Remote, Rugged, Wild and Fabulous - Northern End of the Tohe

The very northern end of the Tohe, 90 Mile beach is accessed is through a stream and up the beach, meaning if you misjudge the tides or do not know what you are doing out there you will be in serious trouble. The snip from Google maps below will give you an appreciation of the ruggedness of the area, with those cliffs towering 100m straight up and the white wash of the waves as they pound into shore.

On Monday 4th December 2017, I took @indeynz for a trip up there. Meeting at my place we took my little truck as it is 4WD, something that is vital if you are going to bravely venture into that area. It took us about an hour travelling up the road, down the Te Paki stream and up the Tohe to the northern end. Parking roughly where the red line ends on the right, we walked over to the first cliff face and wandered around. I enjoyed taking my time for once as I usually arrive there, do a quick look, take a few photos then I am out of there, but this time was Nature Watch Time!

It took us about an hour to follow the red line out until it turns and by then the rocks at the end of that point were starting to be fully exposed. Another hour saw us back up the other side which is where the cave is. Then it was a quick walk across the now exposed sand and out to the end of the red line on the left.

The photo below where the rock points up is where the red line ends. Needless to say we arrived at the island at low tide! That is where there is an amazing gut for studying the D.antartica.

From there it was a meander all the way back to the truck and home.

This whole area was covered in mussels - so much so that you could not walk without standing on them. There were mussels on mussels and when all of that real estate was taken up they moved onto seaweed.

Fromw the obs highlighted below you can check out the the red zig zag lines of juvenile green lipped mussels, the first NW obs for a giant triplefin, the D. antartica gut which is great for getting up close and personal and common flapjack being used as a mussel high rise, all taken from this wonderful day out.

Posted by tangatawhenua tangatawhenua, December 06, 2017 09:26

Observations

Photos / Sounds

What

New Zealand Green-lipped Mussel (Perna canaliculus)

Observer

tangatawhenua

Date

December 4, 2017 01:57 PM NZDT

Description

Initially I thought this was a new shell that I hadn't seen before. After 4 1/2 hours of wandering around this very packed mussel haven, I realised this is a juvenile of the green lipped mussel :)

But usual disclaimer applies - I could be wrong LOL

Photos / Sounds

What

Giant Triplefin (Blennodon dorsalis)

Observer

tangatawhenua

Date

December 4, 2017 02:27 PM NZDT

Description

I think.

Quite surprised to find this here as this area has pounding surf and it only calms down when the tide receeds. Spotted this in a very narrow, short gut so not even in a rock pool. Only saw this one - no other triplefins were even spotted in the whole 4 1/2 hours I was exploring this remote, rugged area which is only accessable by driving up the beach when the tides are right.

Photos / Sounds

What

New Zealand Bull Kelp (Durvillaea antarctica)

Observer

tangatawhenua

Date

December 4, 2017 02:47 PM NZDT

Description

This gut is the perfect place to be able to get up close to really study the D. antarctica as when the tide drops to nearly low the head of the gut becomes a little beach.

Photos / Sounds

What

Common Flapjack (Carpophyllum maschalocarpum)

Observer

tangatawhenua

Date

December 4, 2017 03:20 PM NZDT

Description

This common flapjack is living in an area that is the Queen Street of mussel real estate where space is at a premium. As you can see the mussels are trying to mussel their way in and take over.

Comments

Thanks for sharing this nature adventure! It sure looks like a great place to explore.

Posted by juddpatterson almost 5 years ago (Flag)

Excellent post. Thank you!

Posted by cathy_onellion almost 5 years ago (Flag)

Thank you @juddpatterson for your comment and yes, it is an adventure to get up here - not really a spur of the moment place you can visit :)

Kia ora for your comment @let_wild_be_wild and maybe one day we will have a post from you all the way down at the other end of the country :)

Here is another view looking back where we came from - the red dot in the photo is where we accessed the Tohe to give you more an idea of how remote and wild it is up here. What you can see is only about 6 kms until the beach disappears into the horizon but the Tohe itself is 90kms long and it is basically like that all the way.

Posted by tangatawhenua almost 5 years ago (Flag)

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