THE MIDDLE OF Nowhere
MARY LAMBIE AND HER FAMILY TAKE TO THE HIGH COUNTRY
windsurfing, rowing and fishing. Clearwater is also a wildlife sanctuary for the endangered great crested grebe, a bird notable for its mating dances.
There’s a terrific walk around the lake – it’s about 10km, flat and very doable for the whole family. It took us just shy of three hours. There’s also Lambie Cottage, which is just by the Lake Heron turn-off, a lovingly restored homestead from the last century. It’s free to visit and a reminder of how hard the first European settlers lived and worked.
Mt Somers is a little town, 90 minutes from Christchurch. There’s an historic local store, a great recreation area that won a TrustPower Community Award and a gorgeous little library, which is free to use.
Mt Somers itself can be tackled in various ways – there’s the Mission Mt Somers race in late October, the Mt Somers sub-alpine Walkway or the more demanding two-day Mt Somers Track (26km full circuit). You can also walk to the summit (1687m). The track is five kilometres each way. There’s plenty to do, so be sure to pack your walking shoes!
Victorious! Mary on the summit of Mt Sunday. Left: Elizabeth at the entrance of Erewhon Station.