This weekend started off without anything planned at all and ended up being two days full of great adventures and exploring with family and friends.
Saturday: Hakatere Conservation Park
On Saturday morning I got a call in the morning from my brother wondering what we were up to for the day as he was home alone and keen to go and explore some wilderness. As we had no plans and we were keen to explore somewhere, we made the decision to head up to the Hakatere Conservation Park and check out some sights we hadn’t yet explored.
We met at Mt Somers General Store and then drove up to the Hakatere corner farm buildings to have a quick look around. There is some great info in the buildings and the recent restoration of the stone building makes it look fantastic.
After a quick stop we were off to have a look at Lake Emma, a lake we hadn’t explored. With a good frost overnight the lake had some ice covering it but it certainly wasn’t all covered. The was however plenty of frozen puddles and water over the tracks that kept the kids well entertained.
Next after Lake Emma we drove through to Mt Sunday up the Rakaia river. For all those Lord of the Rings fans, Mt Sunday is the scene of Edoras, home of the Rohan. The sets are all gone now but is still a great place to explore and climb. Whilst walking up to the bottom of Mt Sunday the boys were all exploring the surrounding scrub and tussock. Isaac managed to find a fairly deep creek to his surprise. We dragged him out, soaking wet up to his waist. Jolie accompanied Isaac back to the truck so he could get out of his wet clothes and get warm; the rest of us carried on to climb up Mt Sunday. It was a stunning day, snow on the mountain tops, no wind to speak of but we managed to have some of that serenity spoilt. A group of three people felt it necessary to have their music blasting the whole way up to and back from Mt Sunday. Now I’m all for some good music but if you need a soundtrack to accompany the vistas, then use some bloody headphones as the rest of us thoroughly enjoy the peace and quiet offered by places like this!! Rant over.
With Isaac having no spare clothes that closed off the days adventures and we headed on home after some great exploring (and ice-creams from Mt Somers!!).
Sunday: Leith Hill (Castle Hill Village)
Again the day started with no plans other than a desire to get out and enjoy the great winters day. Jolie made contact with a family friend and a rough plan was hatched to go and do a walk somewhere around Castle Hill village. We all piled in the car and headed up and over Porters Pass and onto Castle Hill village.
The day was again a brilliant example of a fine Winters day and this was quickly evidenced by jackets getting tied around waists as the walking through the bush didn’t need the extra layer. We ended up walking the Leith Hill loop track and it was a great walk of just over 5kms and an elevation change of about 350m.
All the kids did great (spurred on in parts by gummy snake bribes!!) and Major the dog loved it too (especially the snow) as you can see in the video below.
The kids are keen to climb all the way to the top of Leith Hill next time. That should be interesting!!
All and all, it was a fantastic weekend of adventuring with family and friends. Got to love the Canterbury high country and especially so in the Wintery months when they get their share of snow.