Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Te Ara Tawa – Kenepuru to Porirua

A week ago, on Thursday 7 April, the final section of the cycling track Te Ara Tawa between Kenepuru and Porirua was finally officially opened. We didn’t go to the opening – we don’t enjoy crowds, we’d much rather have the place to ourselves – but we did bike there the very next day.

John took lots of photos along the way, as he was still experimenting with his backward-facing camera.

We started at the Takapu Road Station end. Between there and Tawa Station, the track runs alongside the railway line.

Between Redwood and Tawa Stations (photo by John)

From there it climbs up to the road – Duncan Street – to become a shared cycle-and-footpath, until the Grasslees Reserve, where it crosses the railway line, and continues through the reserve and then on a shared path through the streets of Linden.

On the shared cycle-and-footpath through Linden (photo by John)

At the Linden Park sports ground, the track follows the railway line again, until Kenepuru Station, which was where – until 7 April – we were frustrated by a barrier. But now, the new section was finally open.

At Kenepuru, the barrier has been removed – at last! (photo by John)

The new section of track is very nice – wide, flat and smooth. Close to Porirua, new grassy areas have been sown beside the path. The neatness of the new section now makes the older parts of the track (only two years old) look a bit untidy by comparison. But I think the whole of Te Ara Tawa is now a great asset to the area.

The track is great – wide and smooth (photo by John)

Suburban train (photo by John)

Coming up to Porirua (photo by John)

The last bit before Porirua Station (photo by John)

Having got this far, we carried on up to Aotea and the Gear Homestead Café for coffee and a scone. This is an excellent place for a relaxing half hour in the middle of a ride.

The Gear Homestead (photo by John)

View from an upstairs window of the Gear Homestead

Instead of returning down the main driveway back to Okowai Road, we rode through a small pine plantation below the homestead, which is the site of the “Adrenalin Forest”. This is an apparently very popular tourist attraction, offering a number of challenging confidence courses. Strung among the trees are a large number of cables, nets, platforms, bridges and the like – some a mere few metres from the ground, others way up high, below the canopy. It all looks like great fun for the young and bold, without a dislike or fear of heights!

One ‘course’ at a lower level, another at a dizzying height! Click to enlarge (photo by John)

Platforms, bridges and cables (photo by John)

Just looking up at it gives me the heebie-jeebies!

On the way home, we were amused to see a great number of seagulls resting by the Porirua Stream. There seems to be a definite segregation of the species.

Birds of a feather flock together … (photo by John)

We thought there might be a storm brewing at sea (it didn’t eventuate) because we saw large congregations of seagulls in a park, and also on the roof of a warehouse.

More seagulls – was there a storm brewing at sea? (photo by John)

It was quite cold as we were biking into a brisk southerly on the way home. I could have done with a beanie under my helmet to cover my ears. Winter must be on its way. I may have to keep a beanie in my handlebar bag, to have ‘just in case’.

A few days later, John rode Te Ara Tawa, including the new section, with our friend Pat. I stayed home, and wrote up another blog post – it seems never-ending, it's such a tyranny … Duty, compulsion, obsession?

Pat on the new section of Te Ara Tawa (photo by John)

The view from the track up to Aotea (photo by John)


  1. nice blog, I just got back from taking my 8 year old on the section from Takapu Road Station to Tawa Pool/Park and back. He is a currently a very timid rider so likes trails like that that are quiet and wide

  2. Awesome, there is an event to bike, Scoot or Walk the Ara Tawa Track (from 1:30-4pm next Sunday 5 March) and there are heaps of free / discounted activities for kids to celebrate Children's Day in Porirua (including a free screening of Disney's "UP" at 6pm)

  3. Thanks Désirée for sharing, really helpful! I have two young inexperienced riders and we could access this easily by train. much appreciated :)