Mt Vulcan

18 January 2015

 We set off along Motunau Beach in superb weather with the promise of a super-hot day. The sea was blue and calm, the sky crystal clear, and the tide favourable. A 1 hour beach walk on sand and boulders past the magnificent clay cliffs, brought us to the concretions. Some 1 m diameter. Some half buried in the sand. Some still poised on the cliffside awaiting nature’s erosion forces to bring them tumbling down. The most challenging part of the day was negotiating our way up a steep sided gully to the cliff top (this was the “mystery segment”). Slow and steady was the mantra. It was too hot to do it any other way.

Then began our farm traverse where we had plenty of practice crossing fences, uncertain as to whether the “hotwire” was alive or not. Magnificent vistas unfolded as we gained height, a great excuse to pause and admire the view and appreciate the cooling breeze. Lunch was in the last shade of the day under a stand of manuka trees. Our route took us via a farm track circling to the south of Mt Vulcan from where we made the final scramble to the summit. And wow! What a wonderful 360 degree view. The colours were magnificent highlighted by the crystal clear air, golden dryness of the farmland and the turquoise blue of the sea. Well worth the effort. Motunau Island and our starting point looked such a long way away.

 Our return route took us along a ridge highlighted by strangely poised rocks, marker cabbage trees, white missile type stones on the fields and lo and behold, an ancient bulldozer parked in a paddock. It was rewarding to complete a circuit tramp, recognising but not repeating our route. And thank goodness for that cooling NW wind in what would have been 30+ degree temperatures.

 Five and a half hours later, our circuit was completed. A brief but cramped car trip took us back to Motunau where we cooled our feet in the river before heading for Sandy Bay where the bravest of us went swimming, and others fossicked for stone souvenirs. You can’t visit this beach without finding a strangely shaped stone in your pocket as a memento.

 Back to Glenlock for rehydration and afternoon tea in the shade.

 Thank you Wendy, Lilly, Rose and Dennis for great company and a great summer’s day out.



My thanks too Glenda for organising this trip with the farmers to cross their land. The fire risk was so high I’m surprised they were accommodating. For me it was the hottest, driest, hot-windiest trip I’d been on. But a great day out and cold drinks in the shade were really appreciated at Glenlock. – Thanks, Dennis

 [Strictly speaking this hill is just “Vulcan”without the “Mt”- Ed]