From scrumptious buns to crumbling cliffs EM
Sunday 5 March 2023
Five intrepid trampers turned up at Beach Road, Paekākāriki. Blue skies and a light breeze provided perfect conditions for our escarpment walk. Fortunately, a new bakery had just opened. This was a gastronomical opportunity too good to miss. The cream buns were delightful and can be recommended.
We staggered off, before the tasty temptations turned our trip plans to custard. The first part of the walk followed alongside the railway line. A skink rock garden en route proved to be overgrown, and skinkless.
A steady climb followed as we gained elevation. Great views looking back to Paekākāriki and Paraparaumu. Much reduced traffic on the coastal road below, now that Transmission Gully is open. At the highest point, we enjoyed a leisurely lunch. There was a rumour going around that the leader was providing a roast lamb barbecue. Perhaps on another walk, this wool be provided. Our walk continued as we carefully descended the hundreds of downward steps without incident. The track led through occasional shady tunnels of cool forest in the gullies, a welcome break from the warm conditions out in the open.
Further on, there was evidence of minor track erosion. Loose gravel and rocks made it essential to take care past steep drops. Swing bridges were crossed and a roped detour taken up and around a very large slip.
We stopped occasionally for micro-breaks and picture taking opportunities. After about four hours (including lunch stops and breathers) we emerged triumphant at Pukerua Bay Railway Station. It was an excellent day out, and despite the ups and downs, definitely an exciting escarpment escapade.
- Party members
- Carol Andrews, Alan Benge (leader and scribe), Gordon Chamley, Fiona Coster, Chris Paice