Hill, lake and beach walks
Mangarakau – 29 June-1 July 2018
On Friday eleven club members travelled at various time to the Friends of Mangarakau Lodge situated at Mangarakau, Whanganui Inlet, with the last people arriving around 8pm. A prearranged pot-luck meal for dinner was enjoyed by all.
On Saturday the morning was cold mixed with sunshine. The plan for the morning was to walk to the top of nearby Knuckle Hill. However, some had already done this in the past and preferred to go exploring in the local area instead. Eight people headed up the well-benched track to Knuckle Hill, with the first section being part of the Kaituna Track and then splitting off to the left on a narrower track heading to the 506m Knuckle Hill summit and trig. Morning tea was enjoyed in sunshine with panoramic views of Whanganui Inlet, Farewell Spit and mountain ranges of Kahurangi National Park. The other three explorers found a cave and - going by the account of their experience - this may make a good future walk.
After lunch we drove south to Kowhai Creek Bridge, where the walkway to Lake Otuhie starts. The walk starts in a wide area with a well-marked track but progressively gets narrower towards the lake and deteriorates to being unmarked, unkempt and best described as a goat track. However, the stunning rock cliffs and vegetation made the walk worthwhile.
Back at the cars we drove north to the beach at the mouth of the Paturau River to watch the sunset but unfortunately it had become overcast, but a beach walk was enjoyed anyway. Thanks to the local Mangarakau café that kindly opened specially for us and we enjoyed delicious handmade pizzas for our evening meal which was also a celebration for Alison’s birthday.
On Sunday plans for the day were washed away with rain, and the revised plan was to head for home after cleaning the lodge. An impromptu meeting for coffee in Takaka ended an enjoyable weekend.
Those on the trip were: Alison, Andrew, Joy, Chris, Jo, Mike, Marian, Val, Donell, and trip leaders and scribes Esther and Eric.