Flashback to April again… We’re still in Blenheim and I’m still working on motel accounts. Blenheim is blessed with some great walking and cycling tracks – around the city and nearby. On the south side of the city are the Wither Hills, now mostly a farm park owned and managed by the city. It is criss-crossed with tracks which provide lots of exercise for lots of people. A bonus is the panoramic views over Blenheim and the Wairau Valley. Five or ten minutes walking provides expanding vistas and only twenty minutes walking got us up to the Rotary Lookout in the middle of one lovely April morning.
The first impression was of how well-used the walks are. It was mid-morning on a weekday and there were dozens of people coming and going. The views were expansive and panoramic. It is hard to understand why Blenheim doesn’t make more of the opportunities to tourists and visitors. After the first walk we were inspired to go back much earlier another morning to see the sun rise. We weren’t early enough to see the sun come out of the sea but it was a lovely morning to see the sun light up the valley. On a third occasion we took a track up to another lookout towards the eastern end of the hills. This was higher with more extensive views particularly towards Cook Strait and the North Island. What follows are a few of the photos from those three walks back in April.
Wairau Valley - west from Rotary Lookout Wither Hills
Wither Hills Farm Park - view south from Rotary Lookout to head of Quail Stream
Wither Hills Farm Park - view north towards Rotary Lookout and Blenheim. The pyramid of the lookout structure is pointing to the valley that SH1 follows to Picton
Wither Hills - view out of Quail Stream looking north over the Rotary Lookout
Blenheim from Rotary Lookout Wither Hills - 7.09am
East from Rotary Lookout Wither Hills - view towards Cloudy Bay
Wairau Valley west from Rotary Lookout Wither Hills
Wither Hills walking track - above Rotary Lookout. Wyn is the closest walker.
East from Rotary Lookout Wither Hills
Quail Stream Wither Hills from Rotary Lookout 7.50am
South-west fringe of Blenheim and Wairau Valley from Wither Hills Rotary Lookout. Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre left middle-distance.
Blenheim from Wither Hills Rotary Lookout
Wither Hills walking track - view east towards Cloudy Bay from Rotary Lookout. Wyn heading home for breakfast.
Another day another lookout - Wyn at Mt Vernon Lookout Wither Hills 11.20am. Blenheim behind.
Blenheim from track to Mt Vernon Lookout - Wither Hills
Cloudy Bay, Rarangi Beach and Port Underwood from Mt Vernon Lookout Wither Hills. This view is looking down the airstrip created by flattening a couple of the knolls on the ridge.
North Island over Cook Strait from Mt Vernon Lookout Wither Hills. Wairau Lagoons and SH1 at the foot of the ridge.