May 24 2017

Purakaunui, Mopanui, north face, ret.

Published by under Trampers

4. 24/5/2017. Trampers. Purakaunui to Mopanui, return. M. Leaders: Neil and Margreet.
10 Trampers travelled in 3 cars, via Port Chalmers, to park at Purakaunui.
Our tramp began at 10 am in cloudy and cool conditions, which remained all day – ideal for tramping. Some sunshine though.
The morning tea stop was at the small picnic park beside the Purakaunui inlet.
We continued on to the top of the inlet, and then up “Purakanui Station Road” to the railway line. Not too much conversation as we walked up the road, due to the steeper gradient no doubt.
We followed the McKessar Track for a little, before turning on to a 4WD forestry track to take us in the direction of Mopanui. At one stage the track was getting rather overgrown with gorse, but we battled through.
Further on we came across a man cutting firewood. After a brief stop the group continued on, but had a long wait further on as two trampers had had to stop for a long chat with the “chainsaw man“.

The last uphill stage was through the bush, and got steeper, rockier and rougher. But we topped out at 12-15, to have our lunch (with a great view) beside the trig on top of Mopanui.

Lunch on Mopanui. (Arthur pic and caption.)

The south-west breeze was just a little cool here, though.

After enjoying the view and our lunch we moved on, the descent towards the Orokonui Sanctuary being a bit tricky to begin with on account of all the rocks, care being necessary.
However we were soon out on the road, to follow it down to the top of McKessars Track. We were able to admire “The Orokonui Drystone Wall”, a DOC sign giving information about it as we passed.

On the way down McKessars Track, we turned aside to look again at the stone walled ruins

Dairy and cowshed? (Keith pic and caption.)

of the McKessar house and farm shed.

Carol at McKessar house. (Arthur pic and caption.)

Downhill now, we were soon back to the beginning of our circuit up on to Mopanui, and from then on we were retracing our morning’s steps till regaining the cars at 3 pm.

Much birdlife had been noted during the day’s tramp, and at the top of the inlet on the return journey we were lucky enough to see 2 kingfishers, their brilliant colours showing up well in the sunshine.

Looking back to where we’d been. (Arthur pic and caption.)

One dived into the water, but we couldn’t tell if any prey had been caught.

In the morning the tide was right out as we walked around the inlet, but on the return journey it was full tide, which was much more enjoyable.

Today’s tramp was 14.6 km (thanks Keith), and Mopanui is 468 metres high.

Weary end. (Arthur pic and caption.)

One carload headed back to Mosgiel, and 2 carloads stopped at Emersons on the way for “drinkies”.
And a good day was had by all! – Art, (substitute leader).
3. 26/11/2014. Trampers. Purakaunui to Mopanui, return.
Purakanui Mopanui McKesslers Track. (Ken pic and caption)

Purakaunui Mopanui McKessar Track. (Ken pic and caption) GPS of route courtesy Ken. Walked 13.8km; Ave 4.3km/h; Time 3hr 10min; climbed 800m; max elevation 483m

We changed the scheduled tramp a bit this time, as the tides didn’t suit what we wanted to do. So we started at the far end of Purakaunui in the old garage car park, & walked the shoreline track around to the causeway at the head of Purakaunui Inlet. Then it was up the hill through the outskirts of Osborne, across the railway line, & onto the bottom of McKessar Track. From the next junction, we had a discussion on whether we should try the original way up to Mopanui, or continue on McKessar Track, & approach Mopanui from the Orok0nui side. We decided on the original, with the knowledge that we may have to retrace our steps, as in the past, we have not been able to find the correct way through the bush, & onto the rocky track leading up to the trig on top. However, after a couple of false leads, we managed to find a way up past some impressive stone walls, & onto a track that lead us to the marked track through the bush, & onto the rocky track up to the trig. [Bravo! Ed.]
When we arrived at the top, after the steep climb, we had to find shelter from the very strong wind that was blowing up there, so we could eat our lunch without getting blown off the mountain.
After lunch, we went down the other side onto Mopanui Rd. along here to McKessar Track, & back down to Osborne again, stopping on the way to show some of the group the old stone house ruins, as they had not been in this area before.Then it was back around the shoreline track to the car.
We all agreed that it was a good walk, with great views, & some nice sunshine to keep the temperature at a good level. – Ken

Enjoying the view from the top of Mopanui. (Ken pic and caption)

Enjoying the view from the top of Mopanui. (Ken pic and caption)

2. 20/3/2013. Trampers. Purakaunui to Mopanui, return.

Osborne Mopanui wrong way. GPS courtesy Ken

Osborne Mopanui wrong way. (Ken GPS, pic and caption)

Trig a the top of Mopanui (Ken pic and caption)

Trig a the top of Mopanui (Ken pic and caption)

 

Pura

Purakaunui Potato Point from the top [of Mopanui] (Ken pic and caption)

1. 12/5/2010. Trampers. Purakaunui to Mopanui, return. Leaders: Sabina, George.
The planned Doctors Point starting point was changed to Purakaunui, thanks to Ian having misread high tide time from low tide on the tide  tables.

At Purakaunui waterfront. Mopanui shrouded in mist.

The day was calm and fine. We set off on the Osbourne track around the inlet, stopping for morning tea on a sunny embankment. Station Road was as steep as ever as we climbed to the old Purakanui Station. Across the railway and it was up and along the McKessar Track till we reached the beginning of the zigzag gorse-strewn track that would take us up to Mopanui. Autumn grass was heavy and long. George had done some gorse clearing so it was not too bad. We avoided one gorse overgrown ‘zig’ (or was it ‘zag’?) corner by short-cutting through some manuka. We finally arrived at the bush track leading directly up to the top. A bit overgrown, but again, not too bad. A clamber over the large hilltop boulders and we were on the summit for lunch.

On Mopanui summit. George, Doug, Ken, Ria

Back down at the McKessar Track, we turned left to go farther up it, as George thought we might find it leading down to the Osbourne settlement, to make a round trip of it. A few hundred metres up, and George was inclined to give up and return back down. However, with time still on their side, Ken and Ian were prepared to recce the track to its end at Mopanui Road to see just what was there, the rest returning to the cars.
They did find one or two potential Osbourne leads, and followed one bulldozed track steeply down through some still-young pines but that lead eventually to a blind end and they had to labour back up again. Nearing the top of the McKessar Track, one or two other side roads led off to properties.

Remarkably intact stone ruin towards top of McKessar Track. (Shot taken into sun)

Finally Ken and Ian reached its junction with the Mopanui Road terminus.

Sign at top of McKessar Track. (Ken pic)

Looking up and along Mopanui Road and the ecosanctuary exclusion fence. (Ken pic)

Satisfied they had recced the entire track now, they returned back to the cars. When the got there, they found the rest of the party had arrived just before them, having invested their spare time to rest in the sun on the way.
A very good day, with tramping temperatures just right. – Ian.

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