Lowry Bay - Gollans Stream - East Ridge.
Saturday 25 August 2007
East Harbour Regional Park's northern block offers an appealing variety of on-track and offtrack trips. Bus and ferry services on the Eastbourne side and bus services on the Wainuiomata side make access and egress easy.
From the No.83 bus in Lowry Bay, we entered DOC's Lowry Bay scenic reserve section of the park from the end of Whiorau Grove. (Whio = blue duck, rau = 100.) The route begins between a garage and the drive to No.5A, and is upstream to the first forks. Here we climbed steeply on the TR to the beech forest spur leading to the Ridge Track. West of Lowry Lookout, we descended the spur through young kamahi and beech to the top TR forks of Gollans Stream.
The valley's forest includes kamahi, hard and black beech, nikau and the occasional tall rimu, kahikatea and northern rata. It is one of the really special valleys in our regional parks network. The ecosystem is being restored by the Greater Wellington Regional Council, volunteers from the Mainland Island Restoration Organisation (MIRO) and Eastbourne rangers, who are trapping possums, poisoning rodents and shooting deer.
After a quick feed near a candelabra of kiekie, we tramped to the main forks, and just beyond the first TR tributary, Helen and Peter climbed its TR spur to the Ridge Track and descended to Days Bay. Maria and I went downstream to the bottom of the ‘Hunters Track’and climbed to the east ridge. Here we lunched quickly because the wind was cold, then tramped briskly, often though beautiful manuka scrub, to the top of the route down to the Wainuiomata Golf Course. This route descends steeply to a stream, then follows it to a TR terrace and large pines near a fairway. Here we had hot drinks and scroggin, then, after waiting as each group of golfers played the ball, sped to the Wainuiomata River bridge, past the club house, to the Coast Road. Half an hour's walk north to the bus stop and we were boarding a No.170 Wainuiomata South bus homewards. We had enjoyed a 6-hour M-grade tramp, ca.10 km as the kereru flies, with plenty of variety and plenty of exercise.
We thank the Greater Wellington Regional Council for copies of the park brochure and information about pest animal control in the park, Peter Jagger for maps, the Wainuiomata Golf Club for permission to cross their land and use their bridge and Barbara Mitcalfe for help on several reccees.
- Party members
- Helen Beaglehole, Chris Horne (leader/scribe), Peter Jagger, Maria Mears