Waimapihi Reserve's Aliway & Transient tracks E
Sunday 4 December 2022
We travelled by no. 7 Kingston bus from Lambton Quay to near Cleveland St, Brooklyn. After sampling sweet-smelling cabbage tree blossoms we used a path below both Todman St and Mitchell St before climbing steps to Brooklyn Reservoir to enjoy the view of harbour and hills. Across Karepa St we started on the new Aliway Track, named after Alison Gray, a former volunteer in this reserve. We met two volunteers who were cutting back track-side weeds. The track descends through regenerating bush to its junction with Transient Track. The picnic table and bench seat here were ideal for our scroggin stop and views northwards.
On Transient Track we met many walkers, runners and mountain-bikers. A striking feature of Waimapahi Reserve is the steepness of the bush-clad terrain. We are so lucky that years ago Victoria University's plan to use the land as part of its campus ended. Wellington City Council acquired the site, naming it Polhill Reserve, after an early settler. The name has been changed to Waimapihi Reserve because it is part of the catchment of Waimapihi Stream which flows in a culvert under Aro St and Te Aro to enter Te Whanganui a Tara near Te Papa.
Our lunch spot was in a gently sloping glade near Transient Track. We supplemented our lunches with Marlborough cherries while Alan sold all the Wellington Cartoon Calendars 2023 he carried. We later saw Waimapihi Stream disappearing into a culvert taking it to the harbour. At the track's end at Aro St we studied the interpretation panels, then sampled the pleasant perfume of a crushed leaflet of wharangi – see Tramper Vol. 93 No. 10 Nov. 2021.
At the bottom of Raroa Rd we reached the way-marker post for the new track to Kelburn Pde over Town Belt land. The lawn is at the base of the former Aro St quarry – hence the near-vertical slope above the lawn. The quarry was a source of rock into the early 1940s. The track is so far unnamed – a suggestion is ‘Te ara Pukehīnau’: 'ara' means 'path' and Pukehīnau is the original name of the ridge upon which Kelburn was built. Wellington City Council has done a fine job of developing the track. At its lower end it follows the broad zigzag route to the top of the former quarry. There are numerous flights of boxed steps plus boardwalks over rivulets – a pleasant walk through a blend of native forest, huge pines and macrocarpas. Michele found images of the first club trip through this section of Town Belt – see Tramper Vol. 87 No. 4 May 2015.
Among the birds we heard were: kārearea / New Zealand falcon, pīpīwharauroa / shining cuckoo, riroriro / grey warbler, kākā and tūī.
Up Kelburn Pde we walked then down St. Michael's Cres to Upland Rd and Kelburn Café where we sat in the sun enjoying chats, cuppas and kai.
- Party members
- Jane Allison (former member), Diana Barnes, Alan Benge, Bob Cijffers, Lainey Cowan, Michele Dickson, Chris Horne (Leader and scribe), Marris Weight.