My first full day in Akaroa turned out to be quite the adventure. Due to the sheer volume of pictures I have, even once I deleted a bunch, I am going to cover my hike in more than one post.
I got up bright and early (for me, this means before 10 am), and made my way towards the start of the Skyline Track, thanks to my handy DOC map. This walk takes you up the hills surrounding Akaroa and summits Stony Bay Peak. There are multiple options after that, ranging from 5 hours to a full day in total. I decided to see how I felt once I got to the peak.
The path started out on winding country roads, and the morning light was beautiful on the hillsides and farms.
Not a soul in sight, besides some grazing cows.
I can’t even count the number of tree photos I’ve taken since I’ve been in NZ. The trees are all just so beautiful here.
After some uphill climbing on backroads, I reached a trail sign, confirming I was in the right place, which is always nice.
I started from here:
And my destination was here:
As the road became a small winding path, the grade got progressively steeper. When I came out of the woods onto farmland, I could see the rocky peak I was headed for up above me.
I passed many sheep and then came across a tree worthy of Dr. Seuss.
I can never resist the urge to climb trees, and why should I?
I plan to one day make a photo book of just tree shots.
The more I climbed, the better the view became behind me. I had to keep stopping and taking pictures, because I just couldn’t imagine it getting even better.
The craggy summit of Stony Bay Peak loomed above.
I couldn’t have asked for a better day weather-wise.
I came across another tree that I think is now my favorite of all time.
I could never run out of photographic material in this place.
I came across some more sheep near my path on my way up, and one of them I shall now refer to as the “Sheep Creep.” It watched me as I walked the trail near where it was standing, which is pretty standard for wary sheep, but just look at this sheep. It is NOT pleased.
I continued on and sat down on a fence to take a break for a few minutes. As I turned around, I saw that the Sheep Creep was STILL staring me down.
I can SEE you. That tree isn’t hiding you, creep.
I kept going up the path, thinking that this sheep was probably contemplating how it would murder me if only it had the capability to do so.
I turned around and was greeted with the beady eyes of the Sheep Creep still on me.
As you can see, the other sheep could care less, but this one is obviously a psychopath. Yikes. I’m moving on, buddy.
Now, back to the views!
The path wound back and forth along Stony Bay Peak in a series of switchbacks. Akaroa Harbour spread out below me, surrounded by volcanic hills.
Next, the path took me through a lot of gorse and thick bush as I neared the summit.
Finally, I was at the (incredibly windy) top!
I stopped long enough to take some pictures, but after getting battered by wind that almost put Wellington to shame, I decided to choose another spot for my lunch.
Since it was only midday, I decided to continue along the ridge-line and explore further before descending back to town. That will be coming up in my next post!