Walkway to the wild waves E
Sunday 22 May
Fifteen keen trampers assembled at the historic chapel/museum in Bolton Street for the City to Sea Walkway.
Weather conditions were good, initially cool, but sunny intervals as the day went on.
We set off up through the old Bolton Street cemetery. At the top, former Prime Minister Seddon was getting renovated with plastic wrap and scaffolding. A pleasant walk through the familiar surroundings of the Botanic Garden led us up to Cable Car lookout.
En route, we sounded out a sonic sculpture installation, then had a brief stop at the Sundial of Human Involvement near the observatory. (More impressive on a sunny day).
Continuing on over to Kelburn, another handy loo stop was made at Kelburn Park. Our party then descended into a bushy area near the old fountain (circa 1938). Here, we encountered enthusiastic university student volunteers getting rid of invasive ivy creepers.
Another point of interest was the Old Mount Street Catholic cemetery. This is also a resting place for old-time seafarers who perished in the turbulent seas around Wellington.
At Te Aro, we enjoyed morning tea in leafy Aro Park, accompanied by a large flock of pigeons.
Admiring the old buildings in this area, the group walked up Epuni Street, then climbed a steep flight of stairs to Tanera Park.
At this point, Chris Horne gave us helpful background info on how the City to Sea came about. He played an instrumental role in establishing the route as a valuable recreational link between the city and Island Bay.
After crossing Ohiro Road, it was found that the yellow Walkway signs were few and far between. However, we picked up the trail again at the Brooklyn Road and Bidwill Street intersection.
Another navigational anomaly was encountered when the trail mysteriously disappeared at the site of the new Omāroro reservoir. Fortunately, a route was found around it, and we saw the familiar yellow marker signs again near Prince of Wales Park.
Amid murmurings of discontent (it was nearly 1 p.m.) we had a picnic lunch stop on a green grassy slope past MacAlister Park. Continuing past Berhampore plant nursery, we came to Mornington Golf Course.
Looking out for stray golf balls and keeping to the right-hand side of the course, we continued south. Climbed up some zigzag tracks and came to the Tawatawa Reserve.
Some members of the party, inhaling the salty ozone, and sensing Island Bay in the distance, took off at speed.
Many steps were climbed and descended without incident. A short suburban walk followed through clifftop suburbs scattered between Ōwhiro and Island Bays.
We all managed to complete the course after an energetic 14.4 kilometres.
Actual walking time was approximately 4.5 hours. With food breaks and diversions, it took around 5.5 hours.
Our reward for finishing was a magnificent view of giant seven-metre waves crashing over the rocks at Taputeranga Island, Island Bay.
This was a good walk for a number of reasons. Excellent variety, historic places and spectacular views to keep our interest going. And a great selection of loos on the way!