My Nearest Lockdown Walks (During COVID-19 Level 4)
For me, taking the air during the silence of the lockdown almost always includes one of the local bush areas in Ngaio. The closest, Heke Reserve below my place, is graced with kahikatea, rewarewa, tawa, hīnau and regenerating kohekohe. It is always a delight to take one of the tracks for quick access down to Ngaio or Crofton Downs, and to listen to the tūī or watch an inquisitive fantail cavorting at close quarters.
Just up the road, Iím still discovering new tracks in the pristine forests of Huntleigh Park.
A round-trip often takes in Orleans Makererua Reserve, a forest of kohekohe trees. In the spring of 2018 the forest floor looked snow-covered by fallen kohekohe flowers (photo). I sometimes stop below the enormous pukatea tree in the gully and look up in wonder. The other day, I walked up the Piwakawaka Track, from Old Porirua Road to the hilltop reservoir at Odell Reserve. It was a brilliant day after a foul southerly. And there on the horizon the snow-clad Tararuas beckoned, looking like the Himalayas. Why didnít I take a camera!
Another gem I discovered is Chelmsford Street Reserve, a dog exercise area with a magnificent view and a kauri tree in the middle.
A 15-minute nocturnal walk to generate a head of steam? A circuit down Heke Street, up Makererua Street, then up the steps to Heke Street is ideal. I always count the number of steps. On a fine night, on the return down Heke Street, I greet my old friends Scorpio, sprawling across the eastern sky, and the Southern Cross and the Pointers aloft.
- Party members
- Peter Reimann (scribe)