Wednesday Walks and Working Bees 2022

Blowhard Bush 16 February 2022

What a super time we had up at Blowhard. Nine of us met at Fernhill and set off up Taihape Road. The weather was perfect and the bush and undergrowth looked very happy for the recent rain.

Walking up the Tui Track we took in all the interesting rock formations, the bush and the birdlife. We saw flocks of popokatea (whitehead) admired the friendly robins, heard tui, kereru, a longtailed  cuckoo and were accompanied by fanatics.

After a relax and cuppa in the sunny grass area near the Lowry Lodge, we took in the panoramic view of the Kawekas, before heading down to the Shelter for lunch. Along the way were many red admiral butterflies.

After lunch, most of us retraced our path up the Tui Track to traverse the Raukanui, where massive ancient matai and rimu impressed.

The final fun was exploring the caves and troglodytes, studying the cave weta and stalagtites.

Party:  Graeme H, Rodger B, Susan L, Anthea C, Anne C, Alasdair S, Christine H, Maureen P, Joan R

Opouahi Working Bee 2 March 2022

The Save Our Kaweka Kiwi team are most appreciative of the HTC volunteers’ continued  support in maintaining the the creche weir.  Once again an efficient team of gardeners cleared away the regrowth of grass, ferns blackberry and debris from the weir and stream banks.

After lunch there was time to tackle the thick, long grass from the surrounds of the security entryway and the small bushed area bordering the shelter.  This  transformed the creche entry area into being tidy and appealing to those who visit.

It was a very successful and enjoyable day.Thanks again for your great efforts. A special thanks to Peter B, our driver and to HTC for use of the van.
The team: Philip M, Lex & Anne S, Glenda H, Peter H, Graeme H, Roy F, Maureen P, Marilyn W, Phil K, Anne C

Te Mata Park 27th April

Thwarted by inclement weather further north, I decided a walk up Te Mata Peak would be good. Six of us met at Tauroa Rd car park and headed up through the little redwoods and on to the big redwoods, admiring the new plantings as we went.

After helping to herd a flock of sheep through the opened gate, (well we all moved to one side out of the way)  we took the lower (red) route and set off up to the top via the zigzag track. Along the way we noticed a large boulder against a bulging wire fence and quickly deducted that it had come off the limestone cliffs, rolling down the hill, slitting into smaller rocks as it rolled. We could see the flattened grass tracks coming down from the top.

 Marvelling at how green everything looked, we made our way to the top and after a short break, picked up rubbish lying around and then took the roadside tracks back to the main car park where we had lunch. By now it was brilliantly sunny and warm, after one skittery shower earlier.

 Back down through the new track to the right we were soon back to our cars, a most enjoyable morning out.

Thanks to participants:  Christine H, Lynn W, Peter B, Glenda H  Gabrielle S, Joan R and Layla the dog

Planting Bee – Maraetotara Plateau 11 May 2022

Instead of the planned Wednesday Walk to Happy Daze Hut, on Monday Fred  called to say he was ready with trees to plant stream-side on one of his farms so  we quickly changed plans as we had offered ourselves and spades when last enjoying  his and Marion’s hospitality. 

  After gathering at Fred’s house our team were taken to the small stream that had  been prepared for planting; fenced to keep stock out, grass killed to give the  young trees a better chance, and the selected tree to suit the site placed ready for  planting. Fred has grown a wide selection of natives some from seed and had  purchased nursery grown trees too. I guess we had about 15 different varieties to  plant and as the area had 12mm of rain in the past couple of days, digging holes  was easy.  

As usual, Marion had been baking and we had a superb morning tea. It didn’t take long after lunch to finish planting the 7-800 young trees. Our planting will help stabilse the stream sides, filter the water run-off from the paddocks and look absolutely marvellous in the years ahead.  A very satisfying day. Fred, thanks for giving us a good day out and thanks to everyone who was able to come and plant.  

Christine H, Susan L, Joan R, Janice L, Des S ,Graeme H Fred C, Marion N, Duncan M.

Havelock North Reserves 8 June

Starting off from Keith Sands Grove we walked up to Keirunga Gardens and through a woodland of old Oak trees on a track carpeted with Autumn leaves to the tops before dropping down onto the Tainui Reserve where we had a range of good tracks and took time to view the new plantings which in time will greatly enhance the reserve.

We then wandered onto the Hikanui Reserve and paused to admire the views both to the Peak and the Ranges before following the track down to Tauroa Road and the start of the Chambers Walk at the start of the Te Mata Park and unusually there were few walkers around as we made our way up to the main Car Park where we decided it was time for lunch by the Rongoa Gardens which is one of the areas that Mike Lusk and his volunteers including club members have worked on.

Lunch was eventually finished and we followed the new limestone track on the TeKahika Block where a lot of work continues to be done on the planting of a range of shrubs and rejoined Tauroa Road and onto the new Boardwalk for the last lap and then along and through the Tanner Street Reserve back to our Cars. A easy morning and full of interest for our 10Km walk.

