Tawatawa – Manawa Karioi – Lyall Bay (E)
22 July 2017
The Fixture Card listed ‘Tawatawa – ‘Spooky Gully’ – Island Bay (M). We three overrode that because of forecast ‘Rain, possibly heavy … southerly gale in exposed places’. That mainly rural route is devoid of shelter for about four hours’ tramping. Instead, we chose the suburban route in the heading.
From Kingston’s bus terminus, we walked to the end of Quebec St. and up to Tawatawa, east of the summit’s impressive carved stone pou whenua. As we descended the many steps on the City-to-Sea Walkway, the stiff chill southerly pushed us around, which made the mostly sheltered track in Manawa Karioi’s regenerating semi-coastal forest a pleasure. The forest here results from the once gorse-covered hillside being steadily replaced since the early 1990s by natural regeneration of native plants, supplemented by extensive plantings by the Manawa Karioi Society. We identified some of the planted plants, sampled a few edible weeds, and passed several small slips. Near the impressive urban Tapu Te Ranga Marae we saw the site where kaumātua Bruce Stewart was buried on 2 July.
From Rhine St. we descended the Cam St. zigzag, admiring the woodwork on a pre-1900 house and the ambience of the route. We crossed The Parade and went up to the corner of Dee St. Here, using GoogleMaps, Lynne found out how to reach the track up to Mt Albert Rd. This track is normally reached from Dover St. The Town Belt bush here is infested with climbing asparagus, a difficult pest to eliminate. As we reached the spur crest and Mt Albert Rd, the southerly buffeted us, so we were delighted with the north-facing bus shelter, a perfect possy for scroggin.
We descended the Southern Walkway in Sinclair Park to a sealed path toward Houghton Bay School. In 2002, in the gully nearby, the school and Wellington City Council began a semi-coastal native forest revegetation project. The work continues – we saw several clearings with holes dug ready to receive more seedlings. On a wee track up to Houghton Bay Rd, we met a man who had recently walked the entire Te Araroa Track and was chuffed to meet people of our vintage out walking, undeterred by a lousy forecast!
From View Rd, Melrose, we descended the Houghton Tce zigzag, passing a small slip, and enjoying the view over Lyall Bay‘s surf spawned by the stiff southerly. After our three-hour jaunt, we realised that we had not felt one molecule of moisture, despite the forecast! We revelled in the warmth and essential nourishment at Queen Sally’s Diamond Deli on Queens Dr. The limping leader called it quits here, and caught a no. 3 bus to town. Lynne and Jude continued via Lyall Pde, Apu Cres, Leonie Gill Walkway, Coutts St, and the pedestrian tunnel under the airport runway, to catch a no. 11 bus from Hobart St to town.
- Party members
- Lynne Pomare, Jude Willis, Chris Horne (leader/scribe).