For Christmas this year, we decided to go on a picnic at Jim’s Hut, about a half-hour drive east of here, up the Ahaura River. Our boys have been there a lot of times, hunting, and Gayle has been there once, but the rest of us hadn’t seen it yet. I got a picnic ready, and we headed off, in two vehicles. Our van wouldn’t make it up the track, so Simon and Elijah each drove his 4WD. We got almost to the turn-off to Jim’s Hut—and Simon turned off the other way, onto a two-track going into the bush. It turned out, once we got together again and heard the story, that James had heard about this track (at least he thinks it was this one!), and they decided to explore something new! Here we are, following Simon’s Pajero. He wanted to use his kayak in the river, so he had a trailer on behind. These pictures were taken through the windscreen of Elijah’s Rav4, while we were bumping around.
Mudholes don’t faze that truck!
These ruts, however, were a different story. The reason for the blurriness is that we were being thrown around a lot. I think this was a few seconds before we stopped and all piled into the Pajero, leaving the Rav behind. Just ahead, the track got even rougher, with gullies at least two feet deep to navigate. Simon did very well, and the Pajero performed beautifully; I held on tightly!
The end of the line—Simon decided he wouldn’t try going through this creek, because the bank on the other side went up too steeply. The track goes on, but we decided not to walk it this time.
The bush is beautiful back there! I couldn’t possibly record the colors of the ferns, or the cool dampness, or the sound of the rushing water. You’ll just have to imagine!
Simon found a dead tree right away, and his trusty hatchet came in useful. Soon, we were treated to the sight of a tree crashing down into the ravine.
We laid out the picnic on the trailer, and had lunch, then packed up, got turned around, and went back out to the main road.
Finally, we were on the track to Jim’s Hut…and there was a tree across it. Out came the hatchet again!
The Ahaura River in front of Jim’s Hut.
Elijah tried fishing, but when someone is swimming in the same place, it doesn’t work very well. Several of the boys ended up swimming across the river and back.
The boys often take this cage across the river.Some of us walked down to Jim’s Flat. It’s an open meadow surrounded by thick bush.
Looking upstream, to the mouth of the Ahaura Gorge…
The girls wanted a ride over the river in the cage, so Simon and James obliged.
The kayak made a couple of trips up the gorge.
One more picture… I took this on our way out, going from home toward the mountains. Notice the bales of hay? Whoever mowed the roadsides baled it, too!