergency locator beacon , but this will only be used in life threatening situations. There is no cell phone reception on the trail. A high degree of self-reliance is necessary. If you have a medical condition that you think may impact on an emergency situation please let me know in confidence before the start of the trail. There will be no back up “sag wagon” available on the second day (Thursday) from Dingleburn Station to Boundary Hut.
It is safe to drink water out of the many streams en route.
No dogs will be allowed and no smoking is permitted at all on this trail. This is a condition of access permission and use of wool sheds and public halls for accommodation.
Although we are not at high altitudes (only 500m max) and it is summer time , we will be in an isolated back country valley , so any sort of weather can be expected from hot dry nor west gales to cold heavy southerly rain and sleet., so you will need to be prepared for anything .
Sandflies can be a nuisance around camp in the Hunter Valley, so bring a good insect repellent…
Recommended Gear List
Experienced walkers and trampers will have their own preferences, but the following is recommended
(items marked with an * are considered essential)
– * 3 season sleeping bag
– sleeping bag liner
– * waterproof and windproof full length trampers parka with built in hood.
– pillow slip (stuff your spare clothes in for a pillow)
– * sleeping mat
– * small hikers tent
– * well broken in light weight walking shoes or boots (note We are walking long distances on hard vehicle tracks without a heavy pack . Heavy, stiff, full leather, tramping/hiking boots and gaiters are not recommended – experience on past cavalcades is that they are a recipe for hot , tired , sore and blistered feet)
– * water bottle ( a 1.5 litre plastic soft drink bottle ideal)
– small stainless steel thermos
– * polypro, fleece or merino thermal pants and top
– * mid layer fleece or merino
– * thick fleece or wool jersey
– * wool or fleece hat
– * wool or fleece gloves
– * at least 4 changes of wool socks
– * sunhat
– * sun cream
– * sunglasses
– * 1-2 cool cotton shirts or T – shirts for hot days
– * shorts or light weight zip -off travel pants for hot days
– change of dry clothes for evenings
– change of footwear (e.g. sneakers ) for evenings
– * cup (plastic best), plate (plastic) , bowl (plastic) knife , fork, spoon
– personal medication / first aid kit/toiletries/earplugs
– insect repellent
– * waterproof daypack (reasonable size)
– * large trampers backpack or gear bag (for overnight gear)
– * torch or (preferably) headlamp and spare batteries
– camera and spare batteries/memory card
– * plastic bags to pack all gear into and/or pack liner
If you have any further questions , you can contact me directly as follows
03 4488092 (home)
03 4451826 (wk)
0274 377910 (cell)
2 Larch Cres, Alexandra
make sure you ‘get the gear’ – Top Quality Swanndri stuff at cheapest prices available- order with your registration.