A new track – Sunday 19 June 2016
On a cloudy bleak day, twelve warmly dressed trampers met at the Hacket carpark, where we were joined by Philip from DOC. Philip had a discussion with us on safety factors and the requirements of safely working in the area, as Waimea Tramping Club were to carry out maintenance on the Old Chrome Road, in conjunction with an agreement with DOC. The plan was to cut a new section of track to make a loop track from the Serpentine Road side of the valley back to meet up with an existing track and down to the main Hacket Track. Once we had climbed a steep section of track up from the Hacket Track we turned onto the new section of track, doing some trimming as we went. Further up Philip and Andrew cut a small diversion around some large rocks, making for a better way around. Once at the top, Julian read out some history of the Old Chrome Road and mining in the Aniseed Valley area. From the top it was back along the Chrome Road itself and lunch was had a little further on. The historic Chrome Road section is 1650m long.
After lunch we carried on and worked our way back down the valley where there were two old horizontal mineshafts off the side of the track. One was still quite accessible for several metres into the hillside. Four or five people took the opportunity to venture inside. A swallows’ nest and cave weta were observed on the walls of the mineshaft.
Once back onto the main track it was an easy walk back to the carpark. It started to rain as we reached the swing bridge over the river so people were a bit damp by the time we reached the cars.
Overall a good day was had, even though the weather forecast had been a bit dubious in the morning. The trampers were Geoff, Andrew, Lesley J, Mary, Dale, Donell, Colin, Chris, Jo, David S, Julian and Lillie.