Don’t go chas­ing wa­ter­falls be­fore read­ing direc­tions

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route through pri­vate land and next to the Ryde Tramway, a sign of the area’s rich sawmilling his­tory.

The sec­ond op­tion was a 6km re­turn trip on Wharfedale Track from the View Hill car park. We opted for the lat­ter op­tion.

‘‘I re­ally can’t be both­ered with ac­tual ex­er­cise to­day,’’ we bleated.

After fuelling up on a ser­vice sta­tion break­fast bar, we sped out of Christchurch with op­ti­mistic talk of re­turn­ing in time for a late lunch.

An online guide warned us the ford near the en­trance would be dif­fi­cult to cross by car but said it was only an 800-me­tre walk from there to the start of the track. Lies.

The first red flag should have been the sign to con­tinue 4.2km up­hill. The sec­ond was the wind­ing, never-end­ing gravel track with no bush and cer­tainly no wa­ter­fall. After an hour of walk­ing we fi­nally made it to the track en­trance.

The path was hard slog and chilly, muddy and over­grown.

Two river cross­ings meant I quickly had slip­pery, blis­ter­ing feet. My flat­mate made light work of both, ef­fort­lessly bound­ing over the rocks.

About an hour in, down a short, sharp dip, we reached the wa­ter­fall. It truly was stun­ning. Freez­ing, smelling slightly of marijuana courtesy of some more lib­eral tram­pers, and slightly smaller than I ex­pected, but stun­ning all the same.

The late af­ter­noon sun was slip­ping away as we emerged from the bush.

We clocked up nearly 18km in five hours – slightly longer than the inand-out trip we planned.

We both agreed while it was worth the walk, next time we’d read the direc­tions more care­fully – and fill up on a hearty break­fast first.

Ryde Falls is truly amaz­ing.

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