Banks Peninsula Traverse

25 Feb 2018

Having a small group simplified logistics for a crossover trip and soon leader Dan headed to Purau Saddle with Norman and Helen while Kerry went to Pettigrew's Road near Hilltop, with Hank, Penny and Joy.

Dan's team starting about 9.10am, Kerry's at 9.35. Cloud made for pleasant walking but a north-east wind soon made its presence felt. New red markers highlighting the Ara Te Pataka/Summit Walkway (Gebbies Pass to Hilltop plus alternative entry tracks), assisted navigation. Dan's team gave Herbert Peak a miss, as did Kerry. We all sidled around a section of the Monument track which though short, proved to be rough and lumpy.

Crossover groups often meet and lunch together at Waipuna Saddle with its photogenic old totaras and where there is now a side-track to Rod Donald Hut. This time, Dan's group passed without sighting the others. About 1.15 pm, the groups spied each other and decided that a rocky outcrop above the track was the spot that could provide some shelter from the now lively wind. Food, conversation, photos before the necessary exchange of car keys and the groups parted.

At 4.15 pm Dan's team arrived at Pettigrew's Road. While they relaxed in the Hilltop Tavern, Kerry's team reached their car at 4.45 pm having had a greater battle with the wind. They made a rapid escape to nearby windless Purau Bay to change their clothes.

Many thanks Dan for leading this 20+ km trip of scenic bays, arty weathered tree stumps and attractive reserves.

We were: Dan Pryce, Norman Burden and Helen Harkness, Kerry Moore and team Hank Boer, Penny Coffey and Joy Schroeder. (HH)