On February 22 at 9.30h we took of from the EIT carpark in Napier towards Omahu/Fernhill. There we turned right onto The Napier-Taihape Road. We followed the road until a few hundred metres before the entrance of Lawrence Road.Tthere is a car park on the left hand side, which gives access to a track which leads to a natural feature that is called The Lizard. If you look at the aerial photo with a bit of imagination you can see the shape of a lizard. It is a big clay pan, that has been shaped over the years by wind and rain
As you can see on the aerial photo to get to The Lizard you have to walk through a bit of bush first. There is a track that you can follow, but it is overgrown in a lot of places.We only found the entrance to the track by chance. There were also a few places where you would turn into a ‘false’ side track, then having to make your way back trying to find the real track. But we got there in the end.
Along the way we encountered this big rock sitting on a skinny piece of clay. The clay must have eroded away around and under the rock
After working our way through the dense bush it was a pleasure to arrive at the open ‘Lizard’ clay pan. We were lucky that it hadn’t rained for a while. If the clay had been wet it would mean a lot of slipping and sliding
This photo shows again the effect of the erosion of the clay, exposing the boulders
We climbed on top of the ridge which runs through the middle of The Lizard. This gave us spectacular views of the surrounding areas and a view down on The Lizard
After enjoying the views and having a few snacks we walked back to the car park following the same track. We only took one wrong turn this time.
Back at the car park we decided to visit ‘Blowhard Bush’. This is a nature reserve with a network of tracks created by the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand Inc. (Forest & Bird). The entrance to this reseve is a few hundred metres up Lawrence Road on the left hand side. Just off the road is a small car park and a picnic shelter right next to it. That’s where we had lunch.
After lunch we went down a 20 minute loop track, which takes past some interesting rock formations, (see following photos)
Then it was time to go back to Napier again, although some of the group members decided to go a bit further up the Napier-Taihape Road to Kuripapango, to have a dip in the Ngaruroro River, which crosses the road at that spot