Four streams, three ridges E
Sunday 13 March 2022
After discussing the landforms of part of the CBD and Kelburn and their human history, we began in lower Boulcott St, below which Waikoukou Stream flows in a culvert. Before the extensive reclamation on which the CBD now stands, Waikoukou entered the harbour near where Bond St runs.
We climbed O'Reily Ave, named after the town's first Catholic priest, to visit Flagstaff Hill. In 1843, following the Wairau Affray in Marlborough, Pākehā erected a flagpole beside two 18-pounder cannons placed there, to deter raids by Māori. We crossed Terrace Gardens, which features several seats, a kauri and a tranquil air, then climbed steps leading to Allenby Tce, named after Field Marshal Sir Edward Allenby, Third Army commander in WW1.
On The Terrace we saw that no. 236 is called ‘Villa Roma’. On the north side of the ‘Kelburn Park’ sign we looked at an interpretation panel describing the temporary artwork of coloured drainage tiles we were about to see. Art teacher Kate Newby's 97 students had laid ceramic clay across their thighs and let it set firm, then each tile was coated with a dye and fired. The resulting tiles were laid end-to-end down the grassy slope above us. Up the slope we went to see the colourful line in the grass, and then continued across the sward to see the west side of the property at 236 The Terrace, adorned with sculptures and Latin words.
We descended the grassy slope to see Kumutoto Stream emerging from dense forest. It drains the eastern slopes of our second ridge, Pukehīnau, flowing under Kelburn Pde, the urban motorway, Woodward St and Waring Taylor St, then into Te Whanganui a Tara near the tug wharf. We climbed steps to the squash courts to join the City-to-Sea Walkway and up more steps to Kelburn Park and the Centennial Fountain, built in 1939 at the Centennial Exhibition site at Rongotai and moved here in 1956. We walked from the park to Salamanca Rd, past Chevening, a luxury apartment building built in 1929 and gifted by its owner in 2019 to Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, then along the path between 10 and 14 Kelburn Pde to steps up to Rāwhiti Tce and Upland Rd.
We descended from Pukehīnau ridge into the valley of Pipitea Stream, and from North Tce went down a zigzag through bush to Ngaio Rd in The Glen. The stream flows in a culvert under Glenmore St, Tinakori Rd, Thorndon Quay, the rail yards, then into the harbour at Aotea Quay. At the interpretation panel beside a towering black maire, we climbed a track towards the Children's Play Area. Our next track, Epuni Path, ended at a grassy slope, an ideal possie for lunch in the sun. In the Discovery Area, a fine promotion of the joys of gardening, we enjoyed seeing the variety of vegetables and other plants. Buchanan Way, up a tributary gully of Pipitea Stream, traverses one of the Botanic Garden's five areas of heritage native forest, a special feature so close to our CBD. From the upper end of the gully we walked along Scrub Path, crossed our third ridge, Remembrance Ridge, were welcomed by the chatter of a kākāriki, then strode along Junction Path. Below the striking PeaceMaker sculpture of basalt boulders we went along Serpentine Way/Waipiro Bush Walk. Here we saw sprays of kohekohe buds and the water of Waipiro Stream, our fourth stream. It flows under the Rose Garden, Anderson Park and Bowen St. Listen to it babbling away below grills set in the Cenotaph's plaza. We ended our trip with hot drinks and food alfresco at popular Picnic Café.
About four hours. Weather: ideal – fine, light southerly.
- Party members
- Diana Barnes, Alan Benge, Bob Cijffers, Michele Dickson, Julia Fraser, Chris Horne (leader and scribe), Chris Paice, Peter Shanahan, Karun Shenoy, Peter Tunnicliffe, Marris Weight