Written by Brenda Peterson:
It was a wet, wintery and slightly chilly day when two van loads of chirpy trampers left Hamilton for a trip to explore McBrinns Track.
The foreboding grey skies meant we donned jackets from the start and set off on our journey. We passed an old disused quarry and followed the track with McBrinn’s Creek flowing off to our right. Some parts of the track were a little narrow and rocky requiring a bit of care to scramble across.
We ventured up a side track and viewed an old tin shack and then retuned to the main track.
The track evened out nicely as we continued on our way, stopping for a very welcomed morning tea to refuel.
There were a few concrete foundations and odd relics along the track before we reached the old amalgamation plant. We saw a steam boiler, water tank and three big amalgamating pans among other bits and pieces.
From here we climbed steeply up to a higher level on a slippery bank covered in vegetation. We went left at the top of the bank and explored another relic before retracing our steps and climbing up another level to view two mine shafts. One was totally accessible, and the other was just a very deep, dangerous looking hole.
We then came upon another large shaft that we could stand upright and walk into. There we are few cave wetas on the ceilings and walls that didn’t look at all disturbed by us visiting. Lucky we all had torches as there were some quite large openings in the ground that were unguarded!
A little further on we dropped down and crossed the creek a number of times - some of us getting wet feet, others were lucky (and clever enough) not to. We passed a stunning waterfall that was surrounded with beautiful, damp greenery.
The turning point of our tramp was a very interesting old wooden dam that was very picturesque and historical.
We returned to the van on the same track stopping to view a few more caves/mine shafts along the way.
The trip was finished off in style with two delicious cakes for afternoon tea… one very special one celebrating a birthday.
I truly enjoyed this trip so much, would have to say it’s been the highlight of my winter walking this year! Was a little bit of everything and the rain didn’t put a dampener on an awesome day out. Thanks so much to Lorna for leading us.