Rain and warmth
Goat Hill & Okiwi Bay Hill – Saturday 15 June 2019
With forecasts for Nelson (sun, cloud, chance of a shower) and Marlborough (afternoon rain), what would the weather actually be at Okiwi Bay? Cool, wet, no wind? It turned out better than some expected and possibly worse than some were prepared for.
Goat Hill track, built 2008, is well graded and not at all muddy. Marian led the way at a sustainable pace and we quickly settled into tramping mode enjoying smell of bush, crunch of shingle, glistening green foliage, conversations and laughter. Botanists found ferns, identified berries, photographed rata blooming. Drizzle started and from our tea stop by the lookout we could barely glimpse the islands off Croisilles Harbour. A few minutes later we reached the road (290m) and followed it down to Malcolm and Alison’s property where we were welcomed with a cup of tea by a cosy fire as rain set in.
After lunch, the party now including Jeni, and with some equipped with more suitable rain gear, climbed a delightful track through regenerating bush to a charming hut on a saddle (460m) by a stand of red beech. By now the rain had stopped and there was a hint of sun through the mist. It never did emerge and our decision not to proceed to the top (566m) was sensible. Gandalf-like in his poncho, Grant led us along the loop track past a rimu stand. Joy and Julie found fungi, Julian kept the middle of the party amused, while Maria and Andrew brought up the rear. Re-joining the main track we passed mature nikau, went back to the road, then a further 20 minutes down to our starting point at the base of Okiwi Bay Scenic Reserve (42m).
Thanks to Malcolm and Alison for their warm hospitality, Marian and Grant for leading, Maria and Andrew for keeping the botanists moving, and the roadside rubbish team. Trampers: Andrew, Colin (leader and scribe), Donell, Grant, Ian W, Jeni, Joy, Julian, Julie, Maria, Marian, Marie, Sue D, Vanessa, plus visitors Andrew and Vania.