Tue 11 – Sun 23 April
- Km today: 223
- Total Km: 1523
Wellington, Kapiti Coast to Palmerston North
I’ve arrived in Wellington to coincide with cyclone Cook, not by choice mind you. It brings wind and low cloud but not the sheer volume of rain that was forecast. Still it is dreary and wet. By chance my friend Marg is down for work so I get to spend a lovely evening with her. It is the Easter long weekend and my hosts are supposed to be flying north to our bach but sadly the weather scuppers these plans. Down hearted Chrissy and I take a wee solice by watching Beauty and the Beast at the Embassy Theatre. I spend time with Annabelle, another London flatmate who now lives north of Wellington. She hasn’t changed, and being really old, she has photo albums that we pour over reminiscing on the old days. I do need to get some walking done so manage to do the walk up to Mt Kaukau then back to Wellington city. This completes the city walk I had done back in February and means I can continue on with the next part of the journey from Wellington. I am undecided on whether to go up the Kapiti Coast or through Wairarapa. After much deliberation I choose the kapiti option. My friend Hayley, a passionate outdoors person and blogging genius joins me for the walk from Khandallah to Porirua. This takes us up to Mt Kaukau again then along the Ohariu Valley, up to Colonial Knob before dropping down into Porirua.
I’m staying with friends Kelly and Jon on the coast. In the morning they drop me off at Porirua and I walk from there to Plimmerton and up the Ara Harakeke path to Pukerua Bay. There Jon and Kelly join me to walk the Escarpment Track along to Paekakariki. Even though it is a narrow steep track with swing bridging and hundreds of stairs, it seems half of Wellington is doing the track today too. Good on them for getting out and exploring I say. The next day Chrissy and Ali visit and we walk along the Waikanae river which has an extensive wetland and numerous paths to explore the area. From Raumati I followed the coastline up to Otaki and then onto Levin, cutting in from Hokio beach.
From Levin I joined the Te Araroa trail via the Tararua ranges and the Burttons track for the 3 day walk to Palmerston North. The track was built by hand by James Burtton from 1908 to 1941 to access his farm land after the council wouldn’t assist with its construction. Unfortunately he fell 8m onto rocks from a suspension bridge he built and died from his injuries in hospital – after feeding his dogs and reaching his neighbours 12hrs later.