Saturday, March 7, 2009

Tararua Relics

I was sitting at Otaki Forks after having run through the Tararuas today and saw this article in the paper.Antique aircraft engine enthusiasts or some other rabble have stripped one of the Tararuas many well known aircraft crash sites. It seems a shame as these sites have provided an interesting destination for generations of off-track trampers in the Tararuas.

To quote the paper, The plane, an RNZAF Devon, was on a training flight from Ohakea when it crashed on Shingle Slip Knob, near Mt Holdsworth, on February 17, 1955.. It seems from wikipedia there were only 137 of these planes ever produced, so momentos from them may well be quite valuable in certain circles.

But anyway, the real relic I wanted to talk about was the cross on top of Hector. I didn't know what it stood for when I ran past it but looking up on the net it was put there in remembrance to all the trampers and climbers who lost their lives in the second world war. Its a beautiful gesture and has stood the test of time.


Ruahines said...

Kia ora Jamie,
Yes, that is a bloody real shame and travesty to have such a place desecrated - and apparently 3 or more trips were made by the helicopter to the place, so it was definitely a planned exercise. The history of the Tararua's is deeply linked to the tramping culture of New Zealand, certainly the foremost in the north island anyway, and many of those early stalwarts gave their lives in the war, wars. To honour them and those two men who died in the crash seems very appropriate, and finding and prosecuting those responsiblefor this wanton diregard and disrespect
should be a priority.I also feel that helicopter access to these parks should be more closely monitored and scrutinized, but that is for another day. Hope all is well.

Jamie said...

Hey Robb,

Absolutely mate, theres a very real "tramping" culture here in Welly very different from other parts. Maybe its the distance from really tough country that lets people dream more? Maybe the reality is not so harsh as to dispel those dreams soo easily!

I hope they catch the vandals.


Ross said...

Congratulations on the win in the Southern Crossing. Man, this blog leaves us to do a lot of digging behind the words to find out what really goes on. From the title "Tararua Relics" I expected it to be an article about Colin Rolfe. Now I will be having nightmares picturing Jamie overtaking Colin Rolfe and Phil Wood on the downhill from Fields. Meaty. Go hard, young man!.

I am letting the snide comments about "distance from really tough country" go. For now. Just two words for you, tough guy: Winter Tararuas.

Jamie said...

Winter Tararua's, sounds uncomfortable. Just give us a few months and there'll be some photos:-) I think there is something in my theory though, how do you explain the uniquely Wellington tramping culture? (assuming there is one?)

I wouldn't dare call Colin Rolfe a relic! He's one hell of a sharp 48 year old, it was fun running with him up to Alpha in the weekend and yarning away (probably why we had a slow split).

If Phil had been there I would have been eating his dust on the downhill, it would have been ugly. He was in the process of winning the 24hr NZ rogaine champs which is a good prize.

Also (just so you know) got your fantastic letter and parcel the other day, really really loved them. Will undertake a decent reply in time.

Take care


Ross said...

tryingt to stay on topic... that Rogaine Champs must have been a fantastic course - 10 points between the top 2 teams, each visited 38 controls, but only 26 in common. But still, did you see those dark horse winners on the 8 hr, with a much better point/hour rate??.

Great course setting, with a lot more route choice variation than would have been possible when the Rogaine champs were held in the Tararuas. That South Island sounds like parkland by comparison.

Back on topic, I agree that it is bad that they are pillaging wreckage without informing DOC, but they can't have expected no one would notice, surely?. Maybe they thought they would be applauded?. It is wouldn't be the same value as greenstone would it?

Jamie said...

haha I did see the darkhorses, so they can navigate?

and those chopper guys, if they argued that they were creating jobs they would get away with it.

take care


Mark said...

Me and Stu were planning on visiting that plane crash sometime, cause there is (was?) a geocache there.

Jamie said...

Hey bro,

True, its probably still there, looks like they pretty much just took the engine. Hope all is well.