Percy Stream to Paremata
21 March 2009
This 7.5-hour tramp is Wellington’s version of the Coast-to-Coast, linking Petone/Wellington Harbour and Paremata/Porirua Harbour. From Petone Station we walked on the west side of SH2, along the still-to-be finished footpath to Percy Scenic Reserve. Here we were joined by three Lower Hutt Forest & Bird members, Kate, Barry and John, who were keen to travel the little-known route up ‘Percy Stream’ to Camellia Tce, Maungaraki.
We walked a track above the TL of the stream, to the lower flood-detention dam, and the track through more bush to the impressive 10-m waterfall, and top flood-detention dam. Then we began the attractive, untracked, route upstream. Soon we passed big pukatea trees, and climbed a small waterfall. We were impressed to see numerous nikau palms and seedlings, the latter surely resulting from GWRC’s pest-control work in the valley. The only things we were disappointed to see were some big concrete blocks and a few tyres - perhaps HCC could airlift them from the valley? Half an hour up from the top dam we reached a tiny TR tributary, up which we went a way, before tramping up the TL side of its valley to the strip of Holdaway Scenic Reserve which provides access between nos. 18B and 20 Camellia Tce, Maungaraki. Between the houses, we walked through agapanthus and down a slope near some flax, to the street. This access is not sign-posted.
From Acacia Ave, we walked via two alleyways to Belmont Regional Park’s Oakleigh St entrance. After a brief stop here, we descended the old route to Korokoro Dam, then waded up Korokoro Stream for 20 minutes, admiring the bush, and browsing on blackberries, karamu berries, mint and watercress. Once on the track to Stratton St, we were impressed by the beautiful forest, but questioned the durability of the steeper parts of the reconstructed track not protected by the excellent new, boxed steps.
After ‘lunch 1’ at Stratton St picnic area, we walked upstream through regenerating forest, climbed steadily to Middle Ridge Track and Cannons Head ridge, then west to the track down to Takapu Rd. Soon we heard loud music ahead. Once beyond the revegetation plantings at Maara Roa, and Cannons Creek Lakes, we came to the source of the sound - the happy crowds enjoying Creekfest 2009, the Cannons Creek festival, on the extensive park. Just above Bothamley Park, we had ‘lunch 2’, then tramped up Kenepuru Stream’s valley to a track junction. We took the left fork, passed more blackberries, and the vast Aotea subdivision, crossed Whitford Brown Ave, and reached the Conclusion Walkway. The fine views of Porirua Harbour, Whitireia Park, Mana and Kapiti islands spurred us toward Livet Lane, and the descent through Papakowhai, via Eskdale Rd Reserve, to Paremata Station.
We thank K & B Malcolm for copies of Walk Korokoro; HCC for an aerial cadastral map of Holdaway Scenic Reserve, and copies of Hutt City tracks and trails; GWRC for copies of Belmont Regional Park; PCC for copies of Walking and cycling tracks in Porirua City; Barbara Mitcalfe for help with the reccee.