Allandale – Governors Bay
23 January 2022
The wind-swept slopes towards Scenery Nook were not going to be a pleasant place to be with the forecast southerly winds. We needed a sheltered alternative with possible escape points if the weather turned out to be even worse than forecast. Mountain bike tracks have been established in Living Springs and were unlikely to be heavily used in the conditions and they would provide a connection to the Ohinetahi track system that was mostly in bush through to Governors Bay.
It was a welcome surprise to see so many eager trampers at Princess Margaret and Pat meet us at Allandale, so we were eleven. There were a few false starts as the track had been recently worked on, the grass had grown and it was hard to see exactly where we were heading through thick cloud. At least that was the leader’s excuse. We eventually reached the Ohinetahi boundary after some diversions including one around a very large (and placid?) bull that definitely had right-of-way. There were some dramatic views of rock outcrops back the way we had come, underneath Cass Peak but the cloud was getting moister by the minute and the shelter of Sign of the Bellbird for morning tea encouraged everyone to keep moving.
Partial weather improvement allowed some views down towards Lyttelton as we headed along the Crater Rim Walkway and down Bush Road Track. There was not much enthusiasm for continuing onto Faulkners Track so it was down Titoki Track into Governors Bay. No one wanted to stop for lunch so we had an early finish around the bay.
The official photograph turned out to be a misty blur so the accompanying photo was taken as Sue returned to harvest the blackberries at the start of the Ohinetahi Reserve. It was good to get out and get some fresh air, although less moisture would have been better.
Trampers: Sue Britain, Mike Bourke, Margot Bowden, Sha, Arju, Kyung Sang Lee, Pat McIntosh, John Robinson, Shi Ping Wang, Sandra White and Gary Huish. (GH)