Tuesday, 15 September 2015


On Tuesday last week, conditions were finally right for a long bike ride. The weather was good and we had overcome our lurgies (John) and concussion (me). We went to the Kapiti Coast, as it looked like the weather might be just a bit better there. And so it was – spring’s here!

At the Otaihanga Domain, where we parked, we watched as a family of ducks waddled towards a large puddle to take the babies for a swim. Mum, Dad, eleven ducklings, and a few aunties too.

No fewer than eleven ducklings! (photo by John)

Ah, a lovely puddle for a safe swim … (photo by John)

While biking through the Waimanu Lagoon Reserve, we spotted another young family – a pair of black swans and six fluffy, grey cygnets. They must be well used to human admirers, as they swam towards us solicitously when we stopped to take photos. When they found we didn’t have any offerings, they paddled off again.

They came to investigate us … (photo by John)

… and then paddled off again (photo by John)

We headed down through Waikanae Beach, and onto Rutherford Drive towards Peka Peka. There is a little path that detours off the road, and meanders through the sand dunes. Several of the hill sides around a lagoon area have recently been planted.

New planting in the sand dunes (photo by John)

Reflections on a lagoon (photo by John)

We pushed on towards Peka Peka for lunch at Harrison’s, followed by a wander around the adjoining garden centre.

After returning to Waikanae, we followed the river track as far as the Te Arawai foot bridge, where we crossed and headed back along the opposite bank. Evidence of spring finally arriving was all around – fresh tender green on the willows, daffodils in the paddocks, a lamb or two, and the smells of flowering wattles, onion weed and freshly mown grass. When we got back to our car at the Otaihanga Domain, we had biked 31 km.

Since it was such a glorious day, we took the long way home by driving up the Paekakariki Hill Road. The fabulous view from the lookout makes for a compulsory stop. There was very little wind – just enough for an updraft, which was made good use of by a paraglider, swooping down to the beach and then back up overhead and down again.

The view from the Paekakariki Hill lookout towards Paraparaumu and Kapiti Island
(photo by John)

The glare off a calm Tasman Sea (photo by John)

The paraglider swooped over the top of us and away again

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