18-20 March 2023
Penny Salmond and Paul Bruce took advantage of a three-day fine spell to explore the Nina River valley from Saturday 18 to Monday 20 March. The track was wet following northwesterly rain the previous day and night, with the first section quite waterlogged, boggy and slow. Penny counted 19 stream crossings!
However, the forest was in great shape, with robin, tui, bellbird and tomtits singing. We took our time, with a relaxing lunch stop by the fantastic swimming spot just past the swing bridge crossing the Nina River. There were two or three camping groups at Nina Hut, some of them in hammocks, so there was plenty of space for us in the clean, well-cared-for hut. We found much in common with the people there, including three environmentally-minded university students (‘reduce, repair and recycle’), a couple with a three-year-old boy who had walked much of the way, and another family who conversed with their two young kids and me in Spanish, an interlude I enjoyed.
On Saturday, we headed up to the Devilskin Bivvy. The track lacks markers in several places, and we found it far too easy to go off the path without a clear footpad. A group of 11 Canterbury Tramping Club members passed us on the return, having done a Sylvia Tops/Devilskin Saddle and return to the state highway in one day – probably a ten-hour trip.
We returned to the State highway on Sunday, and Susi Lang and Dave Wanty, who had a four-day exploration of the region, were lucky enough to arrive just in time to catch a lift back with us to Hanmer Springs.
- Party members
- Paul Bruce (scribe), Penny Salmond