Feb 13 2020

Mount Watkin/Hikaroroa Open Day

Published by under Trampers

3. 12//2/2020 Mount Watkins. Leaders Dave and Keith
Mount Watkins (616m) is a volcanic mountain 11km inland from Waikouaiti, surrounded by the Dunedin City Council reserve (650 hectares) and two farms. The goal was to circumnavigate the mountain and climb it.
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Photo and Caption Dave – “The goal.”

The morning was rather foggy so it was decided to leave the climb of Mount Watkins to later in the day. The 15 keen trampers set out early from the entrance to the Mount Watkins reserve administered by the Dunedin City council.
There was a short walk to a hunters hut, where conveniently we had morning tea.
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Photo and Caption Shona – “A convenient hut for morning tea.”

We were surprised that someone had mowed the grass especially for us!

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Photo and Caption Wendy – “There is always plenty to .discuss.”

It was then gradually downhill on an old four wheel drive track. The flora changing from kanuka to native bush.
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Photo and Caption Dave – “Coloured fungi.”

We reached the bottom of the gully where the four wheel drive track ended and there was a stream to cross.
Then it was a steep climb up the other side.
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 This was ably lead by Phil.
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Photo and Caption Dave – “Our up hill leader Phil”

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Photo and Caption Wendy – “Karen you’re doing well!”

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Photo and Caption Wendy – “Neil you’re doing well!”

The climb up was steady, unmarked and animal tracks could be followed.

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Photo and Caption Dave – “Time for a break.”

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Photo and Caption Shona – “At last onto a small grassy plateau.”

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Photo and Caption Shona – “The final push to the top”

On reaching the farm at the top the weather had cleared to a fine day, lunch was had at a second hut.
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Photo and Caption Dave – “Lunch conveniently at the top hut”

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Photo and Caption Shona – “the goal Mount Watkins in the background.”

A walk along farm tracks and an airstrip took us back out to the road. It was then a rather hot walk along the road to the start of the climb. Seven started the climb and the rest walked the road and thankfully brought back the cars to where the climbers would finish.
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Photo and Caption Shona – “Jill ready for the final assault”

The climb up was solid going with rocks, tussocks, spaniards, occasional bushlawyer and the heat to contend with.
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Photo and Caption Shona – “At the trig on the top – we made it!”

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Photo and Caption Wendy – “An amazing view out to the sea in the distance.”

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Photo and Caption Shona – “Tracking down through the columnar basalt to the cars below.”

On reaching the cars (after covering approx. 12.2 km) we headed off to Blueskin nurseries, in time, for well deserved refreshments and a chat.

Yes it was a hard tramp, but well worth the effort!

Keith and Dave

2. 14/11/2010. Mount Watkins / Hikaroroa Open Day.

62 km from car parkSix of us, Bev, Glenis, Ian, Keith, Ken, and Lesley were at the DCC Mt Watkin/Hikaroroa Scenic Reserve on the day – a Reserve noted for its preserved coastal forest in the gully and basalt boulder fields on the mountain slopes. Four of us had arrived early. You wouldn’t know it from the pic, but the wind was ferocious, and we sheltered in various places around the car while waiting for others to turn up.

Morning tea (Ken pic)

The GPS shows Ken’s route to the bottom of the track. A side route shown leads down to a Knoll in the valley side that Glenis, Ian, Keith and Ken explored later in the day. A little further up the main track, Bev and Lesley spent the day ‘personing’ the track entrance to the Boulder Fields (route not shown – see it on GPS pic for 8/11 below), to direct people where to go.

Mt Watkin. Full Track. Courtesy Ken’s GPS.

Down the main track, it was warm and sheltered from the wind. The following pic shows the vegetation preserved in the gully bottom, out of reach of the loggers of earlier days.

Looking up the track down by the stream. (Ken pic)

A good day. 88 turned up in all. Blustery in exposed areas, but not too cold. We felt lucky with the weather, considering the rather bleak forecast. Thanks to the DCC for purchasing and opening up the reserve for us today.- Ian
1. 8/11/2010. Mount Watkin. Ken, Ian.

GPS of most of route, courtesy Ken.

Ken’s GPS map shows the gully south of Mount Watkin very clearly. It was from the bottom of the route than the following pics were taken.

Boulder Fields

As you can see from the next pic, there is the track we came along showing at the bottom. We climbed quite a bit up from it and bush-bashed into part of the boulder field. However, there is a bush-free clear entrance showing quite high up.

Close Up

Columnar basalt

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