Spooners Hill, Bellbird Bush Aug 30

The weather forecast for the Tutira area was much better than that for the North Block Road area , where our weekend party had gone, so we decided we would not try and meet up with them but instead head for Pohokura Road. The four of us set of towards Boundary Stream, stopping on the left hand side of the road at Bellbird Bush where there is a stile at the start of the Spooners Hill track. The weather was fine, but a little windy.

Bellbird Bush is a delightful patch of cut-over and regrowth lowland bush with a scattering of older trees. Before long we were heading up towards the viewpoint of Spooners Hill, enjoying the diversity of the bush but noticing the complete lack of any pallatable regeneration. This was even more noticible when we got to the top of the hill where there was a magnificent 360 degree view, but the grass and what little shrubbery that has so far survived was chewed to the nub, with heaps of deer droppings everywhere. It was more reminicent of a deer farm, than a scenic reserve.
We continued on the loop past the “danger tomos sign” and had a great time sticking our noses into some realy interesting karst gullies and tomos. I didn’t find any caves, but some of the tomo were too deep and steep to try without a rope.

After arriving back at the start we walked the short loop track and then drove down the road to Opouahi where we had a walk around the lake, spotting a skink and some dab chicks. We then drove home via the Tutira ice cream shop.

Peter B, Glenda H, Susan L and Anne D

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