Party: Lyn W, Janice L, Anne C, Joan R, Gabrielle S, Pete H, Rodger B

Taradale Reserves 28 June 2022

The morning started out cool with a slight wind chill . We were all prepared with warm clothing as we left the carpark at Church Road Winery. Departing here meant we would finish at the Otatara reserve so Christine and Rodger  located a car at Otatara so we could be transported back. (They then walked along the road and we caught up with them later in the morning).

 Six of us were soon climbing up Sugar Loaf ( Pukekura in Maori ) where we admired the view from the trig. Beams of sunlight lit up a container ship out at sea and Cape Kidnappers to the south was dominant. From Tironui Drive we entered the Rotary Pathway of “Maggies Way ” walkway. Preceding this we were entertained by old farming relics located on the roadside farm. Gentle steps took us down into a low swamp area and a gully planted with many healthy natives which looked about 2 or 3 years old. Two council workers were planting more trees today. The walking paths were in good condition. We passed the large pond and came out on Puketapu Road.

 The weather had warmed up by now so before we climbed up Dobel reserve we shed an item of clothing and had a short drink stop. We entered the bush at the ‘Kauri Walk” which has many mature and new plantings. On the top we studied the progress of new housing and admired more great views to the north and south. Then a  20 minute suburban  walk looking at  the local gardens, took us to the entry of the Otatara Historic Reserve.  It has been a historic reserve since 1972,  commanding great views and information panels about its history.     It was here that we met up with Christine and Rodger and they then joined the group for a coffee to end this day of Taradale Reserves Wednesday  walk.

Party: Christine H,  Susan L,  Anne C, Janice L,  Lynn W, Rodger B, Nic W and Peter H

Napier Hills – 17 August 2022

Eight keen walkers, plus Layla (Alisdair and Joan’s very well behaved dog) set off from the Napier Centennial Gardens in Coote Road and proceeded on up to Priestly Terrace for a climb up the pathway, Lighthouse Road and a beautiful walk through Sturms Gully. We were entertained with a chorus of Tui singing which was delightful and continued on up to the Bluff Hill Lookout. What a magnificent view over Hawkes Bay and we spotted the new wharf too. Light drizzle didn’t dampen our spirits either. 

We carried on down the steps and into Karaka Road which is now open to traffic. Several streets were walked until we made our way down Shakespeare Road and across to Hardinge Road where we, of course, found a cafe and very welcome hot drinks and snacks. We arranged to meet up with Heather Stephenson so it was great for us all to catch up with her.

More steps up to Chaucer Road North and along Napier Tce and down more streets and several streets and eventually back to our cars.

An enjoyable walk with stunning views and loads of history on the hill.

Walkers:  Christine H, Rodger B, Joan R, Alisdair S, Barbara P, Peter H, Susan L, Lynn Walch

Dolbel Reserve and Sugar Loaf:  28 September 2022.

The Yeomans Track tramp was cancelled so instead 3 of us turned up at Susan’s place and walked from there up into Dobel Reserve via an access-way off O’Dowd Road. We made our way up to the top and then down the other side along the Kauri walk to Dolbel St.  After walking down Dolbel Street and along Puketapu Road for a short distance we accessed Maggie’s Way which we followed up to Tironui Drive. It was then just a short distance to the Lance Leikis Reserve and the climb up Sugar Loaf.  We then followed the track down to Church Road and headed back to Susan’s stopped for a quick refreshment on the way.  A good 3 hour walk in fine weather and we were pleased to have taken Bronwen out on her first outing with the Club


Party: Susan L, Bronwen K, Peter B and Glenda H.

Boundary Stream and Shines Falls 27 October

Kuripapango and Kiwi Saddle 23 November

Red Island: 7 December.

Rain forecasted in the Kawekas meant that the Kaweka Flats tramp was cancelled so we choose instead to go to Red Island which had favourable weather forecasted and a low tide just before mid-day.  We left Havelock North just after 9 and started walking from the most southern parking area at Waimarama about 9:45.  There was slight drizzle and a fresh breeze at the start but the drizzle soon stopped.  The worst obstacle, a rock out crop, about 20 minutes’ walk from the start was easy to walk around given the tide and within the hour we were at Cray Bay.  


The geology of this area is quite raw, eroding hillsides oozing downwards, strewn with pine trees that had lost the battle to stabilize the land. However, this meant that there were many interesting rocks to inspect on the beaches including the big round boulders reminiscent of the Moeraki boulders.  

We disturbed a seal just before the Cray Bay and watched as in swam out in the sea. After a bite to eat we carried on, rock hopping most of the way.  At around noon Anne and I stopped at the last headland but Susan and Peter carried on to the island.  The trip back seemed faster, although Peter was somewhat hampered by a large rock he decided we needed for our garden, and we were back at the car by 2 o’clock.

Party: Anne D, Susan L, Peter B and Glenda H