Walking can be full of surprisesby Helen Tristram 15th July 2011
We were well wrapped up when we started from the northern end of the Ara Harakeke walkway, alongside SH1.
When we reached Whenua Tapu, we veered off the walkway onto a road to the right and walked along to a large farm gate on the left which took us through to the Airlie Road Reserve and the start of the Taua Tapu track.
There we were greeted by a small group of very friendly horses who nudged us hopefully for some titbits.
Leaving the horses we walked up the track which led us through expansive views over surrounding countryside.
It was a relatively easy uphill walk past farmland, a couple of homesteads and horse paddocks.
Another surprise was to be told by walker Ernie Stevenson that we were sitting amongst the only trees in the world that flower and bear fruit in winter. – The New Zealand Kohe Kohe.
After our short break we continued along the Taua Tapu Track towards Plimmerton and wonderful views of Pauahatanui Inlet, Paramata Harbour, Mana Island – and beautiful blue sea.
Following the Reserve Road track sign we made our way down approximately 300 well built DOC steps through bush to Reserve Road and Karehana Bay.
This was on a gravel track, but with sunshine and shags on the rocks to look at, and my final surprise of walking beside amazing Maori driftwood carvings.
It was altogether a very well worthwhile walk.