With Penny Redward
Nikau Reserve on SH1: A 1km circular route that climbs just over 100 metres. Access via the slip road off the Lindale Interchange. Administered by Kapiti Coast District Council this reserve, with it’s easy parking and lush Nikau forest, provides a unique opportunity for a quick workout before (or after) lunching in the Lindale Complex.
My friend and I checked it out recently and were pleased to see the muddy track had been upgraded since our last visit. We took off on the formed path, enjoying the luxuriant groves of Nikau – so thick only tatters of blue sky peeped through – then suddenly, to our amusement, we were back in the car park via an exit only 20m north of where we had entered! It had literally taken us about five minutes to complete the circular formed track. Obviously KCDC have missed the “real” track!
Back we went, searching for at least one of the two tracks we knew climbed steeply to the lookout. Yes, they are there but not particularly obvious – after the formed pathway the route up looks little more than slightly clear bush. Take whichever track you find first and persevere – you will shortly come upon old steps and feel more confident you are on the right route. The climb to a picnic table at the top of the hill is steep, rough and muddy in wet conditions but takes only 15 to 20 minutes.
The views are worth sitting down for (and a good excuse to take a breather) – Waikanae, Kapiti Island, and ocean to Mount Taranaki. If you really need a workout do it twice or continue on from the picnic table along the verge of new roads built by the development of Nikau Valley north towards the untracked Paraparaumu Scenic Reserve.
From SH1 there are two routes up to the top so do hunt around and return on the one you didn’t come in on, and complete the loop of the formed track below if you haven’t (like us) already done it by mistake.
Allow plenty of time to enjoy the forest and views – an hour at least.