Thursday, November 19, 2015

Boundary Stream, Mt Hay Station, Mackenzie Country

Tues 17.11.15. About 12 kms along Lilybank Rd, I parked my car on Boundary Stream delta flats, near the road bridge, as I wanted to follow Boundary Stream towards the north end of Mt Ardmore on Mt Hay Station. Map ref: BY17 073368

I wandered across the delta flats to an ancient, moraine terrace, where a stony gully took me up to moraine humps & hollows, characteristic of Mt Hay's sheep paddocks. After half an hour I found a farm track which passed two tarns. There I saw two, rare, black stilts foraging in the water. DOC's Twizel breeding programme of the rare kaki, black stilt, annually released kaki on the west side of Lake Tekapo at Glenmore Station. It was good to see DOC's conservation plan succeeding, with kaki on the east side of Lake Tekapo.

The dusty, farm track crossed moraine terraces above Boundary Stream towards Mt Ardmore's northern gullies & ridges, hunting country. Boundary Stream bed was filled with unsightly, yellow gorze. After wandering across moraine country for 1.5 hours, I reached a moraine hill top below Mt Ardmore. A hut, Hays Retreat nestled between the moraine hill & Mt Ardmore's NW ridges.

Hays Retreat hut overlooked Boundary Stream gorge, which took a sharp turn northwards towards Mt Richmond. Some metres from the hut, a long drop had grand Alpine views. A deer skull hung on the outside of the long drop door.

On the hill top I scoffed my lunch, biltong, mandarin, muesli bar & fizzy drink, while admiring Alpine views around Lake Tekapo: S - moraine terraces, Wee McGregor, Mt Hay, Benmore Range. SW - Motuariki Island, Lake Tekapo Village, Mt John, Old Mans Range, Mary Range, Ben Ohau Range. W - Braemar Dome, Mt Stevenson, Fork River Valley, Glenmore Station, Mt Joseph, Cass River Valley & Cass River Delta, Godley Peaks Station, Gammack Range, Hall Range. Mt Cook Range was clouded over. NW - Mt Fletcher at Godley River head, Godley River Valley, flanked by Pikes Peak, Mt Erebus & Sibbald Range, Mt D'Archiac behind. Lilybank Station below Razorback. N - Richmond Station & moraine terraces, Two Thumbs Range, Mt Gerald Station & moraine terraces, Mt Gerald. E - Round Hill ski field, Mt Richmond.

The wander back to my car via moraine terraces & the two tarns took 1.5 hours. The walk was about 9 kms.

Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.

See rare black stilt, kaki (DOC).

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