Feb 20 2019

Doctors Point, McKessar, Mopanui, Ridgeline

Published by under Beach,Trampers

37 km from car park to Mopanui Road end, and 40 km to
foot of McKessar Road.

The stone-walled ruins on Mckessar Track

11. 20/2/2019. Trampers. McKessar circuit from Doctors Point. Leaders: Jill D and Judy D

Another great day for 12 trampers to head north to Waitati then out to Doctors Point where we parked to do a circuit trip.
We started out along the beach while the tide was low and access to the walk through caves possible .Morning tea was up at the Mapoutahi Pa a near perfect spot – calm sea and generally uninterrupted panorama.

G.2nd-A view heading to Maori Pac

A view heading to Maori Pa. Gordon pic and caption.)

From the pa it was a road walk around the Purakaunui inlet for the hill climb to the Purakaunui (now unused) train station, where we started a long steady climb on a well maintained track to the Mopanui Rd, and the deer fence. Throughout our climb we were walking under a  luxuriant canopy of trees – pines and natives.

G.4th--Heading up McKessar Trackc

Heading up McKessar Track. (Gordon pic and caption.)

Some visited the derelict stone house en route.

G.5th--Studying old stone house remainsc

Studying old stone house remains. (Gordon pic and caption.)

At the top where we had lunch with some great views esp towards the Silver Peaks and Pulpit rock, where we had been the previous week. Below was the Blueskin Bay filling up with the incoming tide and also the Orokonui reserve and predator proof fence line. Quite a feature in the area is the dry stone (locally sourced) walls withstanding the test of time throughout the elements of nature. These craftspeople were very patient and skilled in their workmanship. We followed both the deer fence part way and stonewall down through a Manuka and Kanuka plantation to just above Doctors Point again some spectacular views of the surrounding areas. From here it was on a formed road walk back to the cars. Approx 13 kms. Coffee was at Blueskin Bay nurseries.

G.8th--Makes it all worth-whilec

Makes it all worth-while. (Gordon pic and caption)

– Jill D

10. 26/9/2018. Hikers. Mopanui Ridgeline Track. Leaders: Bob and Jan.

17 hardy hikers braved the elements & set out to walk the Mopanui Ridgeline Track (also known as White’s Track).   2 cars travelled up Mount Cargill Road into Mopanui Road where we commenced our hike.  2 cars drove around Doctors Point Road and parked up beside the railway line (our destination) then Bob drove the passengers up to Mopanui Road in his 12 seater to join the rest of the party and have our morning tea in a sheltered area before setting off.

It was a gusty wind that followed us down the track but we managed to keep on our feet and soon came to an area with a canopy of tall trees which was a welcome relief.

(Jan B. pic.)

We came out to a clearing again and it was a short walk down to the finish of the track where we had an early lunch in the shelter of the rock wall behind us.

(Jan B. pic.)

We climbed over the stile

(Jan B. pic.)

and made our way down the road, stopping to view Warrington beach and the township beyond

(Jan B. pic.)

then continued on down the road to our cars.  We transported the drivers who had their cars back up the hill and a few of us walked the 1k or so back to Blueskin Cafe for refreshments and a chat.
A good day out and no-one got blown away!!
– Jan & Bob

9. 29/8/2018. Hikers. McKessar Track from Foot. E. Leaders: Jim and Betty.

The sun was not shining when we left the car park and as we approached Port Chalmers it looked like it would be a day destined for coffee only.  As we continued our journey, there was a marked improvement in the weather as we reached the Purakaunui Railway Park.  From the car park the walk was down hill to Sea level then back up the road to the cars for the morning tea break.  All the Twenty Two then walked up to our lunch stop at Mopanui Road where we sat with our heads in the cloud.  The up hill climb included a breather to marvel at in the relics of the McKessar Homestead.  We descended back down the track & into the cars for our refreshment stop at the Plazza Café.  Conditions could be described as a little moist. – Betty & Jim Finnie

8. 15/11/2017. Hikers. Purakaunui Station. McKessar Track, Mopanui Road. E. Leaders: Jim and Betty.

Route map, courtesy Ian.

Starting off from the site of the old Purakanui railway station, a party of twenty hikers made the short road walk down hill to the Purakaunui inlet for an then returned, for the morning tea stop at the cars.

(Clive pic.) [Cars at the station a first for the Club. – Ed.]

