19 June 2008
Edwards Lookout Track
We spent a long weekend at the Coromandel Peninsula, and on the last day, due at Miranda for a visit about 1.30pm or thereabouts, we decided to spend an hour or two in the Kaueranga Valley, a little to the west of Thames, to fill in the time. We called at the DoC office and the extremely helpful young lady took a guarded look at my mature figure and pointed us at the Edwards Track, with another we could continue when we'd finished if we still had time in hand.
Admittedly this one is uphill all the way to the lookout, but it's a motorway track, and a gentle grade. I get up to the top with plenty of time for photos, hang about enjoying the view and get back again in a fatman time of 35 minutes. Humpphh. We took it for a 90 minute job there and back. Nope.
It's a drive of several km from the Doc office and we park by the gate to the Whangaiterenga Campground, closed for the winter.
The track starts about 100m down the road.
You can see that at times the ford carries a good deal of water and other odd bits and pieces.
We reach the track and start up. As I said, motorway. It's pretty much like this all the way up.
One of my favourite mosses covers a clay bank
In fact there's a wonderful variety of moss along here.
We climb gently through a fairly open scrub/regenerating bush area.
Npw and again we emerge from the tall kanuka to a more open and hardy vegetation
There's a small mingimingi and some koromiko against a mossy clay background.
Some heketara (front) and behind it some hangehange, with a bunch of Blechnum novaezelandiae, the palm leaf fern, as background.
Here's a young Schefflera - or is it a Pseudopanax.
and a luminous pale green fern that I recognise but cannot name.
This one looks like a large and rounder leaved mingimingi. It's very common around Whangarei, and there's a specimen or two on the tracks around Huia. It has quite a striking white flower. It's a mairehau (Phebalium nudum).
We're now into some serious climbing....not...
and the environment becomes just a little tougher. Here's one of the markers for such territory:
Another set of steps
and round the corner is Miranda doing the intrepid explorer bit.
I clamber up beside her buit I feel distinctly uneasy. The rock is hard and offers very little puchase for my sticks, and the backs of my knees are destabilising at a good rate. I grab a pic down the valley we have driven through,
find a softer spot where my sticks can be of use, and enjoy the scenery. There's still a fair bit of mist around even late morning. We head back down. I am in good spirits, aware of a tune running through my head over and over. I identify it after a moment or two as "He's Gone" from the Grateful Dead.
"Like a steam locomotive, rolling down the track....". Yes, well.
On the way down I spot a plant or two I missed on the way up. Here's a rangiora:
and here's the delicate tracery of a putaputaweta.
This one, according to Miranda, is a barcode fern.
Back at the bottom again. That didn't take long.
We walk back up the road to the van and the start of the second path, which we can call the "Via innominata" as there is nowhere any indication that it has a name, nor can I find any later on.