WN6012: Steps, zigzags and bush E
26 June 2022
What does WN6012 mean? It is the postcode for Northland, Karori, Highbury and Kelburn. Our trip began in Northland and ended in Karori.
We met at the bus shelter in Glenmore St, near Karori Tunnel, beginning our Matariki weekend trip by climbing steps and a path past a former pre-school to Raroa Cres, then climbing Thorby St zigzag through bush to the south end of Putnam St, Northland. After noting the design of the houses we passed and looking down through trees to see the road approaching Northland Tunnel directly below us, we walked beside houses and front gardens below Creswick Tce to reach the zigzag leading down to Curtis St. Native trees have been planted on either side of the path beside a tiny tributary of Te Mahanga Stream. Elizabeth spotted a plump kererū watching us – the first of several we admired. From the bridged footpath above Curtis St, we looked over the valley of Te Mahanga Stream to the bush-clad gully above Chaytor St, then crossed that busy street and just past the block of flats at no. 29 began climbing the zigzag through tall bush to Mallam St, Karori. This route has many steps above another tributary of the stream. The bush is weedy with invaders including tradescantia and banana passionfruit.
From Braithwaite St we climbed Ponsonby Rd to walk along Espin Cres and enjoy the view over our harbour and hills. Down one zigzag, then up another, we passed a small park near the Russian Embassy. Further up Messines Rd we turned into Tiro St, a cul-de-sac at both ends, linked by steps. At the top of Duthie St we turned left onto the top of Messines Rd and the access/snicket* between houses to our lunch spot, the grassy area beside Messines Rd reservoir. As Peter exclaimed, we had ‘a dress-circle view’ of Te Whanganui a Tara, the Tararua and Remutaka ranges and East Harbour Regional Park. As we left the area, a kārearea / falcon flew above calling 'kek-kek-kek' as it sought its prey.
From Versailles St we descended steps to Croydon St, then steps to Bourbon Tce. From Croydon St near the Scout Hall we tramped the bush track up to Zealandia's fence and walked beside it to Birdwood St Reserve. En route a hihi / stitchbird sang from bush inside the fence. In the reserve we were subject to close inspection by a pair of kākā barely two metres away. Down beside Te Mahanga Stream we saw the adit/tunnel of the 1872-era Golden Crown Mine, then the remains of St John's Pool, opened in 1909 for local school children. Finally we climbed the track to Waiapu Rd three and a half hours after starting and then relaxed with hot drinks and kai at Zealandia's Rātā Café.
- Snicket – a Yorkshire word meaning a gap between houses.
- Party members
- Diana Barnes, Elizabeth Bridge, Michele Dickson, Chris Horne (scribe), Peter Tunnicliff.