KAPITI`S MILLENIUM WALKWAY
With Penny Redward
18th June 2010
Kapiti’s Millennium Walkway. Sections 1, and 2.
In 2000 the Millennium Walkway and Cycleway was officially opened at a small ceremony just north of Fisherman’s Table Restaurant, Paekakariki. At the time the walkway was marked with occasional wooden posts and very little else, however the council painted a blue line along the cycle route and because of the furore that followed, many (in fact probably most) people in the district assumed this was also the walkers route. In reality the two routes are entirely different.
The vision was to provide a 45km north/south walkway from Paekakariki to Otaki that links as many parks, reserves, and waterways as possible. Connecting the communities along the way and intersecting with east/west walkways. Sadly the walkway still goes no further than Peka Peka but remains on Councils to do list.
The Millennium Walkway – also known as ‘The Green Belt Walkway’ features in the Council walking brochure available free throughout the district. It is divided into 6 sections and it is possible to have a decent day’s walk by combining some of the sections, getting to know the local parks and reserves and making a round trip by returning to your starting point along the beach.
The proposed walk this month is 12 km return and starts at Fishermans Table. It includes Paekakariki (section 1) and Queen Elizabeth Park (section 2). Allow 4 to 5 hours plus a lunch stop. Check the tides as you need a reasonably low tide for the return, it’s worth doing.
At the marked entrance just north of Fishermans Table the steps at the start are fairly steep and take you directly to the open cliff tops with dramatic views along the coast. You can see why low tide is needed to return along the beach. After a short bush section you arrive at Ames St. Reserve; continue down Ames St. to Beach Road. (Section 1 has the most footpath walking of the whole route but it is a quiet area with a very interesting history). Rather than following the official route along The Parade it is possible to go a short distance up Wellington Rd. then right into Tilley Road. Here are the original railway cottages and great views of the hills and Mt. Wainui. At the end of Tilley Rd there is a small public right of way that exits back on Wellington Rd by the entrance to QE Park.
Take the inland route – it is not used by nearly as many people and has a rural flavour quite different to the coastal route. It is steep in places. When you reach Whareroa Road you can cross straight over the road and continue on the second half of the Inland Track or take a short diversion towards the sea for a toilet and drink stop. This second section of the park can be most interesting on a Tuesday or Saturday if the model aeroplanes are in action: I once saw a man crawling in the undergrowth and was a little taken a back until I realised he was hunting for a lost plane!
Enjoy your day.