This was followed by the hike up the McKessar Track in very pleasant conditions to our lunch stop at the end of Mopanui Road.  We had a breather on the uphill climb where Ian showed us the relics of the old McKessar homestead.

(Clive pic.)

An after-lunch

(Clive pic.)

stroll beyond the road end, took us to a point which gave us an excellent view to the north.  Little time was required for the pleasant stroll down hill back to the cars, which took us to our refreshment stop at the stadium Plaza cafe. –  Betty and Jim

7. 25/5/2016. Trampers. Doctors Point, Canoe Beach, Osborne Rd, Purakanui Station Rd, McKessar Rd, Deer Fence, White Rd, Doctors Point Rd. M. Leaders: Neil and Carole.

Wednesday 25th was the perfect day – light cloud, blue seas, 2kph breeze, when 10 trampers assembled at Orokonui (Waitati) junction and headed over to Doctors Point parking area at 9.45am.

The walk along the beach and through the arches (almost dry-footed) led us to the rocky foreshore.  However the tide being an hour off low-tide required boulder-hopping skills on the cliff side of the rocks to ensure dry feet….

Start and round rocks. (Helen pic and caption.)

Start and round rocks. (Helen pic and caption.)

Beyond the rocks we had morning tea under a lone pine tree and then moved on to circuit the Pa site and admire the view.

Beach from the Pa. (Helen pic and caption.)

Beach from the Pa. (Helen pic and caption.)

On to the beach, Osborne Road which we branched off to walk through the pines and view the old Maori Cemetery (Purakaunui Urupa) which a couple had not been to before. 35 minutes later we returned to the road following the estuary, turned into Purakanui Station Road and uphill to the railway line.

Lunchtime:  3 minutes on, no gorse, no blackberries in the middle of the walking track so a good place to sit!  (Not the railway track.)

Lunch up above railway line. (Helen pic and caption.)

Lunch up above railway line. (Helen pic and caption.)

We passed the old stone house relics at the lower end of McKessler track where someone was doing reparation work for the owner, Jill Hamel, an 84 year old archaeologist who lives in Anne Street, Roslyn.  (Neil rang and spoke to this lady!)

Continued up McKesslar track which ends at the road by the Orokonui predator fence and the drystone wall.

Beautiful rock wall up top of tramp. (Helen pic and caption.)

Beautiful rock wall up top of tramp. (Helen pic and caption.)

We followed the deer fence down, turned into ‘gorse alley’, bypassed an uncleared section by going through a paddock and then back onto the now excellent lower track.  Looking across the slightly misty tidal flats …

Moody view over Estuary. (Helen pic and caption.)

Moody view over Estuary. (Helen pic and caption.)

… and down to White Road brought us back to our cars at 3.00 pm after 14.5 kms. Pleasant tramping days tend to end at the local coffee shop and this was no exception.- Carole.

6. 9/3/2016. Hikers. Mopanui Road, McKessar Track, Albert Road. E. Leaders: Bev, Lesley.

GPS of McKessar trek

GPS of McKessar trek

Horse Drinking Trough on Mount Cargill Road.

Horse Drinking Trough on Mount Cargill Road.

Orokonui Village

Orokonui Village

Hikers' cuppa at top of McKessar Track

Hikers’ cuppa at top of McKessar Track

5. 9/10/2013. Trampers. Doctors Point, Canoe Beach, Osborne Rd, Purakanui Station Rd, McKessar Rd, Deer Fence, White Rd, Doctors Point Rd. Medium.

GPS of McKessar route

GPS of route, courtesy Ken. Doctors Point, Mapoutahi Pa, Osbourne, McKessar Track, Deer Fence, White Road.

I messed up with the GPS, as I forgot to turn it off when we got back to the car. However, we estimate that we walked approx 13km [as it was 8.? something to the top of McKessar Track, ] We climbed about 350mtrs to the highest point, which was the top of McKessar Track.

5 of us made our way along Doctor’s Point beach to the Mapoutahi Pa site, where we had morning tea just after 10am in the shelter of a large Macrocarpa tree. We then went & explored the Pa site for a while, before setting off along the Access Rd to Osbourne, where a climb up to the railway line set the blood circulating a bit faster.
The walk up McKessar Track was interesting, as it has been completely cleared, the water tables have been cleaned out, & gravel has been spread on some parts as well. During lunch break,…

Lunch at McKessar Track

Lunch at McKessar Track. (Ken pic and caption.)

