Return to site


On a chilly morning, 5 trampers met up at Mount Bruce and set off for Kaiparoro road end. The weather was forecast to be fine, but alas this wasn't to eventuate until we had returned further south in the District. On arriving at the road end, we assessed the water jump - it was looking slightly wider and deeper than my memory remembered! Being May 30th, it was also slightly colder. We swapped our footwear (or some braved the crossing in bare feet) and then headed off up the 4WD track. This was a bit steep in places, but easy to follow. By this time, the drizzle had set in. We followed the orange triangles past a few tree falls and into the bush. After approx. 30 mins we found our side track to the trig. We reached the bush edge only to find our view was not going to eventuate. Through the misty weather we pushed past the damp vegetation to reach the Trig. Deciding to continue to the plane crash site, we retraced our steps and descended down approx 200m along another side path to find the wreckage. We discussed the plane crash (1952),  the attempts at the time to locate the pilot/plane and the fact that it wasn't found for a further 12 months after crashing. We climbed back up the hill, onto the trig track, and then returned to the main track. On the trip were; Gerald, Uma, Graeme H, Phil and Sandra. Thanks to Conrad for the plane info, and Gerald for navigating.

The plane was a Airspeed Oxford 2124, pilot Flight Officer David Leary, aged 27 who died at the site. The plane crashed on 5th July 1952, the search abandoned on 11th July, and finally found by hunters in 1953, July 24th.