Lower Waimakariri to Whites Crossing

Easter Sunday 17 April 2022

This was the riverside section of a Christchurch 360 leg called Brooklands Mouth. We skipped the Lagoon section, starting at the big car-park where the Styx River enters the lagoon. Helen wanted to leave the lower lagoon part for another day as its conveniently done combined with the spit walk to the Waimakariri mouth. The day was drizzly and driving to the car park we encountered real rain. In spite of this our Easter Sunday turnout was large. Fifteen gathered to hear Helen’s briefing, then we were on our way along a stop-bank track. In Greek mythology, crossing the Styx into Hades successfully was very important for the deceased. A boatman called Charon ferried your soul across the river. In our case and to Helen’s relief, no-one had died, so we chose the easiest option and took the bridge.

Soon we were looking left at the village of Stewarts Gully and came to the village’s sailing club which gave us a little protection from the light drizzle as we had a morning tea break and Helen treated us to caramel Easter eggs. Further on we passed the small community of Kainga and then over the old Main North Road where it crosses the Waimakariri on the old bridge. One kilometer up-river we crossed the motorway by walking under the twin bridges, then on to where the Otukaikino Creek, which rises at the Groynes, enters the big river. A foray onto the Waimakariri Rapids leg of the Chch 360 killed a little time, then back at Whites Crossing picnic tables we had an early lunch.

Because Helen did two exploratory walks prior to the day, she was able to vary the return journey quite well. Coats came off as the sun shone through and we crossed the Styx uneventfully with lots of afternoon left to kill. Many thanks to Helen for meticulously researching, and leading this walk and the Easter eggs.

We were: Helen Harkness, Diane Dixon, Sha & Arjuna, Ian & Diane Roxburgh, Lissa Toscano, Sue Britain, Mike Bourke, Neil & Kathy Ramsay, Hilaire Campbell, Ainslie Talbot, Wendy Wallace and Kerry Moore [KM]