Queen Elizabeth ParkBy Penny Redward 19th February 2011
Paekakariki Whareroa Stream Track
A “Walk in the Park” and a gentle start for the Year’s walking schedule!
A loop walk taking just over an hour (with a short drink stop), the Whareroa Stream Track is one of the newest and easiest walks in Queen Elizabeth Park. The stream has been fenced from the surrounding paddocks and the banks planted up over the past 3-4 years so it looks good and will improve even more as the planting matures. Currently the track appears to be used mostly by cyclists and horse riders so be aware of this; generally pedestrians should give way to horse, bikes to pedestrians. While more sheltered from wind than the coastal tracks this loop track has no cover from rain or sun so pick your day.We parked by the Ranger Station at the MacKays Crossing entrance. There’s a lovely information board but the walk doesn’t feature! – it is marked on the map in the brochures that are available there but only as a track line – no written information. From the starting point behind the riding stables, however, it is well signed and easy to follow.
After ambling north alongside the stream for half an hour we joined the Inland Track, turned left past the model aeroplane club and came to an open paddock. Here it is only a minute’s walk to the beach picnic area but we kept left through a short section of bush, over the tram track to reach the sealed Whareroa Road that is part of the return loop. We decided however to deviate for morning tea; crossed the road and headed south uphill for a few minutes to a lookout and seat.
Returning to the road you can walk along the verge by the tram track back to the Ranger Station or go slightly left (just past the entrance to the Model Plane Club) and follow an off road track for 10 minutes. This track rejoins the road by the WW11 memorial – worth a look.
At this stage, if you are feeling like a little more exercise, there is another loop walk to the Kahikatea remnant – one of the earliest restoration projects in the park, and back to MacKays crossing via the wetland walk as shown on the brochure– 1 hour.
The alternative is to carry along the road for 5 minutes back to the Ranger Station.
While not at all challenging this walk provides an opportunity to see the mid section of the park, the restoration planting, and has various options depending on your time available and the weather.