Pigeon Bay Walkway

Sunday 15 May 2016

It didn't seem very wintry when I rang the farmer for permission to cross his land to go to Nikau Palm Gully but the answer-phone announced that tracks are closed for winter. Six of us drove to the alternative--Pigeon Bay on a fairly grey, cool Sunday.

2km short of the bay we stopped at Hay Reserve and took a 20min stroll around it. The reserve is notable as being the southern-most location of NZ passion vine (kohia). We were struck by the amount of kawakawa there with its usual holes made by NZ looper caterpillars. There are some mighty big podocarps there-- mataī, kaikahikatea, tōtara, and miro.

We drove to the Pigeon Bay wharf and set off on the walkway which is notable for its lack of trees.

I enjoyed looking up at the layered volcanic flows and was impressed with the range of rock colours at the track cuttings. At one point we wondered if it was worth going on because we might not get a better view of the headland. We persisted and were rewarded with the beautiful rocky coastal views of Wakaroa Point and sun breaking through to warm the day. We had lunch, stripped off a layer of clothing as the day warmed, and headed back the six kilometres to the cars. The walkway may not have many trees but it has a stark rocky coastal beauty. I’d definitely go again on this easy flat track.

We were: Helen Harkness, KyungSang Lee, Youmie Kim, Danny Lee, Mike Burrows and Kerry Moore (KM)