Thanks to the kindness of Peter and Jane Bell in permitting us to walk over their farm property, eleven trampers had a wonderful day climbing to the trig on Tara Peak and from there continuing along the tops to complete aneleven kilometre loop that had begun at Peter and Jane’s house at the endof Hursts Road in the Waihaorunga district.
The low cloud that we had encountered whilst driving through the Waimate Gorge
cleared soon after beginning on the walk, enabling us to see the top of the hills and the climb we had to make before getting there: a height gain of 640 metres. A brief stop for a drink and snack at 11 am refuelled us and we reached the top an hour later. After climbing through a fence, it was just a short walk to the trig. As small flies happened to be prolific in that exact area (goodness knows why), we didn’t linger at the trig but continued walking and made a detour to another excellent viewing point where we had lunch while appreciating the views over the Hakataramea Valley, the Kirkilston Range and beyond. With views inland, to the coast and the Hunters Hills while walking several kilometres along the ridgeline, we began our descent. All the way we were on a 4WD track so the going was easy enough.
Whilst we would have had a great day anyway, the trip was ‘made’ by the fact that Jane accompanied us all the way, and related stories about the history of their sheep and beef farm, some of the Bell family history and a little of the adventures that their twin sons had had in walking the Te Araroa trail. We really appreciated Jane’s kindness in spending the
whole day with us, mentioning many things of interest. She even took us to the site of the original house beside the spring-fed pond and showed us and talked about the circular-style cattle yards. As one member of the group said, it was ‘the icing on the cake’ having Jane with us. Altogether a great trip. Thanks to Barry, Catherine, Don and Catherine Y, Ali, Kate and Daniel, Ben, Lynley, also Kate C who came along to participate.