Residents take the high road

The Leaning Lodge  on the Rock and Pillar Range. Inset: Blair 
The Leaning Lodge on the Rock and Pillar Range. Inset: Blair Dale. Photos by Philip Somerville and Stephen Jaquiery

When Blair Dale discovered a large percentage of the Middlemarch population had never been to the top of the Rock and Pillar Range, he decided to do something about it.

The Middlemarch beekeeper has organised a tour on Saturday to the recently refurbished Leaning Lodge, the Summit Rock and the Top Hut.

''It's become apparent to me over the last few years here in Middlemarch that there are a lot of locals who have never been up the top of the mountain.

''The mountains are awesome ... It's just so nice to get up there in the alpine and see those huts that have been there for years and get a chance to experience them.

''To me, this is an opportunity to get exposed to our local wonders.''

The tour would be conducted in four-wheel-drive vehicles driven by local farmers, and would take up to six hours, depending on whether the tour ventured along the top of the range, Mr Dale said.

It was a good opportunity for more senior residents to see what was on their doorstep, he said.

''People don't have to be fit. The trip is designed around the older people in the community.''

He had been on to the range many times since he was a child, and more recently he had become a recreational motorcyclist and spent a lot of time riding around the tracks on the range, he said.

He was looking forward to sharing some of the visual gems with people with no experience of the area.

If the weather is poor on March 22, the tour will be held the following day. For more information phone 027-464-3125.

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