Trampers walk for four days for a brolly good Gathering

Nelson Mail, 3 January 2001

Click image for larger version

A security guard patrolling the hills around the Gathering site thought he'd busted seven gatecrashers when he stumbled on a group of umbrella-toting trampers heading towards the event.

But to his surprise, they all had tickets.

Tramper Tama Smith said it was the third time he had tramped to the Gathering. It was a great way to start a party and end a walk.

"Sometimes you come out of a tramp on a bit of a downer. It's great to end with something like this," he said, gesturing at the dancing crowds. "It caps it off with a massive party."

Members of the group call themselves the G-force, and each carries an umbrella.

It's a tradition, and it keeps off the rain," said two-time walker Jamie Haig, from Wellington.

The group walked for four days from Flora Saddle near Nelson before arriving at the Gathering in Cobb Valley and being detected by the vigilant security and taken to the front entrance.

Once the security guard realised the trampers were legitimate ticket-holders, the group was treated royally, Mr Smith said: "Big ups to the organisers."

Mr Smith, a South Islander now resident in Auckland, is a big fan of the Gathering.

"It's a really great celebration of New Zealand youth culture. There's really nothing like it."

Four days walking and three days partying is enough activity for the group for now, however. Today they were looking for a ride out.


Caption: Photo JANE O'LOUGHLIN: The Gathering organisers get "big ups" from trampers Jamie Haig, left, and Tama Smith.

Jane O'Loughlin, Nelson Mail, 3 January 2001

Page last updated: