The Hereworth 4WD Treks are biennial (every two years) fundraisers for the Hereworth School in Havelock North and alternate between coastal and inland Hawke’s Bay. For this, the fifth one, it was back to the coast, this time to Andy and Liz Lowe’s property at Ocean Beach. The camp site was right next to the beach and would be the base for the weekend so many had caravans on site, while the rest of us battled with our tents in the heavy winds.
After registration and scrutineering on Friday afternoon the first trip from camp was straight onto the beach and north towards Cape Kidnappers before coming off the beach into the dunes. This part of the Lowe property forms part of the Cape Sanctuary, the largest privately owned and funded wildlife restoration project of its kind in New Zealand.
The 2500 ha Cape Sanctuary is owned by Julian and Josie Robertson (Cape Kidnappers station), Juliet and Warwick Hansen (Haupouri Station) and Andy and Liz Lowe, and has a secure predator fence to keep wildlife away. Andy spoke a little about the project and mentioned he had two breeding pairs of endangered native Takahe.
Once up the hills we had views as far as the eye could see and got our first look at the predator fence ‘in situ.’ After looping around the hills we dropped back down to the dunes and camp, where the “Stagger Inn” would be open for refreshments before dinner.
Saturday, after a full breakfast of bacon and eggs, would see the vehicles leave camp back down through the Sanctuary onto the Hansen’s Haupouri Station and then onto Te Awanga Downs where we dropped into the Clifton County Cricket Club and their match against Eparaima.
This unique cricket club is nestled in a natural amphitheatre within the hills and was started in the 1980s as a social cricket club. After a period of recess it was revived four years ago when a new all-weather pitch was put down and clubhouse built. Now it is a picturesque green circle surrounded by sun-dried hills.
Apart from a short shower of rain on Saturday evening it was a fine weekend with beautiful sunrises each day and yet another very successful Hereworth 4WD trek. As usual organisation and food were first class along with the planned routes which provided enough challenges along the way and some great scenery.
And for the record? The Clifton side posted 133 runs and the visitors needed to get 15 runs of the last three balls to win. Despite getting two sixes they fell short with only 132.