Morgan 2022 Xmas Holiday

If you are looking for a short tramp/camp/adventure with a youngish whanau possibly with an overnight stay then the recent trip we did at Hopkins Valley could be of interest.

We irregularly tramp/camp as a whanau which includes a 14, 13 & 10 year old (something that we do want to change).   

Hopkins valley, was chosen as it wasn't far from where we live in Central Otago, within a couple of hours drive and it is an easy walk in along a 4 wheel drive track which goes along  the valley floor.   It's in Ruataniwha Conservation Park, near Lake Ōhau.  The goal was to explore the area, do what we could in a couple of days & get kids away from devices :).

I took  a camera I had been given for trial use by SONY along on our holiday to suss out how it worked - the SONY A7SIII.  I have it mind for video use but gave it a bit of a work out for shooting stills on this trip.  Most of the photos in this blog have been shot on it.

We left home late afternoon arriving in the area around 7pm & it was too late to tramp so we camped over night at Temple Stream  a DOC camping site which is the last camping site on Lake Ohau Road towards the Hopkins Track.  It was popular,  a couple of kms drive from the main road,  right next to a river and loads of sandflies!  Lots of repellent was needed.   More info about Temple DOC campsite.

The next day we drove past  Ram Hill carpark which is at the end of the Lake Ohau Road.  Most park here and hike in especially if you have 2WD.  We drove  as far as we were comfortable in our Subaru Outback - which is not really suited for this  4Wheel Drive  road.  There were some huge pot holes,  muddy sections and sunken tracks that required careful navigation.

The goal was to get to Red Hut - a 3 hour hike in.  But we didn't get that far we stopped at Monument Hut pictured above which is  a 2 hour (9km) hike in from Ram Hill Car Park.  Personal fitness (eek), hot weather & relief to find availability at the first hut meant we stopped there!

A few of us hiked to the swing bridge over the Huxley River  (about an hour further) in the afternoon. 

The scenery was even more spectacular with crystal clear rivers, something the fly fishing members of our family was excited about (yawn).

Morgan 2022 Xmas Holiday

So if you are looking for an easy meander by foot with some stunning mountain views then this short (9km) stroll into Monument Hut from Ram Hill  car park could suit.  Although a flattish walk as it follows a 4 Wheel Drive track on the valley floor, it's hot in summer with no shade if you leave late like us!

If something more adventurous is your thing, then possibly the tracks further up the valley is likely to be the way to go.  Or if you don't want to walk at all then 4 Wheel Driving appears to be possible.  More info about the Hopkins track on the DOC site

I look forward to exploring it further some time, we are pretty lucky to have such amazing countryside on our doorstep!    

Clare :)


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