Sunday, 23 January 2022

Tramping food: Dutch style fruit bread


..Krentenbrood...great for breakfast, lunch and dessert!!!

I was looking for something different to take with me on my recent tramp of the Heaphy Track and after a bit of consideration I decided on some of this delicious fruit bread. Rosedale Fruit Loaf is a specialty dense fruit bread made by the Delamine Food Company here in New Zealand. 

Rosedale Dutch style Fruit loaf or Krentenbrood

The bread comes packed in a sturdy plastic bag and due to the ingredients and baking process it is shelf stable and totally usable for up to 10 days. You will find it at most supermarkets and it will either be in the baked goods section or specialty bread section. 

Krentenbrood is packed with dried fruit and peel

This fruit loaf is good for all meal periods but it would be best as a breakfast option as it is sweet. I could see myself eating this with a strip of  Prosciutto or some Salami but then I am freaky and like to mix sweet and savory items together. A loaf of this bread could easily last you for one of the longer South Island sections of the TA. 

Rosedale Fruit loaf with other breakfast options...

The loaf comes unsliced and you can cut it to whatever thickness you my case that is bloody huge chunks about 2 cm's thick. It is good fresh or toasted and while it can be eaten without anything it is so much better with some kind of spread. I have had this bread with butter and margarine but it is also a great loaf for fruit jams, marmalade, conserved fruit, nut butters or honey

Slices of the Rosedale Fruit Loaf...looks good!!!

Rosedale Fruit Loaf  is a dense fruit bread...

With a slice or two of salami or cheese it is a complete breakfast meal option and I have had nothing but a chunk of the loaf and coffee for breakfast a number of times on a trail. It is also a lovely dessert for the end of the day as the sweetness of the fruit and peel is very appealing after the main meal. I was having it morning and evening for the first three days of the Heaphy Track. 

Ingredient list for Rosedale Fruit Loaf

Krentenbrood is great fresh....

There are a couple of negative points to the is on the heavy side with a loaf weighing 450 gm's. That is the same weight as 2/3 of a 24 hour ration for me on a typical day!!! This is not a problem if there are four of you to distribute the food weight but it is significant if you are humping everything on your own back. 

It is also uncommon in smaller food shops like a rural Four Square but is readily available in any of the larger supermarkets. 

...or toasted with your favorite toppings

The other factor is it is a bit sticky so you have to wash your hands after handling it or they will get all your gear dirty. Apart from that it is all good as far as I am concerned. A loaf of this bread costs between $5-$6 NZ dollars at this time. It is definitely something you should consider the next time you are planning a menu for a tramp.

Nutritional Information for Rosedale Fruit Loaf

Here is a blurb about these fruit loafs from the Delmaine Food company website...

Keep an eye for the next appearance of this fruit loaf on a tramp...I am taking some on the Routeburn with me!

Tuesday, 19 October 2021

SI Section: Havelock to Pelorus Bridge Campsite: October 2021

 ...Havelock to Pelorus Bridge on the Te Araroa Trail...

I recently had the opportunity to walk the Havelock to Pelorus Bridge section of the Te Araroa Trail. This is the first TA section I have managed in more than a year and is one of the linkages between the Queen Charlotte Track and the Richmond Ranges. 

On SH6 just outside Havelock enroute to Pelorus Bridge

Most of this section is either road walking or following farm tracks between the two points although the last kilometer or so is through some very nice forest. 

Map: Te Araroa Trail- Havelock to Daltons Bridge 

From Havelock you walk along State Highway 6 (SH6) for about two kilometers where you take Te Hoiere Road to a bridge over the Pelorus River. Along the way you pass the estuary for Pelorus Sound which surrounds the small town of Havelock. 

Pelorus Sound from just SH6 outside of Havelock

Turn off to Te Hoiere Road from SH6

Prior to this year you had to road walk all the way to Daltons Bridge just past Canvastown but this section is now away from the busy Highway and along a quiet rural road. It is a much better option....

