Wellington Coast-to-Coast: Paremata to Petone
Sunday 27 January 2002
We climbed from Paremata Station's overbridge to Papakowhai's Livet Place and Doncaster Terrace near Trig 16062 (157m). Club members who climbed this hill in the 1980s remember it as a fine viewpoint covered by long grass and some scrub. Now it is covered by houses in a hodge-podge of styles. Town planning has failed to prevent building on a prominent skyline, and to control house design in a neighbourhood.
Here we began the Conclusion Walkway, from which we enjoyed views of Porirua Harbour, Whitireia Park and badly-scarred Colonial Knob. Across Whitford Brown Drive we entered the Aotea Block (a.k.a Baxters Knob, 138m), 246 hectres owned by Porirua City Council, now being considered for development. It comprises rough pasture, gorse, pines and native vegetation in the catchment of Kenepuru Stream. Our route was down a tributary to the main stream, and along it to the track up to Cannons Creek Park and shops. For scroggin, we feasted on buns, biscuits and ice-cream from a bakery and dairy.
From the entrance to Belmont Regional Park, we walked to Maaroa Roa Covenant, one of the forest remnants in the park. A group, Friends of Maaroa, are poisoning possums and planting locally-sourced native species there, and a contractor to Wellington Regional Council has been destroying pest plant infestations. We walked through the attractive forest, crossing four small streams, emerging on the north side and rejoining the track and tramping to 'lunch 1' at Duck Creek saddle, in a shady spot.
Cooled by a light northerly, we climbed to Cannons Head and Belmont Trig (457m) for extensive views, conversation and 'lunch 2'.
The route down followed the Ridge Track for a short distance, then a track past a pukatea and a big rimu, directly down to near Korokoro Dam. A delightful route, followed by an equally pleasant spell at a place near Korokoro Stream's cascades down the spillway of the dam.
We chose the old route up to Oakleigh Street - it is direct, and goes through bush, and then for complete contrast, some pines and gorse. The Oakleigh Street entrance to the park is a welcome place on a hot day, with shade and drinking water. After a brief stop here, we went to the end of Acacia Ave and onto the track in 'Jasmine Grove' Reserve. The lower (gully track) is well-known for its impressive trees, and the steep climb from it to the sidle track! From George Gee Drive, we sped down London Road to catch the train at Petone Station, 7.5 hours after leaving Paremata.
We thank PCC for supplies of it's comprehensive pamphlet 'Walking Tracks in Porirua', and WRC for supplies of the pamphlet 'Belmont Regional Park', and leaflets 'Cannons Creek Lakes (Zone 3)' and 'Korokoro Valley (Zone 1)'.
Participants: Tony Balcombe, Bill Edwards, Des Eyre, Julia Fraser, Ken Fraser, Chris Horne (leader/scribe), Sheena Hudson, Stuart Hudson, Peter Lapsley, Deborah Macartney, Rachel McCahon, Ray Markham, Eva Petro, Pat Reesby, Peter Shanahan, Peter Silvester, Tim Stone.