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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The story of Mt Dick Lookout

There’s no doubt that local knowledge is worth it’s weight in gold.  Helen (fellow quilter and blog reader) popped into the camp to say hello and told us about her trip up to the Mt Dick lookout recently.  Mt Dick?  Never been there, in fact we had never heard of it.  But a 4WD trip up an unsealed mountain road sounded like a great idea to Robin.  Five of us climbed aboard the Toyota, and  the adventure begun.  Mt Dick is part of the Tararua Forest Park, and Helen had advised us to look for the rather overgrown sign for the turnoff. 
DSCF8629Sign to the Lookout
The one lane track snaked it’s way up the mountain side and we hoped that we would not meet another vehicle coming down.  The surface got rougher as we continued to climb, and the car shook and shuddered as we slowly drove around the tight turns.  Once up the top we parked the car and made the short climb up to the lookout. 
P1030737 Car park at Mt Dick Lookout
As promised, the views from the top were marvellous with 360 degree views.  A patchwork green of paddocks lay before us, and in the distance were the towns of Wairarapa,  Masterton, Carterton, Greytown and Featherston, with Martinborough away in the distance.
 P1030740
A stainless steel directional guide pointed the way to prominent landmarks.  We could see Lake Wairapapa off in the distance
DSCF8624 To check what we can see
P1030738Lake Wairarapa in the distance at right
The tree covered hills looked like they were dusted with snow, but it was the white flowering manuka bushes from which the famous Manuka honey is gathered.
P1030746 White dusted hills
Some areas of the hills are planted in pine forests, and logging was well underway.  Logging tracks snaked up and down the adjacent hills to allow access. 
DSCF8622 Logging the pine plantation
This mountain was named after Richard “Dickey” Sayers, who moved from Wellington with his family to the Wairarapa in 1859.  He lived in a slab house he built in 1860 from trees he felled and made a subsistence living as a pig hunter in the Taraura Ranges.  His marriage to Hester Blake in 1864 produced a family of six children.  Sadly he was killed by his prize bull in 1902, while walking the animal home after attending an A & P Show.  He was gored in the armpit and bled to death in 30 minutes, and is buried in Clareville Cemetery.  The lookout was built by the Lions Club of Carterton with assistance from the Keep Carterton Beautiful Committee and the Department of Conservation.
DSCF8623 Mount Dick Lookout shelter
P1030743 Robin, Don, Derek, Dot and Jenny
On the trip down we spotted a rata tree glowing red against a sea of green in the bush covered hills.  A group of keen off road motor-cyclists were all set to make the steep accent up to the lookout.
P1030751 Rata tree
Thanks to Helen for letting us know about this well kept Carterton secret, it was a trip worth taking to see such magnificent views.

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