Ti Point to Leigh
An easy ramble around the coast from Ti Point to Matheson’s Bay, Lunch at Leigh and finish at Goat Island reserve. A great day out in the sun with friends. At least that was my mental picture following Don’s description of the trip.
But the day dawned overcast with rain, a strong easterly wind and a forecast to get worse. The party met at the parking area at Ti Point boat ramp overlooking the entrance to the Omaha estuary and the settlement of Omaha. Heavy cloud and a gray sea, surging into the entrance.
The track leads along the coast for a while and eventually finishes up on the cliffs above a beach where the rock climbing area starts. We descended to the beach and began making our way over rocks that steadily became bigger and required more care. The going slowed as we picked our way across the boulders. As we rounded each headland there were outcrops to climb over until one headland presented a number of clambers bordering on low grade rock climbing. The easterly had blown up a substantial sea and waves were surging between the outcrops and spraying over the more exposed parts of the coast.
One little section required a careful climb over a sharp rock ridge, steep slippery drop into a gulch with a repeat over an even more difficult razor back and then down a greasy drop of 3 to 4 metres onto a boulder beach on the other side. The view from the razor back showed a coast with waves crashing almost onto the cliffs cutting off the route to Matheson’s Bay, or so it seemed. Leader Don climbed a short section of the cliff to the top of a small waterfall to look for a way out to the cliff tops. From that vantage point the route along the shoreline looked better. After he had scrambled back down, John, the lookout on the razorback, reported that the rest of the party were nowhere to be seen.
There had been a minor mutiny and the leadership had no alternative but to retrace the route back around the point to a small beach where we found everyone having lunch. By now the rain had eased to a drizzle and the beach was angled away from the wind making the lunch stop quite comfortable. The new plan was to climb up some steps and risk the wrath of the property owners at the top of the cliff. The steps turned out to be an access to the bottom of a monorail down the cliff. A steep scramble using the monorail for support brought us to the backyard of the property at the cliff top. No one was home so we were spared the embarrassment of having to grovel for access to the road.
Shortening the story, we ended the afternoon with a long coffee, a cheese board and a sticky chocolate toffee desert at the Sawmill Café on the Pakiri road just out of Leigh. It is a popular place with the lifestylers that live in the area. I felt very conspicuous in my wet shorts and bush shirt amongst the entrepreneurs and their bunnies.