|The Old Bank in Sefton|
The next township was Ashley. I was surprised to see a school there as it's only a 5 minute drive from Sefton.
Loburn was the next settlement. And surprise, surprise there was a school there too! Great to see these rural school haven't been closed down.
Further on, I found a place for the dogs to have a break. We wandered along a dirt road beside the river - the air was filled with the intense perfume of flowering broom (my Mum's favourite smell).
The farmland around this area is lush and looks to be thriving. There were a couple of irrigators sitting in fields - I don't think they would have had much use recently with the amount of rainfall the area has had.
When I was taking these photos, I happened to glance at the paddock nearby and look who was watching me with its beady eyes? I'm sure it knew I was coming and had planned a surprise attack!
It took about an hour to get to Glentui - normally it would only be about half an hour. I had stopped to take photos and walk the dogs.
My furry-friends are great at patiently waiting while I take photos - I can feel 3 sets of eyes peering at me ... watching my every move.
This stretch of road confirmed that the 'scenic route' was the perfect name.
I turned right onto Glentui Bush Road and followed a winding gravel road for 6 kms until I reached the picnic spot. It's here that tracks of various lengths begin.
I decided to walk the Glentui Loop Track. It was about 3kms long and follows the Glentui River.
The track started among silver beech (tawhai) and black beech trees.
Beech trees provide food for many leaf-eating and wood-boring insects. South Island beeches are infested with scale insects, which produce honeydew - a sugary substance that insects and native birds eat. There were a number of wasps buzzing about. Wasps (which are pests) take most of the honey dew, depriving the native animals from this food source.
I wish when I took a photo it could somehow record and share other senses, such as smell and sound. As I was walking along, the sweet smell of honeydew filled the air and I could hear native birdsong. And the soothing sound of the Glentui River gushing over rocks below. There wasn't a breath of wind - it was so peaceful and therapeutic.
Many different ferns covered the floor.
Some parts of the track were quite steep, which made me realise, I really must improve my fitness. It's a good thing I was alone on the track - no-one could see how many times I stopped after the steep parts to catch my breath!
At the end of this bridge is a little path leading to the river. I took the dogs down for a drink and was also hoping they'd have a paddle. We'd walked over some muddy patches and although I made an effort to stone step around the mud - the dogs ploughed straight through! Because Boo is a wee shorty, she had mud up to her belly (which is nothing new).
And after an hour we were back where we had started from.
This is the hill to the west of the picnic area where we had parked the ute.
Glentui is a fabulous area for walks of different lengths. I'd recommend it.
- 'Glentui Waterfall Track' which is 30 minutes return.
- 'The Glentui Loop Track' which is an hour long.
- 'The Bypass Track' 1 - 2 hours one way.
- "The Mount Richardson Summit Track' which is 3 hours one way.
- "Blowhard Track" which is 3 - 4 hours one way.