Te Hoiere Road, Te Araroa Trail

At the end of the road you turn left along Kaiuma Bay Road and walk for about 12 kilometers along this rural road. This is typical TA road just put your head dawn and move your feet. 

We follow the TA sign left along Kaiuma Bay Road

One of several small bridges along Kaiumu Bay Road

When you get to the turn off for Daltons Road you cross a stile and follow a grassy pathway along the side of the Pelorus River for about four kilometers across farmland. This is a specific TA easement so stay on the path and do not jeopardize access to this section of the trail...follow the poles with the orange triangles/bands as this is the track.

Joining on to Daltons Bridge Track, Te Araroa Trail

Map: Te Araroa Trail- Daltons Bridge to Pelorus Bridge 

The track is fairly obvious as it gets a lot of use and while there are some boggy patches close to the start it is a fairly decent track for the rest of its length. 

You walk for six kilometers along the Pelorus River bank

On the TA between Daltons Bridge and Pelorus Bridge

Eventually you will find your self at the end of the farmland and the start of the Pelorus Bridge Scenic Reserve. There is another stile here that will take you into some nice Beech forest for the last kilometer or so of your walk. 

Crossing into Pelorus Bridge Scenic Reserve, Te Araroa Trail

View back down the Pelorus River Valley, Te Araroa Trail

Pelorus Bridge Scenic Reserve is sandwiched between Richmond Forest Park and the road walk from the QCT. It is a taste of what awaits you over the next couple of weeks in the Richmond Range and Nelson Lakes NP. You will be walking through Beech forest from here to the river valey after Waiau Pass.

First trail marker...Pelorus Bridge Scenic Reserve

Heading further into Pelorus Bridge Scenic Reserve

The TA route follows the Circle Loop Track from here to the Pelorus River bridge...there are two tracks which make up this walk. You can follow either path as both lead back to SH6. I followed the right hand or up hill route as I know this quickly levels out into a nice flat forest walk to the Rai River bridge. 

On the Circle Loop Track, Pelorus Bridge Scenic Reserve

Following the right branch of the Circle Loop Track...

There are a mixture of different Beech species in this forest with the largest being Red Beech. One of the Red Beech had fallen over a couple of hundred meters up the track and you could see just how big these trees are. The amount of detritus on the forest floor from the one tree was enormous..

Fallen tree along the Circle Loop Track...Pelorus Bridge Scenic Reserve

...there is a lot of timber there...

The track meanders through the forest for about 600 is rough and ill defined but just follow the orange track markers and you will not get lost...

On the Circle Loop Track heading for Pelorus Bridge

There is an active pest trapping program at work in this reserve and you could see trapline marking and traps right along the course of the walk. Traps are denoted by either coloured tape of triangles and if you see tape tied to a tree there will be a trap close by. 

Trapping line marking on the Circle Loop Track

...the tape denotes a trapline... is the trap at the end of the trapline marking...

Mature Red Beech along the Circle Loop Track

You will eventually reach a set of stairs that lead down to the approaches to the suspension bridge over the Rai River. 

Stairs led to the Te Araroa Trail....and Daltons Bridge

Suspension Bridge over Rai River...Te Araroa Trail

The Rai River is a moderately sized waterway that feeds into the Pelorus River just down from the Pelorus River Bridge. It was high on the day I visited as it had been raining for the proceeding couple of days...

Rai River suspension bridge...Pelorus Bridge Scenic Reserve

Rai River from the suspension bridge...Pelorus Bridge Scenic Reserve

After the Rai River there is just 300 meters till you reach SH6 once again and the end of your days walk. There are glimpses of the Pelorus River as you walk and a nearby lookout point gives good views down to the river itself. 

On the Circle Loop Track, Pelorus Bridge Scenic Reserve

Pelorus River from a lookout on the Circle Loop Track

Just past the lookout you get your first view of the Pelorus River are close to the road and the noise of traffic using this main highway grows louder and louder. When you start out the next day you will be walking up Maungatapu Road which is directly opposite the Circle Loop Track entrance...

