Nov 02 2016

Pyramids, Victory Beach

No. 48 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Pyramids & Beach Area. (Victory Beach) Beach Walk only. Year Round”
Location: 38 km from car park.

Topo of Area

24. 2/11/2016. Both. Papanui Inlet, Victory Beach and Pyramids. E. Leaders: Marjorie and Bruce.

Report on Pyramids and Victory Beach hike 2 November 2016.

Thirty-one hikers and trampers met at the Pyramids car park on Dick Road at 9.50 am on a calm sunny morning. Low tide at Dunedin was 0.3 m at 1258 and the Papanui Inlet tide is about 1 hour later. Three of the group (Leslie, Bev and Molly) accepted the shorter route option of taking the direct yellow-marker route to Victory Beach via the Pyramids while the other 28 proceeded via Dick Road past some bovine mothers and children who found us to be of interest.

 

Bruce

Cows and calves. (Bruce pic and caption.)

Cows and calves. (Bruce pic and caption.)

We entered the salt marsh by crossing the ditch opposite the sign

Crossing creek. (Helen pic and caption.)

Crossing creek. (Helen pic and caption.)

and walked straight ahead to the estuary before turning left for approximately 400 m …

Tide out. (Helen pic and caption.)

Tide out. (Helen pic and caption.)

… to have morning tea on the 4-wheel drive track approximately 200-300 m from the gate at the north end of the road. Overgrowth of the lupins and bank erosion made it easier to walk on the estuary for a distance to where the bank up to the 4-wheel drive track was less steep. A suitable morning tea site, with access to the pine forest and some logs for sitting on, was present after the barbed wire fence on the left stopped.

After morning tea we proceeded along the track, over the railway sleeper bridge and then the style into the Okia Reserve and followed the track with white markers to the estuary edge where a large concrete block was present. The bank was eroded here and most of us went down a slightly easier place a few metres before the block.

We then walked on the firmer sand near the water’s edge going to the end of the estuary, passing some Paradise (Sheldrake) ducks and then around the sandy point with dunes to Victory Beach. We paused to inspect two sea lions.

Sealions. (Bruce pic and caption.)

Sea lions. (Bruce pic and caption.)

The fly wheel of the Victory was partly submerged.

[Scroll down to (20. 16/7/2014 tramp report) to view a new photo insertion (I’ve just learnt how to make out of a video frame), of Bruce standing on top of the Victory flywheel back at that date. (There’s also a video to click on just below it.) – Ian.]

At 12.05 pm the groups of 3 and 28 merged and we lunched on the sand at the base of the track marked by an orange pole and two green crayfish pot floats.

 

Lunch on Victory Beach. (Bruce pic and caption.)

Lunch on Victory Beach. (Bruce pic and caption.)

After lunch Molly and Clive followed the shorter option path back to the Pyramids and cars while the other 29 took the 4-wheel drive track to the right and then when almost at the cliffs at the end of the beach turned to the left to follow the track around to the rock rosette.

Rock Rosette. (Bruce pic and caption.)

Rock Rosette. (Bruce pic and caption.)

We continued on the loop track to the Margaret Hazel Slope track.

Margaret Hazel slope. (Bruce pic and caption.)

Margaret Hazel Slope. (Bruce pic and caption.)

Five of the trampers made a detour from here back to the cars via the top of the large Pyramid.

Us on top. (Helen pic and caption.) [of smaller pyramid - Ed.]

Us on top. (Helen pic and caption.)

The rest continued back to the junction near the small Pyramid where most waited while approximately 6 visited the cave in the small Pyramid to inspect the pentagonal and hexagonal basalt column crystal structures.

Basalt columns in cave. (Bruce pic and caption.)

Basalt columns in cave. (Bruce pic and caption.)

Approximately 8 persons took the 10 minute track up to the top of the small Pyramid for the expansive viewbefore following the others back to the cars via Dick Road. Everyone was back at the car park by approximately 3 pm and refreshments were consumed at the Portobello Café.No major calamities occurred on the day. A potential problem may occur if the track up the small pyramid is strayed from because of the steepness of the terrain. The persistent sun may have caused some sunburn. The route followed requires the low tide to be at an appropriate time.

