Few weeks back I had gone for tramping along with some of my friends to Peak Hill near Lake Coleridge. It was the first time I was ever going for tramping. The closest I have ever been to tramping was at Dhoni Hills in Kerala. But this was altogether different. It was cold and windy the whole week. So, my house owner gave all the instructions – on how to dress and what food to take. And so we (Akhilesh and few others) set out to scale the hill in the morning. You could find all the details about the tramping path here.
It took us about an hour to reach the base of the hill. The entire area was lush green, with sheep farms on one side and hills on the other. We set off with a backpack, gloves, tramping poles (we din’t use it though), heavily dressed to counter the cool south westerly winds. The hill slope was gradual and was full of tall grasses. It was nice and easy to begin with. The lush green slope slowly gave way to gray patches of walkway, made firm by others trampers. There are occasional orange markers, just to tell us that we are on our way to the top of the hill.
The path became more hard, and slightly slippery with pebbles and loose soil. It was also amazing to see the various fauna that was present all over the hill. One of our team member was a botanist and she was explaining to us the age and species of the plants that we saw. There were cabbage trees, sphere grass, and a whole lot of other fauna on top of that hill. We slowly climbed up hill, through the cloud. The view of the lake Coleridge started to fade slowly through the haze of cloud.
After about 2 hours, we took a tea break and we had some muffins to fill up our hungry stomach. After refueling ourselves, we set off again on our way to the top.
The hill slope was steep enough for us to slip slightly, and to get a nervous sweat on our hands (that’s mostly due to the slight vertigo that I have). We continued on our journey for about an hour and then the summit was in view. A pile of rocks represented the highest point on the hill. The team lead asked the newcomers (Akhilesh and I) to race to the top and be the first to be there (at least from our team). So, we raced to the top. On the way I was taking few pics, and I skidded off some rocks and fell down. That was a smooth fall and picked myself up and then again went on the race. Finally, both of us reached the summit! Wow, the air was cool all around, it was windy and the snow capped mountains were in our view on the horizon. There was a sea of white clouds beneath us, putting us in another plane. The clouds fully hid the lake beneath. It was a sight to cherish!!
We were sitting there, at about 1200 m above the sea level, looking and enjoying the clouds, the mountains, the breeze and the nature that was so full of beauty.
We took some time to refill ourselves with some sandwiches and then started on our descent. We took a round about path this time. Around the hill, we went, walked across 3 km of grasses, some tall as my cousin would be and through some creaks. Our bottle was empty and so we refilled it with the natural fresh water that was flowing down the hill. It felt so pure..!!
As we came down through the clouds, the lake was becoming visible little by little. The lake Coleridge was embracing the peak hill, and it was crystal clear. We couldn’t help but take few snaps of this sight that we beheld for some time. After walking for about 2 hours we finally reached back to our camp at the base of the hill. All tired, and muscles aching (that’s what happens when you try out for the first time). It was a exhilarating experience. A sight that would take my breath away!! That I would love to cherish as one of the most beautiful places that I have ever been in New Zealand.
After coming back, we decided to go to the Lake Coleridge, which was about 5 km from our base station. The car went through the dusty path, bringing out a haze of dust through which we saw the clear water of the lake. Stopping near the power station, we walked over to the shore. It was bordered by pebbles. The water washed the pebbles, making it smooth. We sat there for some time, enjoying the view of the Peak Hill which we climbed. There was an air of silence and quietude. The nature was looking at us. The mountains, the clouds, the lake, and everything around. It was a feeling of expansiveness and humbleness. The fact that the nature is so beautiful, and that it is our very responsibility to protect it.
I would suggest anyone visiting New Zealand and especially Christchurch to go for tramping at this location. It would be highly satisfying experience!! Guaranteed!!