Redwood Bush – Larsen Crescent Reserve – Te Ngahere-o-Tawa E
Wednesday 8 February 2023
We gathered at Redwood Station, Tawa, where Michele used the app to contact Metlink's ON DEMAND mini-bus service. The vehicle took us to Brasenose Place, Tawa, at the start of the track in Redwood Bush. At the pre-trip briefing, everyone received a street map with our route marked on it. Soon we were in native forest, enjoying the good track and, while it was not a botany trip, about twenty informative panels provided by the Friends of Tawa Bush Reserves, each describing one of the native plants in Redwood Bush. The group was formed during efforts by local people pleading with the then Tawa Borough Council for the protection of this forest from further clearance for housing developments. We enjoyed scroggin while relaxing near large vines of kōhia / native passionfruit.
We strolled down Peterhouse St to the entrance to Larsen Crescent Reserve, important in regional terms for its impressive tawa and mataī trees. Soon we reached the entrance on Larsen Crescent. After a short walk down the street and a left turn into Kiwi Crescent we were at the entrance to Te Ngahere-o-Tawa, marked by WCC sign boards. All three forest areas we walked through have tributaries of Porirua Stream.
WCC obtained this 36.8 ha forest in 2017 for addition to the Outer Green Belt, in response to pressure from Tawa residents to protect it for conservation and recreation purposes. Early 1970s' photographs show this land was fenced pasture – now it is a blend of towering pines with a vigorous understorey of native plants and weeds. Thousands of kihikihi / cicadas clicked away to attract mates. The sawn butt-ends of two pine trees feature painted blue circles, one with images of pine trees and the other with a full moon.
Up the good track we strode, soon getting views over suburban Tawa, then found a track-side lunch spot, tainted slightly by odour from the Spicer Landfill. Soon we arrived at an open grassy area and the sealed Broken Hill Road, the extension of which was built so that trucks could haul wind-turbine towers and blades for Ōhariu Valley's Mill Creek wind-farm, the Johnsonville route being too steep. After looking down at the landfill's Trash Palace from the linking track, we walked down to Chastudon* Place where Michele ordered the ON DEMAND mini-bus service, which returned us to Redwood Station.
- Named by Mavis Duncan, being a contraction of the lineage of Charles, Stuart and Donald.
- Party members
- Diana Barnes, Alan Benge, Bill Black, David Campbell, Michele Dickson*, Margaret Foden, Julia Fraser, Chris Horne* (scribe), Dianne Kerse, Kerry Popplewell, Peter Shanahan, Janice Tijsen, Robert Tredger and a visiting relative * Co-leader.