Skull Gully M Trip
Saturday 11 May
It was a damp drizzly morning when four of us turned up at the gate to Wainuiomata Water Catchment Area. Grant Timlin had arranged a key for us to open the gate. We drove through two padlocked gates to the parking area just beyond Sinclair Creek. There is a short track here which leads to the forks of Skull Gully Stream with Wainuiomata River. Crossing the river we joined the track going up Skull Gully and soon departed from it taking a direct line through deep sphagnum moss up the steep toe of Drummond Ridge. On reaching the top we joined the well marked track that runs along the ridge. I had forgotten about this track but Iím sure we all enjoyed our little bit of off-track, and it allowed us to elevate the trip to off-track status. Greater Wellington does trapping work on the ridge and in Skull Gully, so all the tracks are well marked and maintained. We soon got a view of a side spur coming up from Skull Valley which is another access route to Drummond Ridge, and admired some huge rimu trees. It was an easy walk along the ridge to Bump 569 where we popped out on the 4WD road which runs along the watershed. Luckily the drizzle had stopped and there was only a light southerly. About 1km along the road we started to look for the track down the obvious big spur leading to the upper forks of Skull Gully Stream. The track is well marked where it joins the road. The Gully itself was easy walking. This area was never logged or burned so we enjoyed looking at the magnificent rimus adorned with epiphytes. We never spotted a skull however. The party was glad to get back to the car after five hours tramping.
- Party members
- Helen Beaglehole, Colin Cook, Ken Fraser (leader and scribe), Tom Shaw