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   South Wairarapa Tramping Club – Wellington’s Southern Walkway

July 12, 2021 July 2021 No Comments

Eight of us from the Wairarapa, plus 2 extras from Wellington, met in Oriental Bay, where we found convenient free car parks just before Carlton Gore Road.

We followed the bright pink Southern Walkway posts, keeping a careful eye out, as the walkway crosses other tracks and roads, and it is easy to find yourself inadvertently walking on a different track, or up someone’s garden path! It may only be a “walkway”, not a “tramping track”, but it begins with a climb up from sea level to the top of Mt Victoria, 196m, and continues along Town Belt ridge tops, up and down,  finally descending to Houghton Bay 10.6kms later, so it’s not “a walk in the park”!

The weather was perfect, little wind, sun out at times, but not too hot. The views as we walked along are some of Wellington’s best. On our initial climb we could look back down at the city, and the harbour with the Carter fountain sending up its plume of water, and we could hear the sounds of the Homegrown Music Festival quite clearly. Further on the Wellington College (very) old boys in our party, and one Wellington East Girls College ex-pupil,  looked down at their former colleges. 

The brick walls in the garden of the Plunket Society’s founder, Sir Truby King, provided a sunny viewpoint for lunch. As we came up to the reservoir near Mt Albert we looked down to Lyall Bay, the Airport, and Cook Strait,  with opposing Interislander ferries passing safely, port to port.

The one tricky problem on this walk is an absence of public toilets. Plenty in Oriental Bay, 2 loos on the south side of Mt Victoria, but after that most parks have no loos, or locked loos.  We finally found unlocked loos, to everyone’s relief, but with the final flush the water rose up alarmingly in the bowl, threatening to overflow!

On arrival in Houghton Bay we had intended to walk round to Island Bay for a bus back to our cars, but our youngest walker quickly discovered that a bus was to leave from right where we were in just a few minutes. We had a slightly alarming but thrilling ride in the top front of a doubledecker bus, driving up and down really narrow streets and enjoying the views back along the route of our walk.

SWTC welcomes new members! Phone or email Ed and Juliet Cooke,06 304 9497, or efjac@xtra.co.nz. See our Facebook page and website. 

Photo caption: Lunch break with a view

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