The distance travelled by the main group was approximately 12.3 km with the small and large pyramid ascents adding approximately another 0.15 and 1.2 km respectively. – Bruce.

23. 20/4/2016. Trampers. Pyramids, Victory Beach and Papanui Inlet. Leaders: Neil and Margreet.Ten trampers set out at 0945 on a warm autumn day to explore this scenic reserve and beach.  We stopped for morning tea at a well concealed cave

Neil in Cave. (Helen pic and caption.)

Neil in Cave. (Helen pic and caption.) [Note: Ed. recalls climbed by only an adolescent before.]

and then followed the undulating track to the beach. Even though it was still near low tide, we could only see a small part of the fly wheel of the wreck of the “Victory” at the South end of the beach. Much more impressive were all the seals …

One of many seals on the beach. (Margreet pic and caption)

One of many sea-lions on the beach. (Margreet pic and caption)

… lazing on the sand and gambolling in the waves. There was also a lone, grounded Mollymawk …

Mollyhawk on the beach (Margreet pic and caption)

Mollymawk on the beach (Margreet pic and caption)

… on the beach, seemingly injured.

Once we reached the end of the beach we turned into the Papanui Inlet and had lunch in a scenic spot where we were entertained by young seals frolicking in the water nearby.

We meandered around the inlet and then followed the gravel road back to the car-park.

As we had made good time, it was decided to drop our packs at this stage, and do some more exploring. Four trampers climbed Little Pyramid

Great view from Little Pyramid. (Margreet pic and caption)

Great view from Little Pyramid. (Margreet pic and caption)

and the other six went up the larger pyramid

Girls on top of big pyramid (Margreet pic and caption)

Girls on top of big pyramid … (Margreet pic and caption)

Then nen on top of big pyramid (Margreet pic and caption)

… then men on top of big pyramid (Margreet pic and caption)

via Margaret Hazel Slope. It was worth the clamber to get great views of the beach and surrounding hills from the summits.

A coffee stop at Portobello completed an enjoyable day’s outing.

In total we walked 11.85 km. – Margreet and Neil Simpson

22. 13/5/2015. Hikers. Pyramids. E. Leaders: Chris and Adrienne. Later: also Bruce.
GPS of route, courtesy Bruce.

GPS of route, courtesy Bruce.

Today’s tramp was an alternative to Murray’s Farm which was deemed too wet following the previous day’s rain. After regrouping at the gate into the reserve, we resorted to the club’s habitual setting in the nearby cave for morning tea, happily in sunshine.
Then followed the trek out to the beach along along the usual, but surprisingly cleaned-up track, extravagantly cleared to a width greater than we had ever encountered before, complete with side bays as well. Obviously a scrub-cutter operator had enjoyed their job.
But at the beach entrance, whoa! Full tide! Even Keith and Ian’s trek along the narrow wave-touched strip of remaining sand ‘pour encourager les autres’ (to encourage the others) to reach less wave-washed sand further on, failed to inspire the leaders, indeed earned only their rebuke for ‘not staying behind the leader’. Sigh.
An alterative suggestion from Bruce to visit the viewing spot of the 30 metre wide circular geologically-formed rock “rosette” on the cliff-face of the larger pyramid found favour, so thence we trouped.
 This proved an occasion for some interesting discussions. “Where is it?” “There it is. Can’t you see it?” “No, I can’t”. “Look, it’s right THERE.” Well, I suppose we can’t all be brilliant.
Presently, returning the way we had come, we stopped on a slope of the track for an early lunch,
Lazy lunch. (John pic)

Lazy lunch. (John pic)

lazing enjoyably in the sun with not too much wind to disturb us. Following lunch, back on the main scrub-cleared track, came an early afternoon decision time. A goodly half of our number (of 28), elected to return to the cars, but not all …. Now, over to Bruce. – Ian
Loop group. After lunch a group of 13 headed out to the beach some distance north of our earlier entry point to the beach before lunch. A sand cliff was present where the track reached the beach due to sea erosion and we had to make a short detour on a less defined track, 20 m further north, and a short slide to the beach.  Going to the earlier entry point further south would, in retrospect, have been better. We proceeded down the beach…
Along the beach. (John pic)

Along the beach. (John pic)

