Sunday, 15 June 2014

Waikanae to Peka Peka

Wednesday 4 June was the fifth perfect weather day in a row, and we made the most of it by going up to Waikanae for a ride. We parked at the Otaihanga Domain by the bridge and set off on the track on the south side of the Waikanae River.

We hadn’t gone very far when we came across some “roadworks”. I think it must be ground preparations for a new bridge across the river, as part of the MacKays to Peka Peka Expressway, which in turn is part of the Wellington Northern Corridor. Fortunately the cycling track was not interrupted, just deviated a bit.

The cycle track had to deviate around the ground preparations for the MacKays
 to Peka Peka Expressway (photo by John)

Protecting a stream near the ground works site

Along the river-side track there had been a bit of felling going on. In another blogpost about this trail, I mentioned the Waikanae River Corridor Restoration Project, which aims to restore native forest by planting thousands of native trees. The trees that had been felled all appeared to be deciduous trees, so it seems that they have to make way for natives.

A lot of deciduous trees had been felled
This is so pretty, I hope they don’t cut down all the deciduous trees on this part of the track.
 (photo by John)

The track ends at the SH1 bridge over the river, which we crossed. We then rode a short distance on the footpath before turning into Te Moana Road.

The Waikanae River from the SH1 bridge

Te Moana Road is a lovely wide road, with a good cycling lane on each side, and it goes all the way to the beach. Near the end, we turned right to head towards Rutherford Drive, which would take us to Peka Peka. A brief stop at the Waimeha Stream for a photograph, and then it was a non-stop ride until we got to Harrisons Garden Centre, where we stopped for lunch.

The Waimeha Stream (photo by John)

The umbrellas protect customers from the “fall-out” from birdlife in the tree branches above them
(photo by John)

After a pleasant hour (well, nearly an hour) of lunch and browsing around the garden centre, we pedalled back to Waikanae. I was surprised at how much easier this ride seemed than it had been when we rode it in January. Back then, I noticed the undulations of the Peka Peka Road as being “uphill”; this time it didn’t bother me at all, and we made quite rapid progress.

We went back to Otaihanga via the Waimanu Lagoons. We rode a total of 28 km, it took us an hour and a quarter to get to Harrisons (the long way round), and only 45 minutes to get back to the car.

Pied shags drying their feathers on a log in the river (photo by John)

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