ntc aug 2022 on the way to whariwharangi

Who is the idiot that dreams up these long day trips in the middle of winter! Well, after some defections, a group of 7 registered for this trip. We waved goodbye at Richmond to the popup party going to Mt Arthur and headed to Golden Bay in two vehicles. Without any stops, we were at the Wainui Bay carpark by 9:30am on a fantastic morning, calm and clear. The track is more like a road in most places and nicely graded so there was spare energy for chatting. After a brief stop at the saddle with grand views across Wainui Bay we were soon down at the classic Whariwharangi Hut.

ntc aug 2022 whariwharangi hut tg

We had a break on the beautiful beach that we shared with some pied-shags and oyster-catchers. No rest for wicked and a lot of walking ahead so on we went beside the row of grand macrocarpas and then up the hill to where the track forks. The track out to Separation Point was in good order, going through regenerating bush (mainly Kanuka with a well chewed understory – goats; pigs). After a traverse above the NW bay we were there, peering down the steep and crumbly rock face to the little lighthouse. Kath bounded down with the rest of us following more gingerly. The weather remained calm and sunny so a very pleasant 30 min lunch break at the lighthouse ensued. A large fur seal was slowly gyrating in the small cove below and other seals could be seen and heard barking in the NW bay. No gannets but shags were prevalent and a lone Kaka was spotted flying above the beautiful cliffs. Kath saw a large penguin swimming by.

The group agreed to the extra 30 min to return via Mutton Cove so down we went through the delightful coastal bush with lots of tree ferns. Soon we were trudging along the beach and rejoined the main track back to Whariwharangi. This involves climbing another 150m to the ridge before dropping down to the hut. A brief rest there and on we trudged back over the saddle to Wainui Bay with the sun setting on a magnificent day out. CC's pedometer said we had walked about 20km with some ups and downs over the 7 hours. Our two newcomers were very companiable and everyone accomplished the walk in good order. Some nodded off during the drive back to Nelson but not Richard despite clubbing to 2am the night before.   

Participants: Pat Holland (leader and scribe), Kath, Graeme, Tony, Richard. Visitors: Vandana, Claudia (CC)

ntc aug 2022 wainui bay at dusk 1