…past 6 sea lions who were mainly at the southern end of the beach. The fly wheel of the Victory was partly visible between waves.
Flywheel. (John pic)

Flywheel. (John pic)

After rounding the point at the end of the beach we proceeded up a rather boggy narrow stretch of sand on the edge of the inlet until we reach the pine tree stump, approximately 500 m along the inlet, where we climbed a short slope of bank , beside a concrete slab on the top of the bank, to get on to the grass road…
Smile, please. (John pic)

Smile, please. (John pic)

…leading the style at the edge of the reserve. After crossing the style we passed the holiday homes on our right, in the Clearwater property, and then crossed the bridge providing vehicular access to the cribs. It had been repaired with macrocarpa sleepers since our last visit. We continued along this grass track until we reached the gate at the end marked private property (inverted). We then went down a diagonal track to the left of the gate, past Ian’s sheltered morning tea spot, and along the edge of the Inlet. Because of the high water level, approximately 25 cm  deep, it was necessary to cut across the corner of the paddock. We did not cross the water filled inlet/ditch leading to the Salt Marsh sign on Dick road until we were nearly at the road. We then crossed the next ditch parallel to the road beside the sign and walked 2 km along the road back to the car park arriving there at or slightly before 2.45 pm. Another idea for another time would be to consider walking from north to south along the beach to see the fly wheel and any sea lions that might be about and then returning along the beach to cut out the 2 km of walking on the gravel of Dick road. The weather today for this part of the hike remained calm and warm. – Bruce.
Hang on, P.S., BTW or whatever. The Loop Group coffeed at Portobello…
Coffee at Portobello. (John pic)

Coffee at Portobello. (John pic)

…and the ‘others’ were going to go to Nichols. – Ian.
21. 12/11/2014. Hikers. Pyramids. E. Leader: Bruce, with Bev as back-up.
Route

Route

Twenty-two intrepid hikers were undeterred by the forecast of an afternoon southwesterly change and after proceeding through Portobello to Weir Road turned left into Dick road and parked at the Pyramids and Victory Beach car park. They crossed the style and proceeded along the Riddle Road causeway, through the gate at the end and passing to the left of the little pyramid turned to the right on the beach track (not to the left on the loop) and, a short way along, took a short track to the right to have morning tea in the cave at the little pyramid.

 

Cuppa. (John pic.)

Morning tea. (John pic.)

We confirmed the basalt blocks were five rather than six sided.

After morning tea, we retraced our steps and turned to the left onto the loop track. We passed the Margaret Hazel slope (marker 4) noting that one can reach the top of the large pyramid by going up it and turning left. (Earlier we noted a 10 minute track to the top of the small pyramid started just after the gate at the end of the Riddle Road causeway). We continued to the right on the loop track and stopped at marker 6 to view the circular rock rosette feature …

Rosette (Bruce pic.)

Circular rock rosette (Bruce pic.)

… on the cliff face. Antony Hamel describes this as a 30 m wide pod of lava which is inaccessible to grazing animals and that it contains less common native plants such as the Easter orchid.

We should then have turned sharp right to the yellow marker pole and then a sharp left to the beach at markers 8 and 9 but ended up on a more circuitous route ending up with a short slide to the beach.

Slide (John pic.)

Short slide to the beach.  (John pic.)

We proceeded down Victory Beach noting one sea lion and a partially submerged Victory flywheel (1861) just before the end of the beach where we found sheltered spots for lunch at 12.10 pm.

Lunch (John pic)

Sheltered spots (more or less) for lunch (John pic)

Another sea lion was resting at the water’s edge between our lunch spot and the inlet. After lunch we travelled along the water’s edge to where a grass track leading to the cribs starts. It was marked on the bank by a concrete rectangle but one needed to climb up the bank to see it. It was just past the end of the pine trees between the cribs and Victory beach. Some of our party overshot the turnoff and rejoined the track further on while others backtracked a little to get onto the grassy track. We all met up again …

Met up (John pic)

Met up again. All ‘parkaed-up’ after the short storm blast. (John pic)

…  just before the locked gate and stile at the boundary of the Okia reserve.

