Oteake Conservation Park, Otematata and Dansey’s Pass Field Trip – 9th – 12th March 2017
Trip Guides: Peter and Barry
Field Trip Report by Pam
Wow, what an experience, if you want to see and learn about new country, I recommend that you go on a NPS Field trip.
Big thank you to Peter and for sussing out and organising this wonderful expedition.
It all started on the Thursday night where we met at Peter and Ann’s home in Otematata for drinks and nibbles and a trip overview.
On a beautiful Friday morning, 10 vehicles with 24 occupants were up and away at 8am to go over the Oteake Conservation Park. We branched off at Omarama, on the Broken Hut Rd and hit the gravel roads and entered the Park. Unbeknown to us there were others also taking the same course. The Great NZ Trek, which had approx. 300 people either on horses, mountain bikes or walking. It really added to the traverse over the tops of the mountains with plenty of scenery to photograph as well as conversing with the people on the trek. I know I was very glad I was in a vehicle as it was a steep hard climb, and the same for the drop on the other side and out the valley, on to the Hawkdun Runs Rd. We had lunch where there had been an old homestead, and now just a tin shed remains. Some photographers were fortunate to see a falcon fly over and land in the pine trees. The trek also came through and there were many more photo opportunities. We called in at St Bathans and then onto a favourite place of Karen Talbot’s – The Shearer’s Quarters – an old house and buildings that we have seen in many photographs. As we went to leave this area, it was found that the rough road we had been over played havoc on Jane’s tyre and she had a ‘flatty”. With the help of some strong men it was fixed in no time and we were on our way again. We had the night at Naseby and a lovely meal at a local Hotel.
It was foggy when we left on the Saturday morning and we headed back to St Bathans, but the fog had lifted by that time. We had a pleasant time there photographing the buildings, the lake and the Trek came on through again, so another opportunity for the photographers. Karen has such a knowledge of the area that she next lead us on to – The Rabbiters Cottage at Patearoa and an old stone shearing shed opposite, where she had permission for us to go on.
Another area I had no knowledge of was the Hamiltons Cemetery with a wonderful outlook over the country side. After a bite to eat here we all went in different directions and eventually heading over the Dansey’s Pass, where the rain had set in, and back to Otematata.
Once more thanks to Peter and Ann’s hospitality we had a pot luck dinner at their place. A special birthday was celebrated with a cake and candles presented to Carl. Well done Rob!
Great evening had by all ended our fantastic trip, as we all headed off the next day in the rain with our camera and memory full of images.