Lucas Peak, Timutimu Head, Scenery Nook – 6 Jan 2019

Twelve days after Xmas, and what finer way to mitigate the excesses of plum pudding and champers than a day striding the hills on Banks Peninsula. I expected hordes filling the car park outside Princess Margaret Hospital, alas only five keen souls turned up, along with a couple of non- club members. The day’s forecast was to be around 30oC so maybe that was the reason.

A respectable start from Lands End Road soon had us walking in a light sea fog. This dissipated after a while, but high cloud then materialised, a sea breeze came up and the tramping conditions were perfect, on green and pleasant slopes amidst much yellow-flowering cats-ear and clover. A short stop at the heads prompted discussion on base-jumping, and we marvelled at the effortless glide of a gannet. We crossed a number of little gullies above the cliffs wondering which one would lead to Scenery Nook. Aeolian harp- like sounds emanated at times from below these cliffs. Variously identified as those made by baby seals, nesting shags or banshees – the latter held the most credibility.

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Keeping a wary eye on the humans

Scenery Nook is a most delightful place - although maybe not in a southerly! Lunchtime entertainment was provided by seals, dozens of them from new-borns to large bulls, Canada geese, gulls and black oyster catchers raucously warning us that we were close to their nests. The return stretch was then a steady but easy climb up the sides of Rocky Gully Creek (complete with frogs croaking in pools below) until an electric fence was encountered. The ever-practical Kerry, applying School Certificate physics theory, said “I’ve earthed it to make it safe to cross”. It wasn't!! A drive back on the scenic Bossu Rd, by now in the cloud that was sweeping up from the southern bays, completed a most enjoyable day, sans sunburn; and shame on you all who stayed in bed!

Helen Harkness, John Robinson, Wendy McCaughan, Kerry Moore, Chris and John Smith and Graeme Paltridge (leader) P GP

 seals

Helen and Wendy between Timutimu Head and Scenery Nook