After crossing the style we continued along the grassy vehicle track on the inlet side of the fence separating the inlet from the property of Jason Clearwater. We crossed over a somewhat rickety bridge containing a round fencepost alongside the rectangular hardwood decking. At the end of the grass track we came to a locked gate with an inverted Private Property sign. We went down a track then to the left of the gate and along the inlet beach until level with the sign, about 300 m on, marking the salt flat conservation area. We headed at right angles to the sign along a narrow path alongside a snail-containing water course to a corresponding sign next to Dick Road. We crossed the relatively firm ground in the ditch beside the sign on to Dick Road and then walked, mainly in the sun, back to the carpark where we arrived at 1.55 pm.

Distance travelled 11.73 km by Garvin GPS, 10.6 km by Iphone, 12.33 -12.48 km by pedometer. Overall the weather could have been worse. A cold wind blew for a short time near the end of Victory beach and some spots of rain fell shortly after lunch leading us to put on our coats but it soon stopped and it was not enough to get wet with. Several of the group stopped for coffee or fruit juice at MacAndrew Bay …

Coffee

Coffee

… on the return journey to Mosgiel. Thanks were expressed to Bruce for leading and Bev for backmarking. – Bruce.

20. 16/7/2014. Hikers. Victory Beach. Leaders: Bruce and Marjorie.
GPS

GPS

A Herd

A Herd

Marsh start

A Marsh

Harbour Cone

A Harbour Cone pic

A log

A Log

Silhouette

A Flywheel. (of wrecked Victory)

Bruce on Victory Flywheel.

Bruce on Victory Flywheel.

And A rare extremely-low-tide video of the Victory Flywheel, with Bruce standing on the top

19. 24/11/2010. Trampers. Ryans Beach. M.
Since learnt: “Ryans Beach is entered legally only by the landowner (Penguin Place) and scientists.”

GPS of route, courtesy Ken.

The climb out of Victory Beach up to the headland.

The descent to Ryans Beach.

Pam supporting the mast.

Close-up of the wreck.

Close-up of the wreck.

Smile please. Enjoying the view from the headland.

View from headland of Okia. Older beach lines showing.

18. 11/8/2010 Hikers Pyramids, Victory Beach. Easy. Leaders: Dorothy, Chris.

The Logarithmics ? – Lunch on an accommodating log. (Bill pic and caption)

17. 19/8/2009 Hikers Victory Beach, return road. Easy. Leaders: Mollie.
16. 29/7/2009 Trampers. Larger of two pyramids, Victory Beach, return lupins. Leaders: Arthur H, Ian.

click to enlarge

"Elephant" Pyramid. Note the elephant: ears, eyes, trunk, shoulders, curled trunk. (Bill pic and caption)

“Elephant” Pyramid. Note the elephant: ears, eyes, trunk, shoulders, curled trunk. (Bill pic and caption) Pat, Ian

"Large" Pyramid. (Bill pic and caption

“Large” Pyramid. (Bill pic and caption

Ascending Margaret Hazel Slope

Ascending Margaret Hazel Slope. George, Pat, Sabina, Doug, Glenice, Bill, Arthur

Ascending Larger Pyramid

Ascending Larger Pyramid. Club members barely detectable on skyline.

On Large Pyramid. (Bill pic and caption). Who? Ian, who? Pat, Sabina

On Large Pyramid. (Bill pic and caption). Who? Ian, who? Pat, Sabina

View Towards Beach from the Larger Pyramid

View Towards Beach from the Larger Pyramid

View from larger Pyramid to Planation

View from larger Pyramid to Planation

Starting the descent

Starting the descent. George, Glenice, Pat, Sabina.

Striations on nearby cliff

Striations on nearby cliff

The Two Pyramids. (Arthur H pic)

The Two Pyramids. (Arthur H pic)

Through dunes to beach

Through dunes to beach. Pat, Sabina, Arthur

Paddle Wheel of Victory Ship

Fly Wheel of Victory Ship at low tide. (Arthur pic)

A scene. (Arthur H pic)

A scene. (Arthur H pic)

Harbour Cone from Inlet

Harbour Cone from Inlet

Returning to Pyramid

Returning to Pyramid

15. 1/10/2008. Both. Pyramids, Victory Beach. Medium. Leaders: Bill H. Lesley, Molly.
14. 20/2/2008 Pyramids, Victory Beach. Leaders: Bob, Neil.

