Christchurch 360, Dunes and Wetlands

24 October

Mike and Sue had kindly placed a car at Spencer Park and were back at Wairoa Street in the company of nine others for this 16km, flat walk. Last time Helen led this trip it was Dunes-Wetlands. This time it was to be Wetlands-Dunes. Being spring the red zone was very green and a bit wet under-foot in places. The Donnell Park playground was an ideal stop for morning tea. Travis Wetland Nature Heritage Park was a delight at this time of year and Sue’s insider knowledge was a bonus. A tangle of eels came into the shallows at a viewing point, expecting to be fed but we didn’t have anything to give them. I was carrying a plastic bag which three pukekos mis-read. They ran towards me but “sorry pooks, no food”. We saw swans with their signets and masses of wildfowl, while a hawk circled, watching for birds or struggling trampers to prey on.

Bottle Lake Plantation was a total change of scene. We had lunch on a high mound in the restored Bexley Landfill, blissfully unaware of the lead, cadmium, americium 241 from smoke alarms and compostables stewing beneath us. Near Spencer Park we caught glimpses of the mighty ocean, then we were in sandy pine forest before joining the masses in the picnic ground. Mike needed two trips and Sue one trip, to take our many drivers back to Pages Road.

We were: Helen Harkness (leader and guide) Diane Mellish, Wendy Wallace, Mike Bourke, Sue Britain, Lissa Toscano, Kyung Sang Lee, Joy Schroeder, Sonya Donaldson, Stuart Payne, Kerry Moore. [KM]

Don't wear open-toed sandals here!