Jun 15 2016

Sandymount – Sandfly Bay Tramps

No. 24 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Lovers Leap – The Chasm – Sandfly Bay. N Strang. Farm. Year Round.”
No. 73 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Sandymount – Lovers Leap. Year Round”
29 km from car-park.
See Sandymount for area background information.
Sandymount closed for lambing Aug-Oct. Track unformed in places, grassy, slippery when wet. (See also article on pingao planting.)
20. 15/6/2016. Trampers. Ridge Road. Farmland, Bay, Sand-hills, Sandymount and road return. M. Leader: Jill.
On a pristine winter’s morning 11 eager trampers left from the cars on Ridge Rd and traversed through farmlands to Sandfly Bay. Here we had a later morning tea on the beach listening to a very noisy sea.
We progressed along the beach giving wide berth to 5 sea lions 2 of them were a sandy colour and we wondered if they were the youngsters.

White seal. (Helen pic and caption.)

White seal. (Helen pic and caption.)

Went to a locked up viewing hide before plodding our way through sand-hills, sand-hills and more sand-hills till we finally climbed through coastal scrub emerging at the Sandymount car park. From the car park we had a very panoramic view of the Otago Harbour, Hoopers, and Papanui Inlets that were surrounded with Harbour Cone and Mt Charles with Allans Beach at its base. Lunch

Helen & Judy. (Margreet pic and caption.)

Helen & Judy. (Margreet pic and caption.)

was sheltered at the entrance to the macrocarpa  avenue of trees

Beautiful canopy of trees. (Helen pic and caption.)

Beautiful canopy of trees. (Helen pic and caption.)

which we walked through after lunch to view both Lovers Leap

Lovers Leap platform. (Margreet pic and caption.)

Lovers Leap platform. (Margreet pic and caption.)

Lovers leap. (Helen pic and caption.)

Lovers leap. (Helen pic and caption.)

and the Chasm. Venturing around Sandymount we finally spotted the trig just above us on the track where some wandered  up but the scrub was rather high blocking the view which was better at a lower level. The final stage of our trip was on the Sandymount road back to the cars. We covered 11kms and felt we deserved liquid refreshments at the St Clair salt pool cafe enjoying the last of the winter sun. – Jill.

19. 28/1/2015. Hikers. Lovers Leap, The Chasm. Leaders: George, Alex.
Hikers Sandymount Route

Hikers Sandymount Route – anticlockwise from car-park. But application stopped working at the Chasm. W-h-y??? Bother, bother!!

Thirty-nine of us, yes THIRTY-NINE (did include a number of school children due back at school the following Monday) turned up at the Sandymount car park for what was promised to be a shorter walk with not too much climbing. George and Alex had recceed a round trip clockwise, deciding to lead us in an anti-clockwise direction on the day. So we set off.

New (well, to the writer at least) signs at the first junction indicated that Lovers Leap was via Sandymount Hill,

Signs like this have proliferated around Sandymount now.

Signs like this have proliferated around Sandymount now. (John pic)

the other sign indicated Sandfly Bay. BUT! The writer has never climbed the hill before, as on previous occasions we have always gone on round and past the entrance to the fence-lined Sandfly Bay track, a MUCH less hilly route. Had George forgotten that? I DID query George’s choice of the hill option, but didn’t press the matter.

So it was up, up a track that got quite steep in places. However all made it, even the hiker who had requested assurance of not too much climbing. (He’s not coming out next week, when we do the Leith Saddle track, which except for one wee saddle, is all climb.)

The hill summit rewarded us with the foggy view  we had expected, but it was good to stop here for the morning cuppa.

Cuppa time

Cuppa time (John pic)

Steeply down the other side, sidle further round the hill, soon to arrive at Lovers Leap. (I wonder if they really do, or is it their personal possession. It’s fun omitting the apostrophe [before or after the ‘s’?] to allow for the ambiguity.)

Lovers Leap

Lovers Leap. Some of the 39 plus fog.

We pushed on. Bit of a climb till we reached the open gate giving entrance down through paddock, new style and paddock to the Chasm. Too much of a drop for some to even go near the viewing platform.

Back up onto the track, further around, past the sheep shed and a stop for an early lunch

Lunch. (John pic))

Lunch panorama.. (John pic))

at the beginning of the impressive double macrocarpa-lined avenue.

Then through the avenue, and, for some never here before, the shock of the cars’ sudden appearance at the avenue’s end.

There were some sheltered areas and some areas exposed to the cold wind that never stopped blowing.

Elaine had designated Nichols Cafe again for the last cuppa, and 25 of us adjourned there for coffee and company.

Coffee at Nichols. 25 of us.

Panorama of coffee at Nichols. Some of the 25. Remainder still to arrive.

Thanks to George and Alex for leading a record number of us, (39!!) with nary a one missing or going over the edge. – Ian.

18. 31/7/2013. Trampers. Ridge Road, Lovers Leap, Sandfly Bay.
We were all expecting it to be a bit windy on the coast, but when we got there it was very mild, & dead calm, so off with some clothing was in order. We had all forgotten how far the road walk from Ridge Rd to Sandy Mt. Rd was, but undeterred we pressed on to a morning break at the normal place in the paddock on the LH side of the road.
pack

Packing up after morning tea. (Ken pic and caption)

From there it was a leisurely walk around the Chasm & Lovers Leap viewing platforms, to marvel at the very flat sea conditions. The inlets were like a mirror, it was so calm.
Then off up the climb to the top of the track, where we had lunch at the top of the sandhills, before the easy conditions of the downhill slide onto Sandfly Bay, where we did the obligatory side trip to the viewing hide, only to discover that there are now two hides there, one of which is locked, & is for the tourist operators use only. We did see a sample of the wildlife that inhabits this coastline, one of them didn’t bother with us at all,
Grandad snoozing

Grandad snoozing. (Ken pic and caption)

but the other one was a bit wary of the strange quartet walking past.
Why are you annoying me?

