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27 May 2007

Mt Donald McLean Walk

page 1

Let's get the confusion sorted out straight away. This is the Mt Donald McLean Walk, which shares a starting point with the Donald McLean Track.

It's a top grade short (15 minute) walking track, carefully drained, surfaced with fine gravel, and with a gentle and even slope all the way up to the viewing platform at the top. You could do it in evening dress, though possibly not in high heels.

From the Huia museum its about 3.7 km to the turnoff to Mt Donald McLean, and another 800m or so up the hill where a large carpark awaits. No broken glass visible on cursory inspection.

We start from the carpark

and as you can see it's park quality.

The side of the track is somewhat scrubby, with its share of pampas and gorse

and we begin a slow and gently rising spiral

A young lancewood intrudes a leaf across the view to the east

It looks as if it should be raining, but it's a bit short of that yet.

A small valley to the right detracts from the perfection of the spiral, but one cannot define perfection in the abstract. Can one? Alice is waiting for me to stop dawdling.

About a couple of hundred metres from the top a small side track takes us to a bench set in a sheltered possie on the hillside. Miranda takes the opportunity, out of the wind, to get a shot or two.

photo by miranda woodward

photo by miranda woodward

I grab a shot or two myself and we make a note that this will be an ideal lunch stop on the way down

We continue up the immaculately surfaced track, and now the earlier scrub is replaced by an entirely more lush vegetation

We're almost full circle and almost at the top

photo by miranda woodward

Here's the trig station

and a close up gets us some extra information

In accordance with local custom, significant information is rendered also in Maori.

Some fairly dark clouds are gathering to the west, where our weather normally comes from. We have a brief consultation and decide we can probably take in at least some of the Donald Mclean Track after lunch

photo by miranda woodward

I'm guessing this is a matai, but it's not a tree I'm familiar with. I'm going on my memory of Salmon's photographs in The Native Trees of New Zealand

It's blowing a near gale up here, so we head back down the hill and get the thermos and bacon sandwiches out. There's what I think might be a libertia just behind the seat, and Miranda with the macro lens checks it out

A later check confirms it as Libertia ixioides.

To the left of the pic is a kaka beak, kowhai ngutu-kaka

And here's a reddish leaved Hebe. I'm hesitant to attach any species name to this genus, aprt from the more or less universal Hebe stricta or koromiko

Back down to the carpark, and over to the Donald McLean Track. It's been a good day for walking so far.




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