East Harbour Regional Park traverse Mk.VI, (M)
10 September 2011
Study the park brochure and note that, besides the numerous tracks leading into the park, there are several places where the green colour used to indicate the park comes to a suburban street, but no track is shown. Using these unformed accesses, a.k.a. ‘snickets’, adds to the enjoyment and challenge of tramps in the park’s northern bush block
From the no. 83 bus to Days Bay, we walked up Pitoitoi Rd to the junction of Kotari Rd and Korimako Rd. Here we used a concrete channel to get into the creek, then walked up its true right branch to the foot of the spur which leads east-north-east to near the main ridge track. The spur is clad in open beech forest, so the 320-metre climb is straightforward, with good views of the harbour and beyond. We saw the perching orchid, drymoanthus, and lots of kidney fern; also several tracking tunnels crushed by windfalls, or was it 15 August’s snow storm? After a short walk north on the ridge track, we descended the spur from N28 to the top forks of the true right branch of Gollans Stream, The forest on this spur post-dates the 1908 fire which swept up from the eastern bays, burning for several days. Remnants of the destroyed forest include the stumps we saw, probably northern rātā. We had lunch at the forks, out of the icy wind. From the forks, which are highlighted by a fine candelabra of kiekie and a sign, we climbed the spur heading due north to the main ridge track. With so little of the tramp on formed tracks, we enjoyed the chance to practise with map and compass on the two ascents and two descents. We noted that though the park brochure correctly indicates the location of Lees Grove Track, the 2009 Topo50-BQ32 Lower Hutt map does not – that track is actually the one shown c. 350m south!
From a short distance north of Lowry trig 373m, we descended a spur heading north-east towards Kōwhai St, Wainuiomata. After the possum line veers right, then left onto a flat area, we continued, on bearing, through a shrubland onto a spur with open beech forest. As the sounds of suburbia grew closer, we continued down through forest with the weed scrub species, tree heath, and then emerged into black beech forest. Here above the houses are prayer flags, a small statue, and a conveniently placed bench seat, an ideal place for our last scroggin, looking out across a bush-clad valley. During our 4.5-hour tramp we climbed 520m, and descended 400m, in the process travelling a mere 3.5km as the kererū flies! Sieny and Bernard tramped back to Days Bay, via the Pūriri, main ridge, and Ferry Road tracks, for extra exercise, while the rest of us caught the no. 170 bus homeward.
- Party members
- Chris Horne (leader and scribe), Sheelagh Leary, David McNabb, Bernard Molloy, Syd Moore, Sieny Pollard, Nina Price, Tim Stone.