Te Kopahou Reserve E/M
Wednesday 24 November 2021
Our trip schedule showed that three club groups would be in the Te Kopahou Reserve on this lovely, fine, late November day. So we almost expected to see other members along our paths, but didn’t.
Because both Hadley and I had emailed our offers for a replacement leader at exactly the same moment, we decided to be co-leaders. Our first and main challenge for the day was the very steep and crumbly start of the track on the true left of Haape Stream, seemingly more crumbly than ever before. Hadley was the last man, there to help or catch anyone slipping backwards. Before long, two members took off elsewhere, and a little later seven took the easier option along the Red Rocks Track to Red Rocks. The rest of us continued up, en route encountering a scientist contracted to WCC working on a comprehensive vegetation survey of the reserve. The views were taken in over lunch near the radar station, amongst tussocks and spaniards. Then it was off, lumbering down the Radome Track. A few large breaths were taken as we paused at the crossing of the northern branch of Waipapa Stream, before crawling up the other side to rejoin the Red Rocks Track. All flopped in the grass.
Lower down, we took the newer graded bike/footpath back into the little valley of the main Waipapa Stream, rather than the ridge of the Red Rocks Track with its nasty steep ending. For all its weediness around Wellington, we did enjoy the vista of the valley filled with Valerian in full bloom, here mostly white and pink. Also arresting was a magnificent flowering of Linum monogynum (New Zealand linen flax) growing up through a tangled clump of mingimingi and scrub pohuehue. This track is most attractive near the bottom, where wind-weathered vegetation clumps cling to or nestle beside large boulders. At Red Rocks it was apparent that most of our easy- option members had already left and headed back along the coastal drag. It was only at the carpark that we saw two others from the SF bunch.
- Party members
- Hadley Bond (co-leader), Elizabeth Bridge, Sally Broadhurst, Michele Dickson (co=leader and scribe, Alison Hannah, Brian Hasell, John Hill, Anna Hunt, Carol Kelly, Diane Morgan, Suzanne Sutton-Cummings, Lynne Pomare, Dawn Pegram, Penny Salmond, Bob Stephens, Alison Stephenson, Janice Tijsen, Margaret Vial, Tony Vial, Peter Whiteford.