Monday, June 16, 2008

Urban Walkways

One of the great things about Wellington is the amount of urban green space that has been preserved around the city. This includes a network of "walkways" which cater to hikers and sometimes mountain bikers who want to get out into the wilderness without the bother of a long drive out of the city.

Taking advantage of a warm, sunny afternoon on Sunday, we headed to the Eastern Walkway, which begins at the southern tip of the Miramar peninsula, near the airport. From our parking spot near the coastline, we could see across to the South Island, where some of the taller peaks in the Seaward Kaikouras range are now dusted with snow. (But the snow doesn't really show in the photo.)
The Eastern Walkway is the shortest of the bunch. Just 2.5 km from one end to the other. (The Northern Walkway is the longest at 16 km.) It follows along a ridge, overlooking both sides of the peninsula. This is a suburban area, so at times there are houses right next to the track. Still, it's a nice trail with great views to the harbour and Cook Strait. We could even look across the harbour entrance to the Pencarrow Lighthouses which we visited recently.
We had a view down to some of the houses lining the shores of the harbour. Great places to live, as long as Wellington doesn't get hit by a tsunami! Maybe I'll stick with the hilltop homes instead.

One thing that struck me about this particular walkway was the lack of birds. Most visits to the New Zealand bush are accompanied by a constant soundtrack of whistles, chirps and other birdy noises. This one was unusually quiet, even for a city park. We did, however run into some local wildlife. The rabbit was surprisingly unconcerned about us, especially considering the large number of dogs we saw on the track.

Overall it was a short but pleasant walk. But I prefer some of the other walkway options more, like the Southern Walkway which extends from Oriental Bay over Mt. Victoria and across to Island Bay.

1 comment:

Survival Chick said...

Love this blog!