Walking to the Centre of New Zealand – Wednesday 18th February

This was the day we went out tramping with the “walking group”. They were more like mountain goats. This was the walking group my sister goes out with. It was lucky we’d done some training – they were fit and keen. We were up early at 6:30am to get ready. By the time the Cromwell walkers met the Alexandra ones, there were 9 of us, up near Frasers Dam. The morning was misty, sort of low cloud, which was a blessing as we started out at 9am. We were soom climbing, then sidling. following an old water race, high above the Fraser River. Eventually we came to a creek called Rough Creek, for obvious reasons. Some of the sidling/climbing was a bit scrambly, Clearly these folk were no strangers to tramping off tracks. As we climber to the top of the creek, the clouds started to part. We found a spot for lunch with great views of the Remarkables, Earnslaw and Aspiring, as well as Cromwell and Alexandra and way up towards the Ida Range. And back towards the Pisa Pack Track where we’d been a couple of days before.
After a relaxing lunch, we began the descent back down ridges and tracks, reaching the cars at about 3.30pm. A few days later we read the discussion in the paper on where in NZ is the point furtherest from the sea. Someone had claimed it was in the Dunstan Range, across the lake from where we were camped, and where we’d been walking towards the previous week. Then someone else reckoned it was about 1km east of Frasers Dam, so we’d probably walked around that point this time. On the way back we visited someone with a good supply of peaches, which we helped reduce by helping ourselves. Back at the lake Wyn had a swim in the lake, which was refreshing to say the least. Muffins and pizza for tea concluded an energetic day. If we can be anywhere near as fit and active as this group when we get to their ages, we’ll be very happy indeed.

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