Friday, 29 August 2014

Winter Weekends

Walking on Waikuku Beach  with the tide coming up, 22 June 2014

Barnacles galore on driftwood on Waikuku Beach

Seals near Kaikoura, where we went for the w/e with Anne and Andy, 5 June 2014

Sun setting with snow on the mountains at Kaikoura

What an outfit! Better not let Katy see this photo. Setting out to walk the Rangitata Gorge, 10 August

Walking steeply up at the start you soon find yourself way up high above the river

Mike looking pretty cool too
Mike's getting hungry must be time for lunch . . .

. . . so we walked down to river level and found a picnic spot next to the river

On the way back we saw people carrying kayaks obviously planning to travel back through the rapids

We decided to go to Hanmer Springs for the w/e of 16-17 August but stopped at Waikari on the way to walk up and view the Maori rock art at Weka Pass. It was a steep climb to the tussock-covered uplands then up and down a few more valleys till we reached Weka Pass

Weka Pass is a deep gouge in the limestone rock, creating masses of gorgeous rounded rock shapes

The drawings are painted on a huge rock under a ledge. Many of them, like these, have been touched up at some point in the past, the others are visible but fairly faint. They're some 600-1000 years old so made at a time when there were only birds on NZ, yet many of the shapes look like animals (and some like space monsters)

Resting on top of a huge limestone rock

Beautiful pussy willows just opening. The tree was alive with bees buzzing
That evening we stayed at Rosie's b&b and went for a curry after a long soak in the hot pools, and the next day we decided to walk up Mt Isobel. Turned out there were a few approaches but you needed 4-wheel drive to get to the start, so instead we decided to do the Chatterton River Trail. It was a fairly gentle uphill walk beside the river but the final push was a bit of a scramble.

We were mostly walking along a wooded ridge, often a scramble. Worth it for the views though, and plenty of birdlife around
We got to the top and hit the road where the 3 hour track to Mt Isobel was marked. Looks like we could have driven after all.
31 August. We travelled SW of Christchurch down through Darfield, and set off on the Dry Acheron Track near the Rakaia Gorge. Fabulous snow covered peaks on the southern Alps.

The track went down to a small river which must in the distant past have been much larger and more powerful as it had cut a channel deep into the plain

This was the first of many crossings. When we got to the open stony plain at the end of the walk, we stopped for a picnic and decided to count the crossings on the way back. There were 24, so 48 crossings for the whole journey, must be some kind of record. It's only a shallow stream here but in places it ran swift and deep and we had to find stepping stones to cross

There was no path as such, though it was roughly marked with poles, so we just followed the stream crossing and re-crossing wherever necessary.

The rocks were quite slippery as the stream was infected with the dreaded didymo. Mike had to help me over in quite a few places, but we both managed to keep our feet dry

Coming back up the side of the gorge and back onto the plains. Looking across the sheep fields to the mountains

No comments:

Post a Comment