Wharite Peak, Ruahines, Wednesday May 26
Trampers: Kelvin Shaw, Keith Moretta, Robyn Smith, Paul Exeter, Ken Ross, John Marshall and Alison Greer
A select group set out from Taradale on a heavily overcast morning. The weather forecast was not good for the Southern Ruahines, but we continued on down Highway 50, hoping for the best. But it soon became apparent that the whole range was completely obscured with rain cloud.
“Where shall we go?” the question was asked. “Over there, where the sun is” was the reply. A quick decision made, we turned off at Otane, went through to Waipawa then headed east, ending up at Blackhead Beach. What a lovely day it was, no wind, slightly overcast, quite warm. We headed north towards Aramoana and Pourere and, as the tide was low, wandered around the rock pools of the marine reserve.
The photographers were in heaven because the light was just perfect and the water still, making the rocks stand out and giving off good reflections. Among the many birds spotted were two types of gull, white-faced heron, kingfisher, and godwits. Paua and kina shells were collected to become masterpieces, and it was so nice to stand and watch the waves crashing onto the rock shelves.
We reached Pourere at 11.30, and decided to return past a narrow section of the beach before having lunch. With the tide coming in, it was obvious that the water would reach the cliff if we lingered too long.
We settled in for lunch on a grassy bank and were entertained by the antics of the oyster catchers, then retraced our steps, stopping at Aramoana to watch a group of knots and NZ dotterel poking around in the small stream which runs across the beach.
Dark clouds starting appearing from the south and as we arrived back at the van it started to rain, so we piled in and drove back through the lovely Central Hawke’s Bay countryside, making it a shortish but most enjoyable day.