12 trampers met at the Richmond car park early on a chilly winter’s morning for a walk around the Holyoake Clearing loop from Marahau in Abel Tasman National Park.  The leader had rashly advertised a 6-7 hour walk, based on a previous advertisement for the same walk!

We set off not long after 9am, wrapped up in plenty of layers.  The weather was cloudy but gradually clearing and there wasn’t a breath of wind.  The low tide estuary looked very serene as we walked across the bridge, and snapped a few photos of a heron fossicking in the shallow water.

After a short walk along the Coast Track to Tinline Bay, we started up the steady climb on the Inland Track to Holyoake clearing.  We kept up a reasonable pace and arrived at the clearing in time for lunch in the sun, which had now come out, with a view out to the ocean.  We checked out the tidy little 2 bunk bivvy, which would make for a very comfortable stay.

Looking at the map and realising that we still had a large portion of the walk to go, we didn’t linger too long over lunch.  The next leg took us back to the junction, and down another track which eventually delivered us back to the Coast Track, just south of Anchorage.  There were some beautiful views out towards Torrent Bay as we descended, and we stopped for a scenic afternoon tea in the sun.

Arriving back on the Coast Track at 3pm with 2 and a half hours walking still to go, we strode out along the road-like track without too many pauses, although not so quickly that we didn’t appreciate the beautiful ferns, beech trees covered in honey-dew, and peeks out to the beautiful beaches.  Having seen almost no-one else all day, we were a bit surprised to come across multiple groups of day and overnight walkers going in both directions along the Coast Track.  We made it back to the car-park with about 15 minutes of daylight to spare, and aching legs and feet – a full 8 hour day!  Despite the somewhat misleading advertising by yours truly regarding the length of the trip, it was a great day out and definitely one to do again, perhaps not quite so close to the shortest day next time!

Participants were: Rod and Carol Lewis, Debbie Hogan, Maaike van Hoeflaken, Anthea Michaelis, Astrid Brauksiepe, Paula Garnham, Arif Matthee, Sibylle, Richard Benfield, Peter Phipps and Michele Cunningham (leader and scribe).p1110664