Into Black Holes E/M
Wednesday 3 February 2021
You don't need to go far to have an adventure. Churchill Reserve, unknown to nearly everyone, lies in the valley of Kaiwharawhara Stream between Trelissick Park and Otari-Wilton's Bush. It harbours a profusion of weeds of all descriptions along the steep sides and stream banks, forcing intruders bent on walking up-valley to mostly take to the water up to thigh-deepness on slippery rocks and to clamber over tree debris in the stream. A place of beauty, nonetheless.
The Reserve is guarded by tunnels for the stream at both ends. The downstream tunnel under the Johnsonville railway line was manually hewn from solid rock in the 19th century. From bright sunlight, we entered the black hole: a noisy place of rushing water, the bed narrow, hard to see and rough underfoot - adrenalin-raising. The upstream tunnel, under the Blackbridge Road/Churchill Drive intersection, of more recent vintage, was in concrete with a wide bed - a 'breeze' by comparison.
Route: Lower Otari-Wilton's Bush car park, purple 'Circular Walk', 'Red Trail' to John Witton Drive, Chartwell drive and past the substation, down the Silversky Track, Silverstream Road, Trelissick Park from the Waikowhai Street entrance, along the track down the Korimako Stream valley, down to Kaiwharawhara Stream to begin the aquatic phase (canyon, tunnel, Churchill Reserve, tunnel). The last tunnel ended conveniently near our car park. Four hours, including lunch at the end.
- Party members
- Diana Barnes, Michele Dickson, Daphne and William Dashfield, John Hill, Carol Kelly, Jeanette Martin, Lynne Pomare, Kerry Popplewell (as far as Waikowhai Street), Peter Reimann (leader and scribe), Jennifer Roberts, Alison and Bill Stephenson, Ingrid Ward, Bill Wheeler, Peter Whiteford