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Trip Reports 2013-02-17-Willowbank Park-Belmont Regional Park

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This article was first published in the Tararua Tramper Volume 85, no 3, April 2013

Takapu Rd Station – Korokoro Stm – Korokoro – Petone

17 February 2013

How convenient that the train stopped by Willowbank Park, the start of our tramp! We crossed bridges over Porirua and Takapu streams, then went via a ‘purpose-built’ rough route up to SH1’s Tawa Interchange. We walked up to Jamaica Drive, Grenada North, via a recently upgraded zigzag through mānuka forest. Beyond the playing fields of Grenada North Park and the top of Caribbean Drive we followed the reservoir-access road in Caribbean Drive Reserve.

This 79-ha addition to the Outer Green Belt resulted when, in 2002, Transpower transferred the land to Wellington City Council. The 4WD road, used by Transpower staff to access power pylons, passes through regenerating native forest, including two gullies, one with nīkau. Soon we reached the tramping track through young mānuka forest, a rarity in Wellington, enjoyed scroggin in a grassy clearing, then continued upwards, gaining ever-widening views across the Porirua Basin towards the Tasman Sea, Colonial Knob and Kaukau. After climbing about 310 metres from Willowbank Park, we reached Horokiwi Road, then walked north on it to the top of Horokiwi Bridleway. From this track we had fine views of the harbour, its islands, the Rimutaka Range, and Belmont Trig, 457 m, the highest point in Belmont Regional Park. We descended the track over rank pasture and through regenerating bush to the true right branch of Korokoro Stream.

Refreshed by lunch in the sun amongst long grass on the valley floor, we followed the track down valley, through shady, cool, forest with several emergent nīkau, mamaku tree ferns and rewarewa, and crossed the stream numerous times. Scattered pine trees, mostly dead, upstream of Baked Beans Bend, and hundreds of living, standing dead, and fallen pine trees from there to Korokoro Forks, are being dealt with by Greater Wellington Regional Council. The track here is being re-routed, and work is likely to be necessary for years as age and more storms drop more of the tall, spindly, pines onto the track.

After a brief stop at the forks, we tramped down the main stem of Korokoro Stream, the bright sun making us hot and the forest canopy on the valley sides shine attractively. At Cornish Street, Petone, we split into two groups, one going direct to Petone Station. The other group, with ‘Winston’, the seemingly tireless, miniature pug, walked up the Millworkers Track to Rahui Grove, en route seeing the harbour and Ngauranga cliffs. We went up Korokoro Road, then along Singers Road to the top of the ‘Bush Track to Petone’, where there is a panel describing the history of this track down through mature kohekohe forest in Galbraith Gully. Once on lower Korokoro Road, we walked to Petone Station, arriving six hours after starting this E/M tramp.

Party members
Diana Barnes, Deborah Burns, Michele Dickson, Cecil Duff, Julia Fraser, Chris Horne (leader and scribe), Christine Leighs, Jenny Lewis, Helene Ritchie, Tim Stone, Marris Weight, Alan Wright, plus “Winston”, the pug.

Page last modified on 2013 May 01 22:26

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