The views back to Christchurch were terrific and reaching a saddle at the top we were able to look down onto Lyttleton Harbour and the Banks Peninsular beyond. Lyttleton is an active port with cruise ships and massive container ships. It also exports timber and there’s a tunnel through the Port Hills linking it to Christchurch.
|Having climbed up to the saddle we could look down on the town and port of Lyttleton and across to Diamond Harbour on the Banks Peninsular beyond|
|On the way up , looking down at Lake Coleridge, with the parallel lines of the tall Canterbury hedges|
As we climbed the views improved of course and we could look down over the lake one side and the Rakaia River on the other, with the Alps ahead in the distance. The Rakaia is one of those beautiful, untamed braided rivers cutting a wide path over a stony bed. The path going up was a bit of a slippery scramble on the lower slopes but then became a stony track and then finally a ridge path to the top. There were some strange spiky native plants beside the path, very unforgiving if you accidentally brushed past them.
|From the top with the Rakaia River running down from the snow capped Southern alps|
It was pretty windy at the top so after a good look around we descended a bit and found a sheltered spot for lunch, before getting back down to the car. Quite a tough 4 hour walk and we needed a quick sleep in the car before driving home again.
|A young shag on Waikuku Beach|
Waikuku Beach is one of those great long stretches of yellow sand bordered by sand dunes and pine forests that stretches on and on as far as the eye can see. My only other experience of local beaches here is New Brighton which didn’t make much of an impression on a cold grey day but Waikuku is fabulous and I know we’ll be swimming here in the Summer, it being only half an hour away from Christchurch. We walk barefoot encountering a couple of rather lost-looking shags, past driftwood tree trunks,and watching the surfers catching the waves.
|Busy port of Lyttleton with Banks Peninsular in the background, and the little ferry on the right|
|Walking around on the coastal path looking across to the far side of the bay|
|A good spot for lunch|