Fly-by-Wire Gully and Loop Track E/M
Wednesday 3 March
We started from the cafes in Beach Road, Paekākāriki, walked up the new track which leads to the Fly-by-Wire installation, then turned left up a steep gully leading to the cell phone tower. From here we could look down directly to Beach Road. It is not a place for those suffering from vertigo. A patch of flattened grass showed where the youth of Paekākāriki had their initiations. A partly overgrown 4WD road leads to the mast at 214 metres. We had great views of Kapiti Island and the coast. A little further on we stopped for morning tea, then joined a bigger 4WD track which runs up the spur on the west side of Transmission Gully, with the natural gas pipeline alongside. There was cloud lying on top of the hill at 400 metres but we turned right along a fence leading to some old sheep pens (see photo). A slight drop took us to a saddle at the top of Hairpin Bend Gully (so called from the hairpin in the Hill Road). We soon got onto the spur running on the west side of Hairpin Gully, and this took us down to a patch of native bush known as Betty Perkins Reserve. A marked track took us down a steep slope through the reserve. At the bottom we found a steep erosion gully which led down to the road. Care was needed to bridge across the gully. Some found a bum slide the best way. Care was also needed to avoid speeding cars on the road. From the road we dropped down to the Loop Track and had our lunch at the seat with a great view. We were back on Beach Road within four hours.
The route of this trip runs over the old Perkins Farm, which is now owned by NZTA, and was purchased to allow Transmission Gully developments. The area is not yet open to the public, but as a member of Nga Uru Ora (the conservation group at Paekākāriki) I am permitted to take parties across the farm. Nga Uru Ora has an agreement with NZTA to do ecological restoration on the farm. We are waiting for NZTA to sell the farm and hopefully the local councils will buy it, so long as the price is right.
- Party members
- Michele Dickson Ken Fraser (leader and scribe), John Hill, Carolyn Jenkins, Carol Kelly, Jeanette Martin, Lynne Pomare, Alison Stevenson, Suzanne Sutton-Cummings.