This was the first of the formal Te Araroa Trail walks organised through the club, an EM daywalk from Porirua to the Cable Car. Twelve punters took the 8.30 am train from Wellington Central to Porirua. The weather forecast had promised a still, hot day and clear views. Pete led the group through central Porirua on Rahia Walkway to the start of the walk up Colonial Knob from Camp Elsdon. The group set off up the track of what seemed like never ending stairs to the top of the hill. We took the opportunity to have a rest at the top, enjoy the spectacular views and get a group photo.
From here the track follows the ridge to the summit of Colonial Knob where we could look across to Mt Kaukau and Tinakori Hill further along the track. We descended down through farmland and the Spicer Forest to Ohariu Valley Road. The next 5 km was a grunt along Ohariu Valley and Rifle Range Roads in the heat of the midday sun. A well-deserved lunch was enjoyed under some trees at the end of Rifle Range Road before the climb up Mt Kaukau. At the top we tucked into a box of chocolates courtesy of Garth and said goodbye to Marie and Pete who were descending down to Khandallah.
The rest of the group enjoyed the views down to Wellington Harbour, Makara and across to the South Island as we walked along a section of the skyline track.
At Bells Track we headed down into Ngaio and tucked into an ice cream from the corner dairy. From Ngaio we enjoyed a walk through the bush in Trellissick Park to Wadestown. By this stage most people had run out of water so the tap and public toilets in Wadestown were a welcome sight.
The last section of the track involved a steep, short climb up onto Tinakori Hill and sidling around on the Northern Walkway to the Botanic Gardens. After enjoying the Rose Garden we wandered up to the top of the cable car arriving at the end of this section of the Te Araroa trail at 5.30 pm. All up it was a 35 km walk which took 9 hours (including breaks). A highly recommended trip for anyone wanting an easily accessible day walk with amazing views of Wellington.