and occasionally rides a bike.
A word of warning. The walk descriptions are not detailed enough to guide you - please take a map. The batteries never run out, and you always have a signal. Oh, And don't take left or right as gospel!

Monday, November 12, 2012

A few short walks down under

Some short walks in New Zealand

Health warning - this post was written later than the date above!

21 November 2012
Trig Track and Wilkinson Track Kapiti Island

The enchanted island is a nature reserve and can only be accessed with a permit.  It has been forcibly cleared of predators such as rats, possum and stoats, to restore native fauna and flora.  There are various walks and activities at the two places where the public is allowed.
We had to take a boat from Paraparaumu on the west coast of North Island.

We landed at Rangatira, halfway along the eastern shore of Kapiti Island.

After our introductory pep talk about the wildlife and conservation, we decided to take the Trig Track up towards the highest point on the island, Tuteremoana (521 m)

Trig Track
  • 2km steady uphill climb, considerably steeper than Wilkinson Track, with narrow, uneven sections.
  • Requires a medium to high level of fitness.
 It was indeed steep, and hard work.
Looking back down the Trig Track towards Harry, and our guide, who showed us several native birds
We paused at a bird feeding station, which is essential for the hihi, or stitchbirds.   Some of the bigger birds can out-compete them for food.  From there it was another few minutes to the junction with the Wilkinson Track, a twenty minute walk to the summit lookout.   Lunch in hot sunshine.
Tuteremoana summit lookout

View from the summit lookout
We took the Wilkinson Track downhill - a gentler choice for the descent. It wasn't wet.

Wilkinson Track
  • Well-formed 3.8km track with a steady uphill climb.
  • Gentler gradient than the Trig Track.
  • You’ll pass a picnic area and hihi feeding station a third of the way up.
  • Sections of this track can be slippery in wet weather. Take care and wear suitable footwear.

Some historical information:

Historic sites
At the start of the Wilkinson and Trig Tracks is a historic whare, the oldest building on the island and the oldest associated with nature conservation in the country. It is thought to originate from the early 1860s when it was built as the homestead for the McLean family who farmed the island at the time. It was later home to caretakers on the island including Richard Henry, the world’s first state-sponsored conservation officer. It is now a base for scientists, trappers, students and numerous dignitaries and visitors.
Near the landing area you’ll find whaling trypots—artefacts from the island’s whaling history. 
The three shaded sections are from the information on the NZ Department of Conservation website about Kapiti Island.

22 November 2012
North End of Kapiti Island - Okupe Loop Walk

Okupe Loop Walk
  • 4.8 km/1.5 h return. Winds up a fairly gentle ridge through regenerating bush leading along the ridge top to the north-western lookout.
  • The track is accessed from the visitor shelter by following the track around the edge of the Okupe Lagoon.
  • Requires a low to medium level of fitness. 
  • Suitable for all terrain prams around entire length.

We walked along this before leaving Kapiti Island later on the second day, after our overnight stay, and kiwi walk.

The Okupe Loop track was gentle, compared to the Trig Track.

Near the Northwestern Lookout

great view

26 November 2012
Pelorus Bridge - Circle Walk

There's a campsite and a café at Pelorus Bridge Sceninc Reserve, and the café sells leaflets about  several walking tracks. We arrive quite late one afternoon, and decide to try the short Circle Walk.  

We have to cross the road bridge before starting on the track.

From here it's a pleasant, not too strenuous wander across a footbridge over the Rai, and then through woodland with views of the Pelorus river.
Afterwards we take another short track to the rocks and a swimming hole. 

You can see the road bridge clearly - one lane only!

28 Nov 2012

A couple of miles along the Queen Charlotte Track from the start at Anakiwa

The Queen Charlotte Walkway is a long distance path, and you need to buy a permit to walk any distance.  Much of it is well away from road access, and some people arrange to be picked up by boat at strategic points. The alternative is to arrange accommodation along the way.  We met some people who had walked it, when we took at ride on the Pelorus Mail Boat from Havelock, and they said it was not difficult, provided you were prepared and reasonably fit.
We didn't have time to organise a long walk, but did tackle a very short section at the beginning - no permit needed for this bit.  It made a pleasant evening stroll.
Our route
The path begins by the water at Anakiwa, and climbs up through woodland, then down towards Davies Bay. We hung around the bay for a while watching a wader, and also a New Zealand kingfisher - bigger than ours and nowhere near as shy.
spot the birdie
The hill shapes are typical of New Zealand.

December 1 2012 - Cullen point, near Havelock.

This was a very short walk - about half an hour or so, up to the top of Cullen Point, with a view over the Pelorus sound.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


I have not disappeared from the face of the earth, but entries could be sporadic until January!  A combo of  being down under , jet lag and less consistent intent than usual.  Bear with, bear with . . .we have seen the pesky ibis, the cat bird and the honey-eater.  The duck billed platypus swims at Yungaburra.

Harry's blog of our trip
Harry's blog

And mine :

A short walk in Mossman Gorge, Qld.

We took the bus from the visitor centre and walked along the marked circuit through the rainforest.

The visitor centre car park was very full

From a break in the trees you can see the mountain

a swimming hole in the Mossman river