08 March 2012

Banks Peninsula Walk and Hinewai

Coastal Scene on BP Walk

Loo with a View
After the opening of our art exhibition at Darfield, Catherine and I with Rosie and Jim (Catherine's sister and husband) took off for Akaroa where we started the Banks Peninsula Walk. After an evening meal near the Kaik we slept and next morning climbed up into the fog, past the Heads Farm where long time friends, Mike and Georgie Oborne once farmed and down into Flea Bay. On the way down we passed through remnants of early beech forest – the highlight of the day for me.  In the evening we witnessed the work of the Helps family and were lucky to see several little blue penguins and (briefly) a Hoiho. Next day, in good weather, we walked along the cliff tops and ridges – the forms and ochre yellows of the land contrasting beautifully with the milky blue of the waters about the peninsula.  Lunch was at a delightful little shelter with a stain glass window built against a rock outcrop and not far from a small colony of seals. At the end of this days walk we walked into the quirky surrounds of the Stony Bay huts. Here we enjoyed a shower in the interesting bathroomS – one of our co- walkers allowed her outside bath to heat up while she and her partner  celebrated their tenth anniversary in suitable fashion.  The rest of us were all off to bed before they made it to their hot bath for more celebrations.  The next days walk was over to Otanerito where I found that very long time friend Hugh Wilson from Hinewai would see us up near the beech forest of our next days walk.

Hugh Wilson,Manager of Hinewai
Red Beech at top of Hinewai

Pottering on the track on our last day was Hugh in one of the more delightful little sections of red beech I've seen in the South Island.  It was good to catch up again. I hadn’t seen enough of Hugh since our first and only climb together on Mt Trent, with his brother, Jim. We all had lunch together on top before Hugh sorted one of our botanical queries and departed on his bicycle to deal with a dead sheep which was offending the environment. We headed down into Akaroa to clean sheets, a meal out and back to Christchurch (Hugh’s car-infested (but resilient) swamp) but not before a pleasant morning tea with Mike and Georgie - friends since 1965 when they first purchased their farm at the Akaroa heads.

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