|Today we were going to conquer Mount Herbert, the highest point in the Banks Peninsula. It was gong to be a bright, hot day and Michael, Emma and Phoebe picked us up at 11 to drive to Lyttelton, so we could catch a ferry to Diamond Harbour and then start the walk.
The walk starts just around from the wharf at Diamond Harbour and we climbed up through the village following a deep wooded gully. After about half an hour we were above the village and were already beginning to appreciate the views back over Lyttleton Harbour and across the plains to Kaikoura Range and the Southern Alps. It was a little hazy but you could see a really long way.
It was a steady climb all the way so we stopped for breaks every now and then. At about half an hour below the summit, we paused for lunch and taking in the views. From this height you could really appreciate the volcanic origins of the Peninsula - two major flooded cones centred on Lyttelton Harbour and Akaroa to the South East, plus lots of small cones and intrusions over millions of years.
We made it to the top about 3pm and soaked up the scene. We were 950m high and we could see from Kaikoura in the North, following the Southern Alps round as far as (I assumed) Mt Cook. It was pretty windy so we took a few pictures then began our descent.
We got back to the Godley House Hotel in Diamond Harbour about 5pm and had beer and chips before catching the ferry back and driving home. A most satisfying walk and hopefully the start of more soon.