Tararua Tramping Club

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Trip Reports 2022-01-26-Battle Hill

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Jumping into the eel pool. Photo: Peggy Munn
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Grandchildren on Battle Hill summit. Photo: Peggy Munn

This article was first published in the Tararua Tramper Volume 94, no 2, March 2022

Grandparent’s group - Battle Hill

26-28 January 2022

In the last week of the school holidays, the grandparent group took nine children camping at Battle Hill. Just as some of us finished erecting unfamiliar tents, the rain came down in spectacular fashion. The unfamiliar tents developed large puddles inside, soaking sleeping mats, but spares were available, fortunately. In the meantime, everyone else sheltered under the gazebo as the rain did its best to penetrate anything stored around the edges. As the rain eased, some time was spent re-erecting the unfamiliar tents and we did manage a short walk.

It was late when we got everyone settled down for a good night’s sleep. But then a child decided to be sick. Fortunately, we got him outside before the event but the question was – would it happen again? After a brief stint sitting up in a car, he was declared capable of returning to the sardine tent with three other kids and two grandparents who, of course, spent some time awake listening for sounds of distress.

A southerly sprang up during the night and the next day was quite cool with a gusting wind. We walked up to the Battle Hill summit and came back down along the bush track. After lunch, the kids disappeared to do kid things, involving the creation of a game called ‘kingdoms’. One kingdom was guarded by an eel in a moat (the stream). There was a tree to climb that traversed the stream to the other side. That was a bit scary and then there was the big eel pool. The kids were fascinated by the lurking eels. They counted 17 of them. Once they saw other children jumping into the eel pool, they wanted to do the same. It took a bit of nerve and someone was appointed eel watcher as the kids were convinced that if they jumped on top of an eel they would be bitten.

In the meantime, the gazebo had been staunchly withstanding the gusting wind but an exceptionally strong blast broke a fitting and there was rapid action from the adults to get the shelter down before more damage was done.

We managed to get the children into bed at a more reasonable time and the rather tired adults were hoping for an uninterrupted night. All went well until 5:50 a.m. when a troop of ducks waddled through the campsite barking loudly. All the kids woke up.

On our last day, we walked under the Will-it-Ever-Open Transmission Gully road to the next stream where the kids had more fun exploring upstream and encountering log jams. It was finally a real summer’s day so, after the walk, they went off to do their own thing. After lunch, everyone packed up and went home. The children had had a very energetic time and were quite exhausted, and the grandparents were not far behind. Battle Hill is an excellent place to take children camping at a quite basic level – just toilets, no internet and plenty of space.

Party members
Chris and Peggy Munn (scribe), Zach (10), Harry (9), Lucy (8), Ollie (8). Lynne and Warren White, Mila (11), Cato (7). Lois Buckrell, Ella (11), Eve (7). Helen Foo, Eddie (3).

Page last modified on 2022 Mar 03 23:16

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