Percy Reserve / Sugarloaf Rock EM
Sunday 8 January 2023
In spite of the bad weather, a total of five people turned up. We left the Percy Reserve car park at 10.15 a.m. and were back by 1 p.m. None of us had been to Percy Reserve before; most expected a walk in the park and were surprised what varied terrain and wildlife it had to offer. Some regretted not bringing a walking stick.
We stopped at the tunnel in the formal garden and found many cave wētā. The really large ones I have seen there before were missing, but there were lots of baby ones. Ducks came waddling towards us across the lawn, expecting to be fed. The southerly was still coming in in gusts but we were protected by the bush. The path up to the waterfall was easy, but after that the track is not maintained, slippery and steep. Several creek crossings followed; luckily the water was not too high. The walk up to the ridge line through tawa bush was sheltered but trees were creaking. Great views were enjoyed on top of Sugarloaf Rock, but the wind chill factor made us retreat back into the bush.
We returned to Percy Reserve via Frank Cameron Park. At the end of Stanhope Grove we were sitting under a huge pine tree when a young New Zealand falcon was spotted above us in the tree, showing off a bird kill. It was not shy at all and stayed there the whole time we were there. We walked back via Ratanui, Sir James Hector's former residence. Not much has remained of his stately home, just a few paving stones and walls. Back to the car park via Percy's water mill.
- Party members
- Dudley Finter, Anna Shun, Jill Wild, Jane Frances and Leonore Hoke (leader and scribe).