Mount Herbert!

Exactly 8 months after our first attempt to reach Mount Herbert on 27 July, we made it to the summit of the tallest hill on the Banks Peninsula.

This time we picked a different track to the top. Whereas last time we started at Orton Bradley Park and had a tricky trail to follow, this time we drove all the way around to the town of Little River and then up a gravel road to a different trailhead.

While the elevation is 919 meters, we started at around 700 meters this time, and would hike across two ridgelines above the Kaituna Valley and the Purau Bay.

DOC estimated 2 1/2 hours from our starting point to the Mount Herbert summit and shelter. We started at 12:25 and only walked about 15 minutes before we stopped at a nice group of boulders for a picnic lunch (peanut butter and jelly for the kids and fruit; chicken and spinach wraps and fruit for James and me).

We saw some cows and a few sheep as we continued on, barely a cloud in the sky as we hiked through the tussock.

Starting at the Port Levy Saddle, Banks Peninsula.
The trail was mostly pastureland and tussock with some scrubby trees along the saddles.

Evelyn says, “It was very open. There weren’t a lot of trees” so we had a lot of views in all directions.

Bright sun!

Charlotte: “The weather was very hot and sunny.” (The high today was 21C–69.8F) We enjoyed a lovely light breeze and the quiet of the trail. Which was only interupted by Calvin’s incessant talking.

Calvin: “In my whole life, I have so many things I think about and things I want to say that I am not quiet at all, except at nighttime when I’m sleeping because I have things I want to do and think about and say in the morningtime…”

View across the bay to the hills we hiked last week, to Christchurch-city, and the Southern Alps!
We made it!! 919 meters (3015 feet) elevation. Background: Kaituna Valley down to Lake Ellsmere and the Pacific Ocean.

We reached the summit in just under 2 hours elapsed time (including about 15 minutes for lunch and several water breaks). Awesome!

Checking that box! Background: Mount Bradley to the left, Port Hills, Canterbury Plains, and Southern Alps to the right. Photo credit: Calvin.

I really did feel a sense of accomplishment reaching the top of the Banks Peninsula, after the disappointment of missing the top last July. I had warned Mount Herbert that we’d be back, and we did it this time. 🙂

Our hike back down (DOC said 1 hour, 40 minutes) was a pleasant walk. The girls led the way most of the journey, with Cal and me bringing up the rear. We arrived back at the carpark at about 4:30pm, with plenty of water, daylight, and energy left.




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