Kaituna Valley-Mt Herbert-Packhorse Hut-Kaituna Valley

15 November 2020

With a forecast of 25 degrees I wasn’t expecting too many people to turn up for this circuit so it was pleasing to have 7 of us. This meant that we could take two cars and not have to walk the road piece of the circuit from the end of Parkinsons Road to the end of Kaituna Valley road. We drove to the end of Kaituna Valley road and while the rest of us got ready, Norman and Mark drove back to Parkinsons Road where they left one of the cars before returning in the other car.

As we started to climb up the farm track into the open in wasn’t unbearably hot, but it was hot enough for us to be glad of a shady spot on the Monument south track for morning tea where we enjoyed views back over the valley.

On and up, we soon joined Te Ara Pataka - the Summit walkway - and climbed to Little Mt Herbert (913 m). We had fantastic clear views along the tops out to Purau and Lyttleton Harbour, and over to Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere once we got past Te Ahu Patkiki/ Mt Herbert (919 m). There were a few other people out enjoying the day and at the Mt Herbert shelter, where we had lunch, we compared notes with a couple of over 40s trampers, who were doing a reccie for a club trip.

After enjoying the zigzag and the bush around the side of Mt Bradley, we arrived at the Packhouse Hut for afternoon tea. There were a number of other people including a family with two young children who had climbed up from Parkinsons road. I found out while reading the hut book that PTC member Geoff Spearpoint regularly pops up to the Packhorse hut for exercise.

It was a pleasant stroll back down the Kaituna Valley Packhorse hut track to the car. We all enjoyed a rest while waiting for the drivers to retrieve the other car. It had taken us 6 and a half hours so it was too late for a coffee stop on the drive back.

We were: Joy Schroeder, Dan Pryce, Norman Burden, John Robinson, Wendy McCaughan, Mark Piercey and Sue Piercey (leader) (SP)

On the summit of Mt Herbert/ Te Ahu Patkiki. Photo courtesy of Norm Burden.

Head of Lyttleton Harbour. Photo courtesy of Sue Piercey