Okuti Track - Hilltop - Montgomery Reserve

Sunday 10 July 2022

Six of us headed out from the Okuti car park in dull, cloudy weather. The forecast was for morning showers with clouds, clearing in the afternoon. They weren’t being totally truthful!

The initial, short climb was through native bush on a very wet and slippery track, which after ten minutes got onto a metal road, heading up past various farmlets and cottages. Mental note: take the road rather than the track on the way back. The track then meandered through a small forestry block until breaking out into farmland. We passed a small sign, warning of dangerous livestock (fine print) and steadily climbed through, at times very muddy and sodden cow paddocks, to the ridge-line. We then progressed into sheep country and saw the local farmers working in yards with their flocks, although there was some speculation as to what they were doing. We soon heard and saw the traffic on the Akaroa highway as we approached Hilltop. Just before noon we stopped for lunch at a large bus shelter and caught some brief rays of sunshine.

After lunch we headed five minutes along the road to the Montgomery Reserve. We reached the “big Totara” after 15 minutes. This is impressive and according to Mr Google is 2000 years old. Since the clouds were starting to appear ever-more ominous we beat a retreat back the way we had come. This was uneventful, although we had to don our wet weather gear at one stage. The rain was minimal, so the coats were soon removed. Arriving back at the car, dry but a little muddy, we then finished off the trip at the Little River Cafe.

We were: Graeme Nicholas (leader), Dan Pryce, Ian Beale, Eileen Mackie, John Robinson and Sha SG. [GN]