Highbury-Birdwood Reserve-Wright Hill-Karori Park Café - E
11 July 2021
Light drizzle made us pack into the tiny bus shelter at Highbury bus terminus for introductions and the pre-trip briefing. We then strode northwards up the Highbury Rd cul-de-sac to steps and a short track through bush to admire the splendid view over the harbour and hills from Highbury Reservoir. Soon we descended a bush track above Zealandia to Waiapu Rd, while being honoured by a kererū fly-past and inspection by a kākā.
Down the track into Birdwood Reserve we took the left fork to see the weir built to create St John’s Pool, opened 30.1.1909¹, on the Te Mahanga branch, Kaiwharawhara Stream. We each had a copy of a photo taken in the mid-1930s of over 100 school children sitting in rows up the steep banks. We were impressed by the stature of the forest which has developed there since then. Further down-stream we passed another small dam, then on the true right bank, the adit/tunnel of the Golden Crown Mine. We each had a photo¹ taken ca. 1872 of six men in suits standing at the mine entrance. Our climb up the reserve was on a good track through bush to a junction at which we turned left to reach Zealandia’s fence. Eventually we reached and walked up a 4WD track and then turned left to reach our lunch spot - Messines Road Reservoir - with another fine viewpoint of the harbour and hills. As we finished lunch, brief mizzle made us pack up and head along a track through the bush to our final viewpoint on the summit of Wright Hill, 356 m, near the massive concrete gun pits where nine-inch guns were located in World War Two.
We tramped the top track in Burrows Avenue Reserve and emerged from the bush into surburbia at Landsdowne Tce. Finally we walked down Parklands Drive, Ramsey Place and the steps down to Woodhouse Avenue. Soon we were rejoicing in having our knees under conjoined tables at Karori Park Café, enjoying chatting, hot cuppas, scones and biscuits. We had had an enjoyable mid-winter jaunt - four hours from go to whoa.
¹ Karori & its people. Karori Historical Society. Edited by Judith Burch and Jan Heynes, 2011.
- Party members
- Diana Barnes, Alan Benge, Bill Black, Ellen Blake, Elizabeth Bridge, Michele Dickson, Sue Fish, Julia Fraser, Chris Horne (scribe), Paul McCredie, Peter Shanahan, Robert Tredger, Marris Weight.