Pepin Island, Nelson20230722 Pepin Island

Saturday 22 July 2023

Pepin Island is a unique property as it is an entirely privately-owned working sheep and beef farm. It also has a small tourism operation with three eco-cabin-like huts. The island was named by the French explorer Jules Dumont d'Urville after his wife Adele Pepin.

Our large group of 34 met at the end of the Cable Bay causeway for this popular tramp. We began our day with introductions and a few instructions, including that we were to follow the yellow track on the map, therefore the yellow ribbons around the farm track.

We walked in an anticlockwise direction beginning with a gradual climb up to the other side of the island with great views of Delaware Bay. Further along we took a side trip following a track down towards the coast to find Nikau Hut nestled amongst beautiful bush. After a look around the outside of the little hut we had our morning tea on the grassy bank beside it.

It was back up the hill to our track, then firstly passing the cattle yards and further along a set of sheep yards. All the time we enjoyed the expensive sea views and surrounding steep to rolling farmland. There was evidence of several slips that would have occurred in the massive storm a year ago.

It wasn't much further and we came to the junction with the turn off to the high point of the island and the opposite way to Rocky Point Hut. Most of us climbed up to the trig, Stuart Hill (401m), where we had spectacular views, especially towards Cable Bay.

Back down at the junction we had our lunch and after the group photo we took the side trip, with its steepish descent, down to Rocky Point Hut. It is situated on a rocky cliff on the coast surrounded by kanuka and coastal bush. A lovely hut in a secluded location with an amazing hot outdoor bath with panoramic views over Tasman Bay.

Back up to our lunch spot on the farm track again it was an amble down to our cars, completing the 5½ hour circuit of Pepin Island.

It was wonderful to be able to experience the rare opportunity to explore this special place. The weather was perfect and it was a great group. Thank you to the owners for allowing us to access their private land. They encourage our members to book a stay with them in their huts.

Our group of 34 were: Sue (leader & scribe), Robyn, Dean, Simon, Jenny, Marian, Alison M, Edward, Julie M, Julian, Justine, Diane, Jane, Lynley, Kathy, Karen, Kari, Terri, Andrew, Zac, Rose, Ross, Paula W, David W, Tony and visitors Annette, Wendy, Raewyn, Amanda, Jonathon, Elizabeth, Alison W, Chantelle and Rob G.