30 August 2017. Dromedary Hill is an uninspiring and univiting name for a day’s outing. For one thing, I starting my “mountaineering” career in Tasmania, where anything over 1000m was most definitely a mountain or peak, and a mere “hill” hardly seemed worth the bother. But Dromedary Hill in the Lindis Conservation Area is 1664m – taller than any mountain in Tasmania – and worth a second look.
We set out with low expectations. The hills were in cloud. Getting there starts with a 5km walk along an easement through Dalrachney station along farm tracks to reach the conservation area boundary. A creek crossing right near the start guarantees wet boots, then it’s pretty boring walking.
The conservation area is relatively recent. So nothing much changes at the boundary… except the grass is taller. A little further on there is a patch of mountain beech; such patches are somewhat sparse in this country. A couple of old trees on a rocky spur had clearly outlived generations of sheep. Now seedlings are spreading outwards and downwards. Perhaps a foretaste of what a few more decades of conservation management might achieve.
From there it’s a steep climb on yet more farm tracks. The scenery got more interesting, and the “hill” started to look like a worthwhile destination.
Frost on the tussock grass.
Up on the ridge the views started to open up.
On top, the views were spectacular. Sometimes it’s best to be away from the main spine of the Alps – you can see them in all their glory. We could seek Aoraki Mt Cook to the north, Mt Aspiring in the west and the Remarkables and Old Man Range in the south.
Looking west towards the Ahuriri valley. I think the big peak is Mt Barth.
And still more views…
Looking to the north west we could see the continuation of the track we have followed – the 25km “Pavillion Track” that ends at Avon Burn in the Ahuriri. In the right conditions it would are a great ski tour or for that matter mountain bike trip.
But for us it was back down the way we came up. Still, a great day out!