Sunday, June 25, 2017

Mason Bay - April 2017 (part 2)

The coast line is pretty rugged on the southern side of The Gutter and had some spectacular views. The track down to Doughboy Bay is one I haven't done yet - will save that for another adventure.

Google map of the Ernest Islands with the lagoon at its southern tip
- the red X marks our lunch spot
Kev's photo of one of the miniature trees at our lunch spot

Looking inland

Steep cliffs and blue water

Kev wading out into the lagoon toward the hill we climbed
Enough exploring! It was time to head back to Mason Bay Hut but not without a small detour to see the Kilbride Homestead. Initially made a township reserve in the 1870s, it became a run of about 7,000 acres first leased in 1902 and running as a sheep farm until 1995. Around 100 years earlier it was the site of a traditional Māori settlement led by the Bluff chief, Te Wera. The two-bedroom Kilbride Homestead was built in 1927 by George and Stanford Leask, and is now owned by a family trust.

Kev outside Kilbride
The weather was on the change as we walked back up the beach giving some great photo opportunities. The fore dune (the dune closest to the beach) changes considerably along the length of the bay - DOC has an extensive marram-eradication programme underway - read a comprehensive article by NZ Geographic here if you are interested.

Outgoing tide and lovely clouds as we walked back up the beach

Rainbows hinting that rain might be on the way

Dramatic rays as the cloud thickened
Getting back to Duck Creek was welcome - the walk back seemed twice as long as the walk down! Great to get back to the hut for a very welcome cuppa.


  1. Great post! Was that short tree a teteaweka? Olearia oporina? Just curious. Wonderful photos as usual.

  2. Kia ora, Cathy, lovely to hear from you. I'm not sure about the short tree - I came across teteaweka with old flowers on at the same time (see but I don't recall seeing any flowerheads on the short tree. First time I've seen teteaweka - will definitely be on the lookout for them in the future. Also confused between Olearia oporina, O. angustifolia and O. avicenniaefolia so I may have got it wrong!

  3. More info on teteaweka here

  4. Thanks for that link. I will check it out.

  5. Good article about its history and uses. I've grown it before but have just never seen a short/miniature version which is what that picture looked like. Maybe it's not teteaweka?

  6. Was that a windy/exposed spot where nothing is very tall?

  7. Kia ora, Cathy. The small trees were growing toward the top of the hill so it would have been pretty exposed to the west and southwest winds. There were taller trees not far from this one but I didn't look to see what they were. I'll put the short tree version up on NatureWatch and see what the experts say.

  8. Good idea. It's funny that it's not growing at an angle due to wind exposure, but maybe that's the strength of the wood. It's a wonder that these natives are so well-adapted to the southern conditions but they are! Cheers

    1. Hi Cathy - have put up higher-res photo on NatureWatch and hope that someone will ID it soon. Am always amazed at how plants adapt so well; they'll need it for the future. Always good to hear from you, thanks for your comments :)