Lucas Peak, Timutimu Head, Scenery Nook

6 Jan 2019

Twelve days after Xmas, and what finer way to mitigate the excesses of plum pudding and champers than a day striding the hills on Banks Peninsula. I expected hordes filling the car park outside Princess Margaret Hospital, alas only five keen souls turned up, along with a couple of non- club members. The day’s forecast was to be around 30°C so maybe that was the reason.

A respectable start from Lands End Road soon had us walking in a light sea fog. This dissipated after a while, but high cloud then materialised, a sea breeze came up and the tramping conditions were perfect, on green and pleasant slopes amidst much yellow-flowering cats-ear and clover. A short stop at the heads prompted discussion on base-jumping, and we marvelled at the effortless glide of a gannet. We crossed a number of little gullies above the cliffs wondering which one would lead to Scenery Nook. Aeolian harp- like sounds emanated at times from below these cliffs. Variously identified as those made by baby seals, nesting shags or banshees – the latter held the most credibility.

Keeping a wary eye on the humans

Scenery Nook is a most delightful place - although maybe not in a southerly! Lunchtime entertainment was provided by seals, dozens of them from new-borns to large bulls, Canada geese, gulls and black oyster catchers raucously warning us that we were close to their nests. The return stretch was then a steady but easy climb up the sides of Rocky Gully Creek (complete with frogs croaking in pools below) until an electric fence was encountered. The ever-practical Kerry, applying School Certificate physics theory, said “I’ve earthed it to make it safe to cross”. It wasn't!! A drive back on the scenic Bossu Rd, by now in the cloud that was sweeping up from the southern bays, completed a most enjoyable day, sans sunburn; and shame on you all who stayed in bed!

Helen Harkness, John Robinson, Wendy McCaughan, Kerry Moore, Chris and John Smith and Graeme Paltridge (leader) (GP)

Helen and Wendy between Timutimu Head and Scenery Nook