Blog days 28-30 Plimmerton to Wellington
It felt like being home staying with Sophia, Zac and Coco. Coco has settled in well to apartment life.
We took advantage of being in town to eat out for breakfast so I went for my favourite avo on toast at the LAB.
Then down to the train station to catch the train back to Plimmerton.
It was an 8km walk more or less along SH1 but on safely seperate pathways. It was interesting to start with seeing behind the scenes of all the towns that are familiar from driving that road numerous times. But 8km felt like a bit too much road walking.
We got to Porirua in time for lunch. Unfortunately lunch in the mall didn’t feel right and wasn’t very satisfying either. At least it was a break for our feet and had good toilets.
After lunch we got onto a bush track to climb up Colonial Knob. It was a very pretty track but I stopped noticing as I struggled up the near vertical 2km climb. It was a well used track by lunch time exercisers.
The views from the top were impressive. Unfortunately they don’t photograph so well due to the misty cloud we were in at that height. The wind was so forceful at the top, it made walking tricky.
We crossed a bit of high country farmland before entering a mountain bike park, pine forest. Then some road walking before some more countryside. The land around this area seemed very equine based. It felt very remote particularly as we neared the wind farms.
It was a surprise to cross the brow of the last hill and see Johnsonville. We then caught an Uber back to Sophia’s as it was only $10 more than the train and saved us a lot of extra walking to and from the train station.
We then had a lovely dinner out with all our Wellington based family. I even managed to fit into some of Sophia’s clothes for the occasion.
We started the day with meeting Richard for coffee at the cafe by his house. That happens to be at the base of Mt Kaukau. The walk to the summit from there was the equivalent (but possibly harder) than getting there from where we left the track yesterday.
Mt Kaukau had more amazing views of Wellington and the harbour and was a much clearer day today.
The track continued along through more farmland and wind farms to the side similar to yesterday. Along with ongoing vistas of the city.
Finally we emerged into suburban Ngaio. A regular suburb apart from the lady taking her lamb for a walk. Actually she was returning from the local park where she’d taken it for a feed.
The track then wound through various suburbs via a very pretty bush track. At one stage a small section was barricaded off due to a washed out bridge and a detour was suggested. We could see the stream with missing bridge and with our new found river crossing skills determined we could handle it. Which we did without even getting our feet wet!
We came out finally into Wadestown where we were hoping to buy lunch. I was getting pretty hot and hangry by this stage as it was around 2pm. Unfortunately the cafe was closed so we sat on a park bench and ate our regular hiking foods and cooled down. The track then went directly up some roads that I’m sure are steeper than Dunedin’s Baldwin St and into the town belt. Luckily once we were there the track leveled off and was very pleasant. There were lots of very mature pine trees and again cool little glimpses of the city.
We emerged from the town belt at the business end of town and did the official walk up Lampton quay. (Having already walked up and down it several times over the last few days to and from the train station)
Yesterday we were on the northern walkway all day and today it was the southern walkway. Starting off with a dark moody Wellington foreshore.
Soon after we walked past Sophia’s work so her and her colleagues waved us off.
Another day of Wellington mountains and city views. Today was Mt Vic, Mt Alfred, Mt Albert to the south coast waterfront and Island Bay. Great vantage points again of the city and Lyall Bay.
It was hard going up those hills again as another hot muggy day. I’ve been feeling quite sluggish the last few days so really looking forward to a couple of days off. We’ve been walking for nine days straight now so I think our bodies are ready for a break even though nothing is specifically sore or hurting.
It was a nice surprise coming out into the Truby King Park for a change in garden scenery. Also a cute little fairy dell in the nearby forest.
A shame the zoos baboon wasn’t out and about when we went past it’s enclosure.
Finally we made it back down to sea level and strolled around a few bays before reaching the marker for the end of the North Island.
So we’re now having one rest day in Wellington (Saturday) to plan and prepare, then travel to next point on Sunday, and get walking again Monday.
Ideally we were wanting to tick the Tararuas off first but the weather window next week isn’t ideal, so we’re carrying on sobo to the South Island. We may come up against inhospitable weather there too, particularly for the Richmond ranges but we’ll assess our position again once we get there. Day 28 ~ Walked 25 km, ~Start: Plimmerton ~ End: Johnsonville (km 1672)
Day 29 ~ Walked 16 km, ~Start: Johnsonville ~ End: Wellington central (km 1688)
Day 30 ~ Walked 12 km, ~Start: Wellington central ~ End: Island bay Wellington (km 1700)
Videos of last two days. Unfortunately the Colonial knob day didn’t record properly.