|Harry Ell on right with Leonard Cocayne|
The Sign of the Takahe and The Sign of the Kiwi I would pass maybe six times a week on my way from Governors Bay to Christchurch and back. The Sign of the Packhorse I can see from my kitchen window, a tiny speck in the distance on the saddle below Mt Bradley, across the harbour. Reaching the Packhorse requires a dedicated tramp from Kaituna Valley. The Sign of the Bellbird, though not far as the crow (!) flies and accessible by car, is off the beaten track and requires a planned visit.
So this afternoon (having started work early morning and feeling I had earned a break) I drove up to The Sign of the Kiwi, turned left and made my way on round the Summit Road to the start of Ellas Track. (If 'Ella' was a person then this seems to have been forgotten as the track name does not use an apostrophe - must do some digging...).The track winds around the cliff edge high above Governors Bay, offering a true bird's eye view of the Bay and a panorama of Lyttelton Harbour.
|Lyttelton Harbour from Ellas Track|
I came out onto the road just short of the Bellbird which, like the Packhorse, is now a ruined shell - but which nevertheless offers welcome shelter, an alternative gathering place for young people and a wonderful view across the Canterbury Plains. Interestingly the building shows no signs at all of earthquake damage though I doubt it has been strengthened.
|Sign of the Bellbird|
|Bellbird with Canterbury Plains below, Southern Alps obscured by cloud|
Later I was delighted to find this photo from Christchurch City Libraries archive in a google search...