Feb 11 2005

Camp: Pounawea Convention Centre

Published by under Camps

7-11/2/2005. February Camp. Pounawea.
Surat Beach and Peninsula.

Peninsula from Surat Bay Beach

Peninsula from hill Nth of Cannibal Bay

Peninsula from hill Nth of Cannibal Bay

Catlins River scene

Catlins River scene

Catlins River smooth bed-rock

Catlins River smooth bed-rock

River falls. As far as we went.

River falls. As far as we went.

19-22/5/2000. Camp Pounawea

19-21/5/2000 Leaders: Claude and Ian
The annual weekend winter camp was held this year from 19-21/5/2000 at Pounawea in the Catlins area.

Comfortable and inexpensive accommodation had been arranged at the Christian Convention Centre in Pounawea where 25 members gathered on Friday in time for lunch.

As a “pipe-opener” the group then undertook a short stroll through the local nature and bush walking tracks which feature remnants of virgin podocarp forest rich in bird life and a salt-marsh which is both interesting and biologically important for the area. The remainder of the afternoon was taken up with a walk to Jack’s Blowhole. This proved a little disappointing as the flat sea conditions diminished the normal spectacular surges.

On Saturday we tramped from Newhaven along the beach at Surat Bay. Several large sealions were basking in the dunes. On our approach one of the juveniles showed an astonishing turn of speed in a 100m dash from the dunes to the sea. The sealion then entertained us with a fine display of surfing back to the shallows.

At the northern end of the bay the party split into two groups, one heading directly to neighbouring Cnnibal Bay while the other made a detour to the pinnacle of False Islet from which there were spectacular views of the coastline as far as the Nuggets lighthouse.

However, the most memorable view was obtained on the climb at the bottom of the Islet when, looking back to the beach we could see our other group ambling slowly across the dunes towards Cannibal Bay. They were quite oblivious to the fact that they were being closely followed by a very large inquisitive sealion. Shouted warnings from the heights finally alerted them to the danger and the subsequent adrenaline rush produced remarkable acceleration in the dash for safety.

On Sunday the weather turned showery for our walk up the Catlins River from Tawanui to Frank’s Stream. However the underfoot conditions through the beech forest were quite good and the extra moisture seemed to enhance the wonderful variety of ferns, fungi and mosses. Bird life was prolific and the Catlins River, swollen by overnight rain, presented some splendid waterfalls and rapids.

The social aspects of the weekend were also thoroughly enjoyed. With no television at the camp the members were thrown back on their own resources for entertainment. This resulted in some scintillating conversation, humorous repartee and sing-a-longs.

Monday mornign saw us on our way home. We were fortunate to be invited by the local Pounawea and Kaka Point Walking Clubs to join them on their regular Monday outing.

A diversion was made through Kaitangita to the beach at Wangaloa. Access was rather difficult because of erosion by recent high seas but once on the beach we thoroughly enjoyed the wonderful cliff stratas and rock shapes carved by the waves in the soft mudstone.

The turning point of our walk was an ancient coal seam which traversed the cliffs into the sea and showed evidence of having been mined at some time in the past.

Finally, thanks to Nelson and Colleen for organising our successful weekend and also to Claude and Ian for leading us through a most satisfying walking programme.

From Taieri Herald.

3-5/5/1991 Pounawea. Leaders: Catherine T

12/5/1989 Pounawea. Leaders: Denise

Pounawea Convention Centre. Park Lane, RD1, Owaka. Contact: Caroline & James, Ph/Fx 03-419 1110.

Belle Vue Block. Sleeps 1-42. 2 beds per room. $9 pppn. Own kitchen & lounge. Some pillows supplied. Fully equipped pots, pans, plates, cutlery.

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