Blowhard Bush and The Lizard,
Wednesday June 5 2013
The weather forecast was for cold, southerly gale-force winds with heavy rain. The tramp up the exposed ridge and along the open tops to Roberts Hut was going to be more than a little unpleasant. We didn’t do it! We used a little common sense although we were accused by some, who were not tramping, that we obviously lacked any by going out on such a day. We chose to tramp in more sheltered areas and to stay within easy reach of the van, just in case.
The weather was not as bad as predicted and our revised plan resulted in the “six intrepid ones” having a good day out.
Blowhard Bush, the Forest and Bird Reserve, was our first stop. This is a 63-hectare block of native bush in the Kaweka Forest on the Taihape Road.
We did the Tui Circuit Track and the Troglodyte Track which took us to and through some interesting features. Some big, old or even ancient trees (matai, beech, kahikatea), water-cut passages through limestone rock, caves, interesting rock formations and a lookout to The Kawekas, but with no view on the day.
We took an early lunch in the shelter at the car park before our next foray, The Lizard. The track up to The Lizard leaves the Taihape Road a few kilometres back towards Napier. We understood it to be badly overgrown but it was quite OK even in the wet. Poor track marking in places fooled us, but not too badly. We soon recovered after a little backtracking. Near the top, we left the shelter of the bush onto open clay which is part of The Lizard feature, a row of rocky outcrops running north-south which when viewed from the east looks remarkably like the thorny spine of a lizard. (This was a surprise to me. I thought it got its name from a single balanced lizard-like rock that used to exist there.)
We were exposed to the southerly up there, so didn’t hang around too long.
The return down to the van was a bit slippery in places but all returned to the van in reasonable states. Then it was quickly into the van and off home. We had had a great day out and were well rewarded for our persistence.
A note for the future. You can get an accurate detailed weather forecast for The Lizard from a Norwegian website, www.yr.no. How about that!
Trampers: Paul Exeter, Vic Bullock, Robyn Smith, John Burrell, Peter Slagter and reporter Ken Ross