Governors Bay Shoreline Walk and beyond

Sunday 27 June 2021

On a fine but misty morning seven of us set off at the unreasonably early hour of 8am for an easy stroll around the upper harbour. Hank was extremely excited at the chance of riding in my all-electric vehicle and plied me with questions about the technology all the way over the hill. On the way home later, he was astonished at the acceleration response uphill.

I had visited the Governors Bay website and printed a brochure with lots of interesting history, so we decided to do the historical part of the meander along the road first, while the sun climbed to warm the day and clear the views. St Cuthberts church and graveyard, the old school, Ohinetahi homestead, the jetty, the hotel and William Gray's cottage have rich histories which are well worth investigating. We were particularly entertained by the idea of young honeymooners catching the ferry from Lyttelton to wander in "The Pleasure Gardens" around the hotel.

We enjoyed a leisurely morning tea on the beach at Allandale, then most of us wandered the shoreline track, back to lunch at the café, while Kerry and Kyung Sang headed uphill to the crater rim. Although the mist was persistent, there were beautiful atmospheric light effects on the water and volcanic caverns and cliffs to engage our attention along the water’s edge. It was a short but extremely enjoyable outing. A few minutes after driving out of the village we rose up through the mist to bright sunshine. We were: Pauline Watson, Kathie de Lore, Hank Boer, Diane Dixon, Diane Mellish, Kerry Moore, Kyung Sang Lee. (DM)

The Longer Return

We arrived at Allandale Domain in bright sunshine, yet the mist was still shrouding most of the harbour. Taking photos towards the sun is hard enough but we had the reflection off the mud-flats as well. After our morning cuppa on the giant picnic table, Kyung Sang and I set off to take the long way back to the car. Bamfords Road was devoid of traffic as we walked past delightful rural scenery and some nice-looking roadside apples that were well out of reach.

Near the Living Springs buildings we hoped to pick up O’Farrells Track to take us into Ohinetahi Reserve. I like to think we did get on the right track but it wasn’t signposted. At a gate we took the decision to climb up a spur, hoping it would prove to lead to Cass Ridge Track. It wasn’t and led to a crag near point 505 which needed care to skirt, through flax, forest and even some gorse.

Once on the Crater Rim it was plain-sailing to the Bellbird, then Ellas Track and Totara Log Track. Rob, a local resident and his German Shepherd guided us down a shortcut to Clem Paterson Lane which led us onto Ernest Adams Drive, past the fire station and to the main road. We were back to the car at 3:30 for a slow ride over the hill, past major road-works and home. This excellent circuit needs a little refining to get on-track from Bamfords Road. (KM

Kyung Sang above Living Springs Valley