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Landsborough Valley: August 26, 2023

Report by Jake Gregory

Well, it's not very often that the trip leader is last to arrive and has to do the trip report! Even worse, the meeting place was less than 2 minutes drive from my house, and I was 5 mins early! 16 people in 9 trucks.

We met at the Hawea Garage, unfortunately the coffee caravan wasn't open. Headed off towards Haast, ironically as we passed the "Welcome to the West Coast" sign, it started to rain! We regrouped at the Pleasant Flat Campsite for a loo stop, and to air down. Shortly after we set off along the track and into the bush.

Dave summed up this track quite well early on, a beginners introduction to the West Coast, so different to the usual Central Otago tracks we are used to. The banter was flowing as we drove along, crossing small streams and making our way through the bush. Approx 3/4 of the way along the track, we branched off and checked out Rangers Hut, which is slowly being restored by DOC.

After a few yarns and photos, we carried on to the end of the track at Strutt Bluff for a lunch stop. The rain held off while we dined (and the sandflies dined on us), just as we headed off it started to drizzle. It was quite an uneventful trip in, so on the way out we decided to explore the wee side trails disappearing off the main track.

After about 4 U turns at dead ends, and some lighthearted abuse to the trip leader for getting us all lost, the convoy turned around and changed leaders. At this point it was a bit like the start of a bad joke, 4 Nissans leading the way... boy did the jokes and banter start flying then!!

Near the end of the track, the rain really started coming down. Most of us headed back to Pleasant Flat to air up in the rain, then headed back to Hawea to meet the others to make sure the beer at the pub was cold and delicious, which luckily for us, it was!

Another great trip done and dusted.

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