First view of the Pelorus River Bridge....

Back at SH6 at Pelorus Bridge, Pelorus Bridge Scenic Reserve

The end of the Havelock to Pelorus section...

The Pelorus Bridge was built way back in the 1930's and has been in constant use ever since. There have been several plans to replace it with a two lane structure as it is on the main highway from Nelson to Blenheim but you are looking at several billions of dollars and an awful lot of hassle. It keeps getting put in the 'too hard' basket...

Pelorus Bridge, Pelorus Bridge Scenic Reserve

The Kahikatea campsite is on the opposite side of the river...

If you are staying at Pelorus Bridge for the night and it is warm then go for a swim in the river. I have been in here several times over the years and it is awesome in the middle of summer. Obviously it is hideously cold over winter and dangerous in flood so consider that before jumping in...use some common sense.

Please do not jump off the bridge...several people have died that way. 

Downstream view of the Pelorus River, Pelorus Bridge Scenic Reserve

The main DOC office and a café are on the opposite side of the fbridge so you will need to head over to get yourself a campsite for the night. Be aware that this is a favoured Kiwi Christmas and New Year holiday spot so it pays to pre book if you possibly can. 

The café does an nice cup of lifers juice...

Entrance to the café and DOC office at Pelorus Bridge Scenic Reserve

Kahikatea Campsite at the Pelorus Bridge Scenic Reserve

So another short section of the Te Araroa Trail completed...I have the other connector from Anakiwa to Havelock on my to do list for this year. Hopefully I get a chance to show you the new tracks they have built for TA walkers on that route very soon.... 

Access: SOBO from Havelock via SH6 road, Te Hioere Road, Kaiamu Bay Road and Daltons Track to Pelorus Bridge.  NOBO from Pelorus Bridge follow Daltons Track, Kaiamu Road, Te Hioere Road and SH6 to Havelock.
Track Times: 20.7 km's or 5-6 hours 
Hut Details: No huts on this section of the TA. DOC campsite at Pelorus Bridge.
Miscellaneous: The first section is road walking along a busy highway for two kilometers. The remainder is either rural road or across farmland. Please keep to the marked track at all times. 

Monday, 31 May 2021

Points along the Trail: Camping at Kerr Bay, Nelson Lakes NP

  A winter visit to Kerr Bay campsite...

I recently spent a couple of days up in Nelson Lakes National Park day walking some of the shorter tracks there. I stayed a night at the Kerr Bay Campground between St Arnaud township and Lake Rotoiti. Kerr Bay Campground is a DOC facility with powered and unpowered sites for caravans, camper vans and tents. 

Kerr Bay Campground, St Arnaud

To access from SH63 turn off onto Kerr Bay Road and follow down to the campground near the main boat ramp. Bookings are required from December through to the end of April, over Easter and any week there are speed boat races on Lake Rotoiti. T

Map: St Arnaud and the start of Nelson Lakes NP

The rest of the time you have to go to the St Arnaud DOC office on View Road off SH 63 to book a site and pay your camp fees.

Map: set up of Kerr Bay Campground, St Arnaud

The Kaka Zone at Kerr Bay Campground...tent specific

There are both grass and hard surface pads available and the whole campground had a major overhaul last year while the country was mostly empty of tourists. There has been a lot of work done on the camping sites and both the amenity block and the camp cook shelter have been repainted and renovated. 

The Silver Surfer parked up at my site at Kerr Bay

I was car camping and using one of my Coleman tents on this trip...a smaller two person tent that I use for base camp trips such as this one. At 2.2 kg it is light for a car camping tent but too heavy for tramping purposes (I have a lighter Big Agnes tent for that role). It performed well on this trip but it was really too cold for camping...I should just have stayed in a motel for both nights I was scheduled to be in the area.

