Sunday 28 May 2023
Returning to Hugh Wilson’s life mission in Otanerito Valley on the Peninsula is always interesting, with something different to see on each visit. We were surprised to only have five for this trip, although it did make our transport from Halswell School easy. It is a long drive up Long Bay Rd to Cab Stand corner and down to the reserve. We were walking on the West Track at 9.30am, with the intention of doing the ‘full’ perimeter anticlockwise circuit.
It’s always nice along Beech Tree Terrace, then Tawai and Manatu for a mid-morning scroggin stop on the Broom Track. Continuing up the Lisburn Track, we were at the Stones turn off at 12.15pm, then another 30 minutes to The Stones for lunch. Dropping back down, we were descending Sleepy Bay Spur, about 2.05pm and reached the Kereru Track turn-off on Valley Track at 2.45pm. Glenda assured us that it’s not too bad as she had taken the Pegasus Walkers up there. We found it a steepish climb, mostly along the stream-edge, less maintained and also with significant storm damage. The effort had us peeling off layers as we climbed. A short detour got us to Jules Knob at 3.50pm, then back to the car at 4.35pm in windy but increasingly warmer conditions - seven hours total.
The Duvauchelle Store has a bar nowadays, which meant it was open on the way home for a welcome coffee stop. We were: Glenda & Merv Meredith (leaders), John Robinson, Joy Schroeder and Sha. [MM]