Another lovely Wednesday, as we have come to expect over the years. Large muster of 21 hikers today, due possibly because it was another beach walk and a very popular one at this time of the year. It was the Pyramids and Victory beach. After parking cars and getting everyone organised and over the stile, it was along to the Pyramids for morning tea. Refreshed and ready to go, it was on down the track to the beach. How very pleasant and enjoyable it was. The sun made the sea really sparkle, and the seals and sea lions were out frolicing or lying in the sun relaxing on the rocks or the sand as the fancy took them. We went to the left first as far as we could to the rocks. Then we turned round and walked to the other end of the beach, watching the seals and sea lions playing or resting as we went along. Cameras got plenty of use and I’m sure we’ve got some good photos to keep in our collections. Lunch was at the Papanui Inlet end of the beach and a very pleasant place to sit and relax it was. On round the end of the beach and back across the grass by the cribs and then the swampy bit to the road. Some of us didn’t have to walk all the way back to cars as Bob H. and Peter went and picked up drivers to save some of that road walking. Very good hike, enjoyed by all. – Bev

Basalt Rock above cave at Pyramids. (Bill pic)

Basalt Rock above cave at Pyramids. (Bill pic)

Basalt rock on slope of Pyramid. (Bill pic)

Basalt rock on slope of Pyramid. (Bill pic)

Tea break at Pyramids cave. Chris, Joyce. (Bill pic)

Tea break at Pyramids cave. Chris, Joyce. (Bill pic)

Sealion in rocks (Bill pic)

Sealion in rocks (Bill pic)

Sealion stretching? (Bill pic)

Sealion stretching? (Bill pic)

Tangled seals (Bill pic)

Tangled seals (Bill pic)

13. 15/2/2007. Hikers. Pyramids, Victory Beach. Easy. Leaders: Bob H, Margaret D.
12. 15/2/2006. Hikers. Pyramids, Victory Beach. Leaders: Les and Margaret, Mary M.
11. 27/10/2004. Both. Pyramids, Victory Beach. Easy. Leaders: Graham, Ian, Ann R, Chris, Betty
Cave in Pyramid.

Cave in Pyramid.

Ships Wheel? of "Victory"

Paddle Wheel of “Victory” Ship

Drift wood. Dog?

Drift wood on Victory Beach. Dog?

10. 3/9/2003. All. Pyramids. Easy. Leaders: Lesley S, Catherine.
Glenice, Bill, Bob, Ria. Track access to Victory Beach

Glenice, Bill, Bob, Ria. Track access to Victory Beach

Okia Reserve Track. Dot? in rear.

Okia Reserve Track. Dot? in rear.

9. 4/12/2002. All. Pyramids, Victory Beach. Easy. Leaders: Lesley S, Evelyn C, Pam McD
8. 4/7/2001. Combined. Pyramids – Ryans Beach. Easy+. Leaders: George, Ray and Diana.
7. 21/7/1999. Victory Beach, Pyramids. Leaders: Chris, Sylvia, Diana.
6. 10/3/1999. Pyramids – Victory Beach. Leaders: Barbara McC, Sabina, Irene.
5. 18/2/1998. Victory Beach, Pyramids, Ryans Beach. Leaders: Chris, Bev H, Ria H.
4. 30/10/1996. Victory Beach – Pyramids. Average. Leaders: Joan H, Ria H, Jean
3. 31/5/1995. Pyramids, Victory Beach, Ryans Beach. Medium. Leaders: Shirley McN, Mary Y, Betty B, Margaret D
2. 16/2/1994. Pyramids, Taiaroa Hill. Medium. Leaders: Shirley McN, Denise, Alison, Mary Y. Easier alternative: Leaders: Bev McI, Frances M.
1. 23/3/1988. Victory Beach and Pyramids. Seals, penguins, rock formations. Leaders: Kath R, Dave M.

2 responses so far




2 Responses to “Pyramids, Victory Beach”

  1.   Angelaon 19 Aug 2010 at 12:50 pm

    Great write up & fotos. Tnx to All .Angela

  2.   Angelaon 30 Nov 2010 at 9:55 am

    Sounds like an excellant day

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