Big Easy – 25th November 2023

On Saturday Hazel, Graham and Joan, Lindsay and Kay, Veronnica, Neville and Wayne drove up to the White Horse Monument from Te Kiteroa in Waimate. The weather was warm and sunny. We started walking from Te Kiteroa and took the direct route up to the White Horse passing through mixed forest with a lot of totara and then through a forest of mainly mahoe and fuchia with an out-of-place beech tree. The track was very good with the recent addition of wooden steps on the steepest section – thanks to those who took the time and made the effort to put them in. There was ample bird life in the trees. We came out of the bush and rested for a short while at a seat with a good view of the town of Waimate and surroundings. Then the track climbed up through a mix of gorse and pines to the more open ridge top and on to the White Horse Monument car park.

The views from the top were good, but the breeze was cool. As it was lunch time we found a picnic table out of the wind and sat down for a leasurely lunch and a chat. After lunch we had an explore of the new lookouts, the informative plane table and the new signage at the top. Then we started heading back down the Big Easy track.

This was the easy part – all down hill. The Big Easy is a cycle trail and it has a good gradiant and is well maintained. We passed through a mix of gorse and pines at the top and as the track wound it way around the contours we started dropping into the native forest once again. We stopped to sample some of the bananna passionfruit growing beside the track – they are a noxious weed and shouldn’t be there – but they are good to eat.

We ended up where we started from via a circuit of tracks – noting that there were a good mix of mountain bike tracks branching off the Big Easy track – something to keep in mind for the future.

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