Day 40: Windsor to Duntroon

Fri 3 March 2017

  • Km today: 33
  • Total Km: 809

Alps 2 Ocean

I have quite a way to walk today so try to get away as quickly as possible which is difficult when there is such a comfortable bed and breakfast all laid out for me to enjoy. Roger tells me about a new section of the trail which isn’t open yet but I can walk along anyway. As he said it’s like the yellow brick road, wide and newly laid with white stone it’s true you can’t miss it. It is a nice start to the morning as I follow the track on the old railway line. It does end on the track proper with a sign saying not to use it – too late now! Then I go through an aromatic section of pine before the only tunnel on the trail at Rakis. It is dark and water showers from the limestone above which makes it all the more interesting. On the other end the road double backs and climbs a hill. I wonder if I am going the correct way, it’s hot and I’d rather not be going up a hill. There is no shelter from the sun however the views are engaging so I concentrate on looking about instead. The views from Peaks Road are widespread from the coast north of Oamaru right down Dunedin way and then inland. Danseys Pass must be in there somewhere.

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What goes up must come down and so I start following the roads and trails down to the valley floor. As I descend cyclists are panting up the hills in the opposite direction, some having dismounted for this section. I can beam and greet them cheerfully as I walk down easily. The valley farmland is quite dry and boring. It makes going tiring. Limestone escarpments provide some interest before I arrive out onto another road. In this valley floor is the Danseys Pass road. A stiff breeze comes down the road carrying clouds of white limestone dust which is no fun to walk against. I am pleased when the direction changes and the conditions improve. Apple trees help too. Up I go again through farmland until getting closer to the elephant rocks. At Anatini is a fossil of a baleen whale from approximately 25 million years ago. The limestone formations are strange and fragile here, the wind and rain makes for interesting shapes in the stone. The same location was used as a Narnia film set, for the Aslans camp scene.

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A little further along are the elephant rocks. There are many cars parked here so I guess it is quite a popular stop for visitors. Limestone rocks lie in a large bowl in the landscape – it is a photographers paradise and not just the rock formations but also for the mountain views and the bruised sky. I am keen to get to Duntroon however so don’t stay too long. It is another 7 Km to go with a Maori rock art location to visit. I climb the steps to the overhang and can see some examples of early art work. The graffiti a much later addition unfortunately. In Duntroon I meet Kat who is manning the Vanished World fossil centre. She saw the piece about me in the ODT so we get a selfie! There is only the domain to stay at, so I put up the tent and have some dinner before turning in.

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