Meeting at the Ferry Buildings, Pier 4, we departed at 8.45am. Calm fine weather gave us a very pleasant
trip of 75 min to the island. The DOC Rangers gave us an introduction to the island before we gathered
at Home Bay for introductions, and morning tea at the Visitor Centre. Barbara shared a reflection about
Jesus’ experiences on the sea with his disciples and how His words could also be an encouragement to
Dividing into two groups, Christine and Ian Marshall led one, Ann and Barbara S led the other
in different directions around the southern loop tracks, visiting Mai Mai Bay and Lookout, Cable Bay,
the North Tower and Cemetery. We all met at Ladies Bay for a relaxed time with swimming, beach and rock
exploration and lunch.
In the heat of the day we headed to the Visitor Centre to view the exhibits
about the history of the island as a rehabilitation Centre for Alcoholics and Drug dependents. Leila
was keen to read about her Great Grandmother’s family who were involved in the past. (Unfortunately
Leila had fallen at the Visitor Centre and had to rest, and missed the walk to this lookout!) Some also
visited the Chapel, the Schoolhouse and the Jail house!
Afternoon walks were to the northern end
of the island, the Chris Booth Sculpture and Ruthe Point Lookout (named after Leila’s great grandmother!).
Takahe and Saddleback were also seen enjoying their environment. We were warned about the cheeky, inquisitive
wekas. They were keen to check out our lunches!
On such a beautiful day there were stunning,
almost 360 degree views from the North and South Towers of the surrounding islands like Waiheke, Brown’s
Island and Ponui.
Our departure from the island, scheduled for 5.15pm, was delayed till 5.45pm
because the extra low tide had to come in sufficiently for the ferry to access the wharf. Everyone enjoyed
their day visiting a lesser known island on a superb summer day!