Why are you annoying me? (Ken pic and  caption)

We all enjoyed the walk, although it wasn’t a very long day, as we arrived back at the car around 2:30pm. Distance – 10km, @ 4km/h. – Ken

17. 18/4/2012. Trampers. Ridge Road, Lovers Leap, Sandfly Bay.

GPS of route, courtesy Ken. Cars parked half-way along left of route. Long sand-hill descent clearly depicted.

There were 12 of us. A record in recent memory.

Morning Tea, sheltered from the wind. (Ken pic.)

Lunch spot at the top of the lovely long sand-hill descent. (Ken pic)

16. 7/7/2010. Both. Sandymount, Sandfly Bay return, Lovers Leap, The Chasm. Medium. Leaders: Bruce and Marjorie.

Look at those five animals lined up at a trough. (Joyce caption, Bill pic) 7/7/2010

New signs at Sandfly Bay track turn-off 7/7/2010

Picturesque grove (from south side) 7/7/2010

The Chasm 7/7/2010

15. 13/8/2008 Trampers. Sandymount summit, Lovers Leap, Chasm, Sandfly Bay. Medium. Leaders: Tash, Pat.

Large sandhill. Pat Leonie Ken Tash. 13/8/2008

A wonderful tramp on the peninsula… A small but enthusiastic group of 5 parked our cars at the end of Ridge Road, and then walked back up to the junction, where we turned up towards Sandymount. Near the top we had morning tea in a sheltered spot whose first discovery was attributed to George. At the carpark at the top, the gate to the left said “track closed”, so we took the track to the right instead and made our way back round to Lovers Leap. The views were amazing and as 4 of them stood on the platform, there was much discussion as to who would do the “Leap”. There were no volunteers so we retraced our steps and ended up above Sandfly Bay. Here we had our lunch with beautiful views in all directions. We discussed the fact that lunch stops are a very important part of the tramp and that that spot is often what we remember. And then down, down ,down the wonderful sand hills that looked like scenes from Lawrence of Arabia. Running down like kids… A quick visit to the Penguin hide and then onto the beach where some very large sea lions were lolling about on the sand. Two large ones emerged glistening black from the sea, reminiscent of when the first creatures left the sea to live on the land all those millennia ago. Near the end of the beach we came to a stream where Leonie suggested we sit and take in the great surroundings we were in, with powerful waves in the background crashing onto the beach amidst a surge of foam.

Leonie, Pat, Tash on Log

Leonie, Pat, Tash on Log 13/8/2008

And then after some cunning navigating by Ian we were onto a poled track through a farm, up a small hill and back at the gate, beyond which magically were our cars. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. – Tash

14. 14/3/2007. Trampers. Sandymount, Lovers Leap, Sandfly Bay. Medium. Leaders: Bruce & Marjorie, Doug M
13. 6/7/2005. Trampers. Sandfly Bay, Lovers Leap, Chasm. Leaders: Bob H, Ian, Frank
12. 6/7/2005. Hikers. Sandymount, Sandfly Bay. Leaders: Joyce, Eleanor.
Grove of trees and ongaonga

Grove of trees and ongaonga

Belted Galloway cattle beast. Who?, George, Hazel

Belted Galloway cattle beast. Who?, George, Hazel

11. 17/3/2004 Trampers: Ridge Road, Sandymount, Sandfly Bay Leader: Ria L
LL

Lovers Leap

VP

L-Leap Platform. Bill, Pat, Ria, George

V

L/Leap Platform. Ria, George, Glenice, Doug M

S

Sandhills at top. Ria, Glenice

10. 17/3/2004 Hikers: Sandfly Bay, Sandymount, Ridge Road. Leaders: Joyce, Eleanor.
9. 20/8/2003. Hikers. Ridge Road to Sandfly Bay. Medium. Leaders: Nancy, Anne R.
8. 27/2/2002. Sandfly Bay – Lovers Leap – Chasm. Leaders: Bob H, Shirley McN, Ria L
7. 29/8/2001. Lovers Leap – Chasm – Sandfly Bay. Medium+. Leaders: Bob H, Ian, Elaine.
6. 29/3/2000. Sandy Mount, Lovers Leap, Lime Kilns. Leaders: Chris, Jean, Ngaire.
5. 25/8/1999. Sandfly Bay. Leaders: Doug and Myrie, Irene.
4. 10/3/1993. New Track – Sandfly Bay. Medium. Leaders: Bev H, Les and Margaret, Ivan and Bev.
3. 16/10/1991. Sandfly Bay. Seals Sand and sun. Average. Leaders: Betty, Wendy, Shirley, Mary McG.
2. 17/7/1991 Lovers’ Leap – The Chasm – Sandfly Bay. Easy. Merle H, Diana B, Nancy, Pam M
1. 27/11/1996. Sandy Mount Road – Lime Kilns – Lovers Leap.Leaders: Chris, Jean, Ria H.
 


One response so far




One Response to “Sandymount – Sandfly Bay Tramps”

  1.   Tash Hurston 09 Jul 2010 at 11:12 am

    I love the photo of the animals at the trough…Very clever.
    Lovely to have those records from the past too. Thank you Ian

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply