Silverpeaks Scenic Reserve, Dunedin - May 2021
The Silverpeaks Circuit Track is located within the Silverpeaks Scenic Reserve, just a 15-minute drive from Dunedin City. The 25km circuit takes 2-3 days, with accommodation at Jubilee Hut (10 bunks) and Philip J Cox Memorial Hut (4 bunks). It crosses regenerating native forest and tussock-covered schist hills. Any of the four 700m plus peaks in the area offer an almost uninterrupted panoramic view of inland and coastal Otago. The track services a local population of 140,000 Dunedin residents, and numbers using it continue to grow as day walkers, runners and trampers head out to explore the reserve.
In May, using a grant from the Backcountry Trust, 11 volunteers working with 5 DOC staff completed 4.5km of track work on the section of the circuit between the ABC Cave and Philip J Cox Memorial Hut. This was another project from the tireless volunteers of the Green Hut Track Group (GHTG), who last year undertook track work around Jubilee Hut.
They worked in four groups, each tackling different sections of the track. After a minus-7 degree cold start from Mosgiel, a helicopter transported the various groups and their equipment onto site to begin work. The track near ABC Cave was particularly heavily overgrown, and the snow tussocks made for slow work with the scrub-cutters. The group working from the Philip J Cox Memorial Hut used a chainsaw to clear windfall, and also sprayed the roof of the hut to remove moss and lichen.
Altogether the team spent 85 person hours on the work, in addition to another 20 hours of planning. Great job DOC and HGTG volunteers!