Shines Fall and Boundary Stream, Wednesday October 8 2014
Severe winds cancelled our planned tramp so, after much discussion, we travelled to Heays Access Road and walked to Shines Fall then through Boundary Stream Scenic Reserve to the car park in Pohokura Road. Thanks are due to Hillary, Paul and John who took the van round to Pohokura Rd and walked in to meet us.
We spotted a family of kakarikis flying in front of us. The walk to Shines’ Fall of half an hour through farm land and flow, and – with the help of some wind – veils of water spilled out over the sheer rocks.
The steady climb after the falls was on a very good track. We heard many grey warblers, tuis and bellbirds and Paul even heard a kokako in the same area. The bush was lush, with bright green patches of ferns and pongas with new piko piko reminding us that Spring is here. Even though morning tea and lunch were close together, we enjoyed relaxing in the sun.
When we met Hillary and Paul, we made our way back to the road; it was fairly easy tramping. At the junction, John’s pack strap snapped; so with safety pins, tape and clips amongst our first aid and survival kits we managed to fix it to last the distance. On the way, Paul and I came up close to a North Island robin which darted around for some time amongst the ground leaves while we clicked our cameras.
When we arrived at the van, DoC and locals were milling around. They told us about the release of seven kaka. As we had read all about the impending release, we were delighted to be invited to witness this special occasion. While we waited for the birds to arrive, DoC kindly offered hot drinks and warm savouries. This was a real treat because the wind continued to whistle through us, despite our being under the shelter.
Once the kaka arrived from Mt Bruce, the local Kaumatua said a karakia and DoC shared information on the breeding programme, and the sightings of five young kaka in this bush – believed to be from a release last year. We also learned the history behind the birds’ given names – all Maori names except for Gladys!
Barbara Morris made special mention of all the volunteers who assist in many DoC programmes. We watched the younger children open the cages and release the kaka in the aviaries. They all settled quickly and the kaka outside the aviaries were intrigued with their new feathered friends, which stay in the cages for several months before being released into the bush.
An ice-cream at Tutira rounded off a pleasant day.
Trampers: Rosemary Jefferies, Robyn Smith, Elly Govers, John Marshall, Hilary Heath-Caldwell, Keith Moretta, Paul Exeter, John Burrell and reporter Sue Martin