Diamond Harbour – Charteris Bay

Saturday 22 October 2022

It was perfect walking weather with no wind and mild temperatures—better than the scorcher we had for this trip a year ago. Five enthusiastic PTCers showed up—a manageable number for a novice leader. We started up the hill from the Diamond Harbour wharf at 9.30am, passing joggers, shops and toilets (always worth noting) for what's been described as the perfect half-day circuit. We took five hours, including morning tea stops and lunch.

A short bush-track off Marine Drive led us to the hilly Bayview back road. Dawdling, it took us an hour or so, to reach the topiary kiwi, some live quails and beautiful views to the alps in the distance. Crossing Marine Drive again at the end of Bayview Rd, we found the way down to Charteris Bay Yacht Club and the beach where we ate and drank and sorted the world, as wise old heads are wont to do. From Charteris Bay we followed a shady tree-lined track above the beach and boat sheds to Hays Bay. This is a nice shelly beach where some of our people took a dip last year, but not this year.

To get around Black Point, we skirted rocks and then climbed up a bit of a slip to regain the track which was railed off and being repaired. Next stop, Church Bay at noon—more feasting, more talk, mainly about the social benefits of belonging to PTC and Pegasus, and how much we used to enjoy the annual barn-dance.

The last one-hour stretch on a winding track was very shaded in parts, then opened out to the sea and cliffs, covered in yellow-flowering boneseed and red valerian. There's even a desert-sized cactus. By 2.10pm we were at the Diamond Harbour Eatery for coffee and good-sized ice creams, with plenty of time to meet the next ferry to Lyttelton. This was a happy day out in the company of Mary McKeown, Stuart Payne, Graeme Nicholas, John Robinson and Hilaire Campbell (leader). [HC]

Four of five, parking on a yellow line

The dawdlers. Two obliging kiwi posers, Graeme wanders, Mary wonders, could the gorse be cut into an animal shape?

Hays Bay. No swimming today

Our clockwise circuit. Long-term, the Coastal Cliffs Track will be part of the Head to Head Walkway.