… we had a visit from a man who works for the two women who own the land there, & he filled us in with quite a bit of knowledge on the area etc. We also had a discussion on which way to go down to Doctors Point again, either along the Orokonui fence, or down the deer fence. He was sure that the deer fence route was not available, but as I had rung Ian on his cell phone from our lunch spot, & he had told us to go down the deer fence, that is what we decided to do, & that worked out OK, with just a bit of gorse on the way down the 4WD track below the deer fence to negotiate. It was then just a walk along White Rd, & Doctors Point Rd back to the cars.
All agreed that it was a good day, especially after we stopped off at the Waitati Coffee shop for refreshments on the way home!- Ken

4. 21/3/2013. Ken and Ian found the gorse alongside the deer fence had been sprayed and passage was possible again. But ascent to Mopanui from McKessar Track, although the track is detectable at both ends has still a middle bit where we could not find a way through to the track on the other side! Perhaps two, one coming down from Mopanui and another up from McKessar, equipped with radio contact could find the way through, because that part must not be very extensive.

3. 27/5/2009. Trampers. Doctors Point, Canoe Beach, Osborne Rd, Purakanui Station Rd, McKessar Rd, Mopanui, Mopanui Rd, White Rd, Doctors Point Rd. Medium+. Leader: Ian

The feeling was magical starting out on the beach on such a clear morning.
click to enlarge

Beach expanse. Doctors Point. Cave in distance.

Beach expanse. Doctors Point. Cave in distance. Beach expanse. Doctors Point. Cave in distance.

The tide was so far out it was easy to walk even round the outside of the caves, to stop for morning tea at the far end of Canoe Beach.

Morning Tea. Canoe Beach. Looking back at cave.

Morning Tea. Canoe Beach. Looking back at cave. Morning Tea. Canoe Beach. Looking back at cave.

We were shocked to find the road from the beach under so much flooding. After MUCH thought, there was nothing for it but to charge? through.

Ria carefully negotiating flooded road just up from beach.

Ria carefully negotiating flooded road just up from beach.

We encountered dip after flooded dip in the road, each of us tackling them in our respective timid or reckless ways.

Sabina emerging from flooded road

Sabina emerging from flooded road

The flooding was not just on the road of course. It went right back to the cliffs, down which a waterfall was coming. A sight we had never witnessed before and hopefully will never again.

Waterfall. In shadow). Cause of all the flooding.

Waterfall (barely discernable on right edge of shadow. Cause of all the flooding.

Yet another dip. Probably the last one, although the road proper beyond still had rivulets in it.

Managing to stay out of yet another flooded part.

Managing to stay out of yet another flooded part.

We had news for the hikers whom we surprised on a corner coming the other way. Their walk was due to be rather truncated and hopes of lunching on Canoe Beach to be shattered. (We doubted many of them would appreciate wet feet.)

Meeting (and warning) Hikers coming the other way. Nr Osborne.

Meeting (and warning) Hikers coming the other way. Osborne Road. Our destination towering in background.

We turned up the Purakanui Station Road (near Osbourne) and crossed the railway into the newly-signed McKessar Track, beautifully cleared. Further across the north flank of Mopanui we turned off up the zig-zag track that eventually took us to the marker indicating the route up to Mopanui. Here we lunched. Sabina and Ian made it to the Mopanui trig, Ria cautiously turning back, to avoid possibly slipping on the large rocks near the top, were they to turn out to be wet.

Looking down ridge from Mopanui. Sanctuary fence glinting in sun.

Looking down ridge from Mopanui. Sanctuary fence glinting in sun.

Sabina photoed Ian on Mopanui. Potato Point in background.

Sabina photoed Ian on Mopanui. Potato Point in background.

We met Ria back down at the track junction and made our way out to the Mopanui Road, avoiding the worst of the gorse. Down at the end of the road, and adjacent to the other end of the  Mckessar Track, the owner of the farmland had taken the trouble to leave the upper and lower gates unlocked, so we could avoid the encroaching gorse on the outside of the deer fence. Earlier delays had lengthened our day so we stopped for afternoon tea mid-way down the paddocks on some convenient rock outcrops. Then it was out through the far gate and on down the long FWD track to the top of White Road, down that and back along the road to Doctors Point and the car. A good day. – Ian

2. 22/11/2006. Doctors Point, Mopanui. (Low tide 11.26am). Moderate. Leaders: Ria L, Hazel.

1. 5/10/1992.Trampers. Osborne from Doctors Point. Av. Leaders: Eric and Dot, Molly, Mavis.

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