18 – 19 July 2020.
A small group of intrepid trampers departed for Lake Tutira in appalling weather conditions to have a social weekend away to recover from the lock-down. We arrived in the truck plus two vehicles where we were greeted by Kirsty Christison, one of the curators, who gave us a Health and Safety briefing before showing us around the accommodation.
After sorting out sleeping arrangements and depositing the massive amount of food, we all sat down to have a cuppa, chat, read papers and attempt crosswords. Outside light rain was falling and some were contemplating walking around the arboretum. Four hardy souls donned wet weather gear and wandered around the southern area, accompanied by a family of fantails feasting on the bugs we were disturbing. Some of the plants/trees were still in bloom and we had misty vistas of the lake and surrounds.
After lunching a group walked to Guthrie Smith’s plaque via the original rock garden and through The Hangar, a QE II listed area, wandering along the different pathways, finally ending up at the Memorial Church. A communal dinner was enjoyed and games were played in front of the fire and still the rain came down.
Sunday was a much improved, with sunshine, so 5 of us hopped in Murry’s car and drove to the end of the camping ground. We wandered along the lake-shore looking at the plantings, exploring the small peninsula’s ( Oporae Pa site and Apu te Rangi), and finding a memorial seat acknowledging Sheila Cunningham. We walked along part of the Galbraith track and Kahikanui track before crossing very waterlogged farmland back to the car. Meanwhile, in our absence, the rest of the group finally left the comfort of the lodge and explored the arboretum.
After lunch we cleaned up the accommodation block and had a final chat with Kirsty before departing early afternoon. After some discussion in the back, we decided to stop off at White Pine Bush, wandering through this whilst Peter educated some of us with the different botanical species found here. A lazy weekend with like-minded folk- a true way to recover from the lock-down.
Party: Lex & Anne S, Murray A, Dave M, Alan P, Christine S, Peter B, Glenda H, Anne D and Susan L