Rabbit Pass Tramp – Day 1 – Ruth Flat

Gina, Leonie, and I had driven down to Wanaka after Leonie and I had decided to join Gina and her pals on a modified not-so-Ivory-Lake trip. Actually it was an absolutely no Ivory Lake. We had made a delicious curry for dinner by lake Wanaka and camped the night Cameron’s Flat to the South of Ruth Flat.

In the morning, Gina drove back out to Wanaka and headed off to drop her car off at the other road end while Leonie and I trekked off in towards Ruth Flat. The weather was perfect. Nice and warm but calm. We crossed a very cold river to begin with and wandered through farmers’ paddocks before entering native forest and following a track on the true right of the Matukituki. It was quite happy and flat and we walked until lunch time just before arriving at Junction Flat. We played on the swing bridges and admired the views up to the snow covered peaks before following the track steeply upwards.

Of course we had packed extremely poorly and our packs weighed a ton (or a tonne if you prefer, but in both cases two much). I think the last time my pack weighed so much was in Slovenia with Chris and Emily and two cabbages – inspired by Gina. At our hasty Countdown shop before we met Gina we had failed to find much in the way of dried goodies and had instead bought lots of fresh heavy vegies and fruit. We began to wish we hadn’t. We sweated our way up and down through the bush for over 6 hours. The track was well maintained but had a horrible tendency to go up and down and with heavy packs it was very strenuous.

We vowed to cook as much fresh stuff as possible for dinner. Finally we arrived at Ruth Flat. We washed, pitched the tent, and cooked up a delicious rice and fresh vegie feast – wish worryingly didn’t put much of a dent in our fresh supplies. Gina and the rest of the party turned up about 1.5 hours later having taken something like 7.5 hours much faster than our 11… Of course, they didn’t seem to be carrying the entire contents of a small road-side dairy on their backs.

Setting off (Rabbit Pass Tramp Dec 2014)Crossing a waterfall 2 (Rabbit Pass Tramp Dec 2014)

Above left: We headed off early in the morning into Ruth Flat, while Gina drove off to meet the others and drop her car at the far end of the tramp. Above right: We had a waterfall to navigate on the way.

Crossing a wire bridge 3 (Rabbit Pass Tramp Dec 2014)Tents at night 2 (Rabbit Pass Tramp Dec 2014)

Above left: And two wire bridges. Although we could have avoided using them but they looked like so much fun. Above right: We met the rest of the team in the evening and camped at Ruth Flat.

My version of Lightroom doesn’t like my new camera’s raw format so you’ll have to put up with underexposed pictures until Lightroom 6 comes out…

And here’s a map:

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