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Te rōpū hikoi o te pae maunga o Tararua   -   Celebrating 100 years of tramping

Trip Reports 2024-02-18-Mt Victoria

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Oriental Bay 1

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Oriental Bay and ferry from morning tea stop beside
St. Gerard's Walkway Photo: Michele Dickson

This article was first published in the Tararua Tramper Volume 96, no 3, April 2024

Courtenay Place – Roseneath – Balaena Bay E

Sunday 18 February 2024

harbourside market, enjoying the sights and sounds from the throngs of shoppers and performers. In Waitangi Park we admired the plantings of native wetland species chosen by landscape architect Megan Wraight to make use of Waitangi¹ Stream which rises on the slopes above Newtown. At the boat harbour we passed twenty-six boat sheds with matching blue doors then climbed steps to Oriental Pde. Scaffolding beside most of Prince St's 118 steps deprived us of the fine view over the harbour and hills.

McFarlane St, Mt Victoria, is in two parts. The lower part lacks a footpath – thus the road is beside the small houses' fences. The upper part has mansions, many with finials said to deter witches and one with gingerbread woodwork on the eaves of its two verandas. We enjoyed morning tea on a seat on St. Gerard's Walkway, with a fine view of Oriental Bay and an inbound Cook Strait ferry. From Palliser Rd we went along Bayview Rd to the start of Bayview Track. Soon we came to an imposing group of large gum trees, then young native forest with many weeds. At the end of the track we reached the driveway serving no. 18A Hay St. From the top of the street we used a track up to the Town Belt and Southern Walkway. Male kihikihi / cicadas seeking female mates buzzed steadily and an occasional kahukura / red admiral butterfly fluttered near us. Northwards towards the Grass St footpath we passed a sewer pipe cover which had lifted and was leaking a trickle of sewage along the track for over 100 m. We reported this to WCC that evening.

We climbed Grass St's ten zigs and ten zags, passed a mural and reached The Crescent, Roseneath. This suburb stands on Te Ranga a Hiwi¹ – the ridge which runs from Mt Victoria / Matai-rangi¹ to Pt. Jerningham / O-maru-kai-kuru¹. From Grafton Rd a flight of about 350 steps leads down to Maida² Vale Rd. Part way down the steps we stopped for lunch while enjoying the view across Evans Bay to Shelly Bay and the long-hoped-for Wellington National Heritage Park protecting the prominent peninsula from the former Wellington Prison and Matai-moana / Mt Crawford down to the Massey Memorial and Kai-tawaro¹ / Point Halswell.

From Maida² Vale Rd we soon reached Evans³ Bay Pde to await a no. 24 bus homewards. Cuppas and cake at Sweet Mother's Kitchen in Courtenay Place / Te Aro completed our urban tramp.

¹ The Great Harbour of Tara. G. Leslie Adkin. Whitcombe and Tombs Ltd, 1959. ² 'Maida' commemorates the British victory in 1806 in the battle of Maida in Italy during the Napoleonic Wars. Google. ³ George Samuel Evans, D.C.L., NZ Company (1800-1868). The Streets of My City. F. L. Irvine-Smith. 1948. A. H. & A. W. Reed. P.S. I cannot find the origin of the name 'Balaena'. Might it be related to 'baleen' – whalebone? The only former industry in Balaena Bay recorded by Google was a boat-building company.

Party members
Chris Horne (leader scribe), Michele Dickson, Jean Morgan.

Page last modified on 2024 May 08 06:52

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