The Coleman Camper 2 is set up behind the car

Nice protected site for the tent at Kerr Bay Campground

Plenty of free space in the mostly empty Kerr Bay Campground

I was in the Kiwi Zone which is a mixed camping/caravan area so there was a hard pad to park the car on and plenty of grass areas around it for the tent. Each of the sites have their own picnic table and each site is sheltered by a couple of trees. It is a nice set up and one I shall be taking advantage of going forward. 

Looking down to the Lake and Mt Robert from Kerr Bay Campground

It was a quiet night at the campground as there were only about 6-7 camper vans and myself in the campground. It was a little cold...I had my Marmot -10 degree bag so I was warm enough in my pit but my face got cold as it dropped down to -2 degrees overnight. 

I had a closed cell foam mat under my airbed to insulate from the ground but I probably need a down filled air bed for these winter camps. I don't know that anyone makes a car camping air bed with down inside but it is something I shall be investigating. 

My camping air bed in the tent, Kerr Bay Campground

I was reading Karen's Willard Price books on this trip...

I actually had a Kiwi walk right past my tent at around 8 pm just as it got was literally a couple of meters away and while I could make out its shape I couldn't really see any detail in the dark. Still amazing as it is a busy area right on the edge of the National Park and not a place you would expect to see our rare national bird.

Campsite facilities at Kerr Bay:

Kerr Bay Campground is well set up with all the facilities you might need when staying overnight at this locale. There is a very nice camp cook shelter and a set of toilets/showers/laundry attached to the camp to make your stay more comfortable. 

The cook shelter at the Kerr Bay Campground, St Arnaud is called Blechynden Shelter...

The cooking shelter is a three sided building with three large tables, bench's and a seat right around the walls of the building. It has a stainless steel bench with two sinks with both hot and cold water. There is a Zip on the wall for boiling water and a free four burner gas hob for use by those people staying in the campground. Filtered water is available inside the shelter and there is a filtered water tap outside for refilling those camper van water tanks before you leave. 

Kerr Bay Shelter: the hob and one of the dining tables (2018)...

The newly painted interior of Blechynden Shelter at Kerr Bay

There are some awesome views of Lake Rotoiti and Mt Robert from inside the cooking shelter which makes for fine dining with a view. They have also put some Clearlite panels in the roof so it is much lighter inside than it used to be. You will find recycling bins and rubbish bins at the cooking shelter and others scattered around the campground. 

View of Lake Rotoiti from inside the shelter at Kerr Bay Campground

There is a combined shower/laundry block at Kerr Bay Campground with token operated hot water showers and coin operated washing machines/dryers. You get the tokens for the facilities from the St Arnaud DOC office on View Road. One token is good for six minutes of hot water or 30 minutes of cloths drying. 

There is a new set of toilets located right next to and opposite the shower block. Both the toilet block and the shower block were totally renovated in December of 2020 so they are now very flash. All these facilities are located opposite the cooking shelter at the Lake Rotoiti end of the campground.

DOC sign at the entrance to Kerr Bay Campground, St Arnaud

The Lake Rotoiti boat ramp and dock are located right outside the entrance to the Kerr Bay Campground. There is a carpark here where several of the tracks start that go along this side of Lake Rotoiti including the Lakehead Track to Lakehead Hut and the Travers Valley, St Arnaud Range Track, Loop Walk and Honeydew Track.

Start of the Lake Rotoiti track network at the Kerr Bay carpark

One of the tracks I walked was the Mt Robert Circuit which loops around the northern side of the mountain with a start and finish at the Mt Robert carpark. This is the main route to Angelus Hut if you are adding it to your Te Araroa Trail experience. You have an excellent view of Mt Robert from the campground at Kerr Bay and in fact you can see Paddy's Track from the wharf. 

Mt Robert is visible across Lake Rotoiti, Nelson Lakes NP

The sun setting on the St Arnaud Range, Nelson Lakes NP

Kerr Bay Campground is a well appointed and well located place for you to use as a camping spot while passing through Nelson Lakes National Park. For both SOBO and NOBO trekkers it lies directly on the path through to Travers Saddle, Waiau Saddle, Red Hills and the Richmond Ranges.