This article was first published in the Tararua Tramper in March 1998
Roseneath - Te Rae-Kai-Hau (The headland that eats the wind)
Sunday 31 August 1997
The power of advertising! Thanks to this tramp being advertised in Wellington City Council's "Feeling Great - Leisure Guide", "City Voice", and on 2YB Access, 783AM radio, plus in the "Tramper", 41 people came, 27 non-members.
Our first stop was to enjoy the view from the Saluting Battery, Point Jerningham. The four 25 pounder Mk.1 guns of WW II fame, fired and maintained by 22(D) Battery, Royal NZ Artillery, are used to mark dates of national importance, royal birthdays and visits by foreign dignitaries. 1
Te Wai-hirere Pa, a stockaded village of Ngai-Tara, was near the site now occupied by Roseneath Church. 2 The name 'Roseneath' is not connected in any way with roses. It is an anglicised form of the Gaelic 'Rossinath', from 'Roseneveth' meaning 'promontory of the sanctuary', as a peninsula was in ancient times a favourite spot for burying the dead. The original peninsula of Roseneath is on the Firth of Clyde. 3
The Crescent Play area, at the top of the zig-zag from Maida Vale Road, gave us another splendid view of Wellington Harbour, Te Whanganui-a-Tara, a flotilla of kayaks, a ferry and a few yachts the only movement on its placid waters.
Along the Southern Walkway we descended to Hay Street Reserve, then, thanks to a Wellington Orienteering Club map supplied by Ken Fraser, we clambered up a pleasant, abandoned zig-zag to Palliser Road.
To reach Charles Plimmer Park for our first scroggin stop we used a minor track above the Southern Walkway. We sat on the grass in the sun, protected by a tree felled by WCC to prevent mountain bikers descending the steep slope above us. Next came a series of wide and narrow tracks to the seat with the plaque "in memory of Jonna Victoria Poulsen and her Bear-Sweet Dogs - forever in Aunty Jonna's Forest, 9.10.65- 24.6.88". A nice touch!
Near the site of Te Aka-tarewa Pa, a Ngai-Tara stockaded village on Mt Alfred, we switched to the east side of Te Ranga-a-Hiwi ridge, then descended past the ventilators of the Mt Victoria Tunnel to Hataitai Velodrome. Hataitai Park is built on spoil from the tunnel. At Constable Street in what may be a first example of club trip participant carrying his own transport, David sped homewards on his skateboard. We climbed to the north end of Truby King Park to see Truby and Isabella's house, their mausoleum, and some of the magnificent brickwork in the gardens, including the famous Moon Gate. The 1.9ha park was purchased by the WCC in 1990 and is being carefully restored. 4
Our route to Melrose Park began on a path below Sutherland Road, another above Hornsey Road and finally via the bush track from the end of Auckland Terrace. We lunched in bright, calm conditions near the survey marker north of Mt Albert, enjoying views over Lyall Bay, the Heads, Pencarrow and the Rimutaka Range.
We descended to Hornsey Road via a "kids' track", followed a path above it south to Houghton Bay Road, then crossed Sinclair Park, the site of several landfills, to Hungerford Road. We found the sight of horses grazing a pleasant contrast to the trail-bikes roaring round the park. From the south end of View Road we sidled then climbed to the high point on Waitaha, 5 the spur which branches off Te Ranga-a-Hiwi Ridge at Mt Albert. This is another wonderful viewpoint so we had scroggin here near the plaques, commemorating Kae Miller, the famous "Porirua Tip Lady" and founder of View Road Park Society, and her sister Mary Thompson.
We passed the Society's lodge and followed the narrow track south over the knobs of Waitaha. At Te Rae-kai-hau, the headland that eats wind, we saw the site of a whare, and views of the reefs and cliffs west towards Tapu Te Ronga Island.
After the steep descent to the Esplanade, we rounded the headland, walked the beach of Waitaha Cover, passed Arthur's Nose, the former WCC quarry, and the recently planted and beautified Dorrie Leslie Park. The tramp over, we boarded and nearly filled the No.12 Karori Park bus at Lyall Bay terminus.
- Ruth Askey, Fay Barclay, Diana Barnes, Margaret Bendig, Nick Carnpion, Rae Collins, Cecil Duff, Mike Gourley, Margaret Foden, Esther Haddorn, John Hart, Michael Hartley, Harold Hemi, Carol Hogan, Chris Horne (leader/scribe), Maggie Ireland, Trish Jaggi, Rui Lan Liao, Chui Lounui, Joan Manley, Trudy Martin, Anne Morrison, Liz Morrison, Russell Morrison, Enid Mulholland, Kath Offer, Lee Pledger, Helen Reynolds, Eckert Runge, David Scotland, Tui Sheridan, Hugh Slocombe, Michael Taylor, Lisa Tinkley, Theo Vanderlee, Alexandra Warmerdan, Shari Wheeler, Denise Whetton, Suzanne Wildin, Julie Woolf, Ben Zwartz
l. Lt. Shay Bassett, Patty St Camp, Petone.
2. Great Harbour of Tara. G. Leslie Adkin. Whitcombe and Tombs 1959. Also all other Maori history except 5 below.
3. The Streets of My City, F.L. Irvine-Smith. A.H. & A.W. Reed 1949.
4. Truby King Park Conservation and Management Plan, WCC 1993.
5. Ray Apihene-Mercer, pers.comm.