Orton Bradley Park 2017

Beginning of the Hunter Gully Track

Thirteen walkers enjoyed our 8km loop walk on a warm day with very little wind and just a few low clouds in an otherwise sunny sky. At times, the tracks were steep but there was a stunning harbour view and a waterfall of great beauty along the way.  There were sections of long grass and muddy patches where natural springs had appeared in the last week or two.  Including stops for morning tea and lunch, our walk took just over four hours. There is a map and a link to a video at the end of the post.

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Montgomery Park Scenic Reserve to Summit Walkway

Our 11 walkers enjoyed a brilliant blue-sky day up in Montgomery Reserve, just a short distance from Hilltop, on the way to Akaroa.  We positioned one vehicle on the Summit Road near the entrance to the reserve, and started our walk from there. We positioned another vehicle on Pettigrews Road so that we did not have to come back the same way. (See map at end of post.)  Our walk was 8.35km and total ascent was 342 metres.

The team and the totara

Montgomery Reserve is a pocket of remnant Banks Peninsula forest.  Just a few minutes into the track, there is a forked lowland totara tree, which is up to 2000 years old.

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Bowenvale to Sign of the Kiwi

On a day that reached 23C, we were glad to be in the shady forest for parts of our 11.9km walk, beginning at Bowenvale Ave.  The were 17 walkers who began the trek, which led us up various (at times steep) tracks, including the Bowenvale, Eastside Bush, Latters Spur and Thomson Tracks.  After lunch near the Sign of the Kiwi, we descended via the Harry El Track, and rejoined the Eastside Bush and Bowenvale Tracks to complete the walk. Our total ascent was 356 metres.

New bridge on the Bowenvale Track

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Waimairi Beach to Spencer Park 2017

With a forecast high of 19C, it was warm work for our 16 walkers.  It was a five hour round trip, starting on the beach to Spencer Park, then coming back on the Southern Pegasus Bay Walkway.  Normally a trip of 14km, we took an ‘unscheduled’ detour through the wetlands, which increased the length to around 17km.


Setting out at Waimairi Beach

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Purple Peak Curry Reserve, Akaroa

An hour’s drive from Christchurch is the Purple Peak Curry Reserve. It is a 190 hectare conservation area near Akaroa, Banks Peninsula, purchased from the Curry family in 2015 by the Native Forest Restoration Trust, with substantial backing from the Christchurch City Council and the Rod Donald Banks Peninsula Trust.  It is now managed by the Maurice White Native Forest Trust, which also manages the the adjacent Hinewai Reserve.

Our group of 12 walkers began walking at 10am. We drove up Long Bay Road to the Heritage Park to begin. With a forecast of 16C maximum, there was a blustery westerly wind which was cool when we were in exposed parts of the track. While mostly cloudy, the sun did peek through, causing us to peel off some layers of clothing on the many steep sections.  Our 10km walk took around five hours, including morning tea and lunch stops. Minimum altitude was 117 metres, maximum 610 metres.

Purple Peak Curry Reserve and surrounds (click to enlarge)

Follow the orange line for our walk, starting at #3 (the Heritage Park) and going in an anti-clockwise direction.  Between Browntop Saddle and Purple Peak Saddle we dropped down off the ridge to the other side for our lunch.  #1 is the Woodills North Track.  #2 is the Woodills South Track.  #4 is the Curry Track.


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