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Kaiwhata River Mouth walk

Kaiwhata River Mouth walk
With rather a late start to a tramping club trip,5 of us headed out to Homewood at 2pm. The late
start was to ensure we got to the beach at low tide. We took the Te Wharau road from Gladstone
and turned onto the Kaiwhata road. Arriving at Joe and Carol’s, we had a lovely afternoon cup of tea before travelling a further 10 minutes down the Kaiwhata Road to reach an easy access point to the river on private land. Thanks to the local farmer for permission. The walk was a mixture of walking in the riverbed, across paddocks and criss-crossing the puddles. Good timing for a river walk, as there wasn’t much water. Our guide Joe Hansen had taken plenty of visitors on this walk. As we reached the river mouth, two large flocks of Canada geese took flight from the river water and headed out to sea. A large cliff was on the south side of the river mouth, plenty of driftwood piled up in front of us on the beach.
We headed straight to the visable tree stumps resting in the sea water. The submerged tree stumps
are a result of sea level rise occurring over 8000 years ago, followed by land rising from 6500 years
ago. The tree stumps are “up to 1m wide in diameter and were probably several hundred years old
before being killed by the sea”.
After inspecting and discussing the tree stumps we continued south to check out the impressive rock formations. The rock wall are “tilted sandstone beds laid down 15-16 million years ago”. There was a mixture of smooth, rough, lumpy and regular rocks, some with stripy ‘laminations’ formed by
alternating sand and fragmented plant material deposits.
We returned to the beach and retraced our steps along the riverbed to the cars, travelling back to
Joe and Carols for a fantastic bbq spread and great conversation.
On the walk were; Joe Hansen, Jason, Barry, Nigel, Gail and Sandra.

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