Wild Cattle Hill (Banks Peninsula)

Sunday 19 November 2017

With a large anticyclone weather system firmly anchored over much of the South Island, good weather for this day trip seemed guaranteed. The morning dawned with a clear blue sky and still conditions that lasted the entire day. The 13 of us gathered at PMH for this trip bundled into three cars and headed off for Puari (the Port Levy settlement) where we parked next to the Marae. Jet skis were already whizzing around on the bay and we were all hoping that we weren’t going to hear them during the day.

We started with a short walk along Pa Road and then northwards along Putiki Road to the gate across the road. That was our cue to start the steady climb on the distinctive ridge skirting around and above the steep bushed gullies to the south. Further along the ridge sufficient height was gained for panoramic views to be enjoyed along the entire Port Levy Bay and over the other side of the ridge into Pigeon Bay and beyond. This certainly seems to have been a long-time cattle farm with plenty of old barbed wire fences to negotiate.

A well-earned and relaxing lunch break was had in the lovely sun with perfectly still conditions before the final climb for the day onto Wild Cattle Hill itself. Fortunately, the earlier noise from the jet skis was now only a distant memory. From the top of the hill, to complete a round trip, we descended the broad open ridge that dropped us back onto Pa Road and the walk back to the cars, but not before having to negotiate a paddock of cattle – hopefully not living up to the namesake of the hill we had just climbed. After a good day trip with a variety of terrain to negotiate, who could have passed the Diamond Harbour village on such a fine day and not have a cone ice cream? That certainly was not to be us!

We were: Helen Tapper, Dan Pryce, Jun Wi (Jerry), Hank Boer, Ainslie Talbot, Andy Duck, Pat McIntosh, Joy Schroeder, Lucie Stanley, Haroon Shaikh, Diane, Susan Brechin and John Cook.