Saturday, 7 January 2012

Navigation Tips II

So you have your Brevet Cue Sheet (list of directions we provide), what else do you need to navigate? Well for a traditional road Brevet that would be it. Sealed roads tend to be pretty explicit and don't change too much over time. However back country tracks in Central Otago can be vague or even change as infrequent traffic and weather changes the shape of the land.

Overall the Great Southern Brevet uses well formed tracks. Problem is there are also plenty of not so well formed tracks. In general you want to be riding the one that looks more used. This should only be a problem in a few places and the following tips should help.

Would be good to at least have Topo250 Map 26 Alexandra for a overview of most of the route. A few bits go beyond this map but you can be judicious about which maps/portions you need.

So where are the tricky bits? Well there a few turns that you will need to be eyes wide open to spot (making them even more tricky in the dark!).

The first is at the Tekapo River Crossing. You arrive at the junction of two roads. There is a third but it is a gap in the trees to the steel bridge across the Tekapo River.

If you are going to put your foot down make sure it is the left one!

On the other side the abundance of 4WD tracks confuse matters but head for the fenceline, hang a right and follow it to the Haldon Arm Campground. Here it is a bit of a maze but you will find the road out the other side eventually (keep turning left).

Next turn to be sure to make is at Black Forest. You will cross a small bridge and the main farm road continues but you want to head sharp left up Black Forest Road.

The turn off Broken Hut Road (more of a farm track by the time you reach the Oteake Conservation Access) is also tricky but keep an eye out for the large DOC map boards in the paddock on your right as you arrive at the hills. Keep left and up to Little Omarama Saddle (the track to the right is much worse!).

Head down Camp Creek till it becomes the Manuherikia (you will see 2 derelict huts). Continue down to the intersection with Hawkdun Runs Road. Hang a left and cross the Manukerikia.

Maybe give the bridge a miss?

On the other side of the river hop onto Home Hills Run Road and head east. A km or so later you will see the DOC signs for the Mt Ida Water Race Track at Shepherds Hut Creek. Head up and onto the Water Race for a gentle cruise with views to match. At Hut Creek (more DOC signs below the water race)), you should drop off and head to Falls Dam.

The track out past the fishing huts at Falls Dam is used infrequently. Go through the gate by the huts and around the back of the last two huts and across the paddock. There is a gate and track heading up a small stream. The Track is better defined on the other side of the gate.

Should be a smooth run till you reach Luggate. Just after crossing the Clutha (iron work bridge) there is a small DOC sign on your right before the turn off to Shortcut Road. This is the start of the Upper Clutha River Trail. Once you near Albertown (cross the footbridge at Pawsons Crossing) keep right and near to the river as you can. You can ride under the bridge on State Highway 6 to join up to the Wanaka Outlet Track.

Can be tricky following the signs to Tuohys Gully Track at Cardrona. Follow the signs and orange warratahs (you have to open a gate to the left rather than head towards the small farm house). Once up at the saddle be sure to follow the DOC signs (Roaring Meg Track). It can be vague at times so best done in daylight. A detail map would help here.

Next bit of tricky navigation is the turn off from Canton Road to Waikaia Bush Road. The main track drops down to Canton Bridge. Waikaia Bush Road heads straight across a paddock (and gate) at the hilltop. Once through the gate the road becomes much more obvious.

Make sure you make the left on top of the Old Man Range (at the tin A Hut) and you will be good till past the Obelisk. Here keep left to the Prospect Hill Track. It can be scratchy occasionally but keep following your nose. It will turn sharply downhill to join Frasers Dam Road.

The Land of Rohan, or more correctly the road below Poolburn Dam on the Old Dunstan Road can be a little tricky (again not so good at night) as there are many 4WD tracks intersecting the road. A more detail map would help here.

That should be it! The Cue Sheet will help till you reach Tekapo (the side trip in Naseby should be OK as if you are not riding alongside a water race then you are in the wrong place ;-).

1 comment:

  1. If people are after bits of the Topo50 maps